I ate Jeff Bezos' mythical 'breakfast octopus' - and I now feel like I have a better understanding of the iconic Amazon CEO
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once told the founder of daily deals site Woot over breakfast that he had acquired the company because it was like the "breakfast octopus" he was eating - something he "didn't understand."
- The restaurant where they ate is Lola, a famous upscale eatery in Seattle near Amazon's offices.
- I visited Lola to try the dish. It left me convinced Bezos' "breakfast octopus" analogy was not an offhand remark, but something that he had deliberately planned.
Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, now the richest man in the world, is ripe for dissection.In endless magazine profiles, newspaper articles, blog posts, and books, every episode of the enigmatic Amazon CEO's life is analyzed. Through them, a portrait of Bezos has emerged: intense, intimidating, curious, relentlessly competitive, and with a biting sense of humor.
But only one of the hundreds of anecdotes I've read about him captures my imagination. That of the "breakfast octopus."
In a 2014 Dallas' D Magazine profile of Matt Rutledge, who sold his daily-deals e-commerce company, Woot, to Amazon for $110 million in 2010, Rutledge shared the story of his first meeting with Bezos after the deal.
During the breakfast meeting, Rutledge asked Bezos why he bought the company. Bezos famously looked down at his plate and said, "You're the octopus that I'm having for breakfast ... When I look at the menu, you're the thing I don't understand, the thing I've never had. I must have the breakfast octopus."
On a recent trip to Seattle, I made a pilgrimage to Seattle restaurant Lola to see what the "breakfast octopus" was all about.