You don't regret the things you did, you regret the things you didn't do when you had the chance, as the old adage goes.

One person who perhaps knows that better than anyone else is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

He recently became the world's richest person, but it would never have happened if he didn't make a decision to leave a high-paying job on Wall Street using a particularly novel-sounding decision making process. In his words: a "regret minimisation framework".

Bezos' online retail giant officially launched in Australia last week. As Aussie shoppers are looking forward to an influx of online bargains, the internet has been looking back at the rise of Bezos.


A clip from a 1999 episode of America's 60 Minutes has been doing the rounds this week and it makes for some pretty entertaining viewing.

At the time Jeff Bezos was just your more typical, nerdy, Honda Accord-driving billionaire who sold books over the internet. Compared to where the company is now, this was the humble beginnings.

Keen to convey a sense of bewilderment verging on complete incredulity, 60 Minutes reporter Bob Simon points out the nondescript Amazon offices next to a "porno parlour" and "heroin needle exchange".

"We didn't see anything vaguely cutting edge," he says.

Once inside, the pair discuss his less-than-impressive homemade desk and the fact Bezos didn't have much success with the opposite sex as a young man.

"Socially, I was a little awkward, would be one way to put it," he says, exploding with his well documented laugh.

"Remember, this guys is a titan of our time, a giant," the reporter says in the voice-over, as if needing to convince the viewer of the unbelievable.

Early on in the conversation, the Amazon founder talks about what went into his decision to start the company.


"The way I made a decision to leave Wall Street and do this, and it will sound geeky to you, but it was a regret minimisation framework," he said.

"This is actually how I made the decision. I wanted to live my life in such a way that when I'm 80 years old, I've minimsed the number of regrets I have." Or as the kids say: YOLO.

As the 1999 version of Jeff Bezos admits, it might be a dorky way of putting it, but let this be your daily dose of inspiration.

If you're in a job that you don't love but you think you've got a million dollar idea, remember the "regret minimisation framework".

And maybe one day you'll be worth $130 billion, like Jeff.