Jeff Bezos Says He 'Loves' The Idea Of Hanging Out And Building A Friendship With Elon Musk — 'So I'm Not Saying We're Identical, But I Think We're Very Like-Minded'

On Dec.14, 2023, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and space company Blue Origin, was featured in a significant interview on the Lex Fridman Podcast. The appearance was noteworthy, especially considering the much-discussed rivalry with Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. However, during the interview, Bezos and Fridman’s dialogue suggested a shift towards understanding and mutual respect, potentially laying to rest the rumors of intense competition between Bezos and Musk.

Fridman opened the conversation about space exploration and the role of their respective companies, Blue Origin and SpaceX. He inquired about the nature of their relationship: competitors or collaborators? Bezos responded by emphasizing the vast potential of space, comparing it to the internet in terms of the opportunity for multiple winners at different scale levels. He expressed confidence in SpaceX’s success and wished the same for Blue Origin and other companies entering the space industry​​.

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Further into the interview, Fridman brought up his recent conversations with Musk, mentioning that Musk spoke positively about Bezos and supported the efforts at Blue Origin. This set the stage for Bezos to reflect on his relationship with Musk. 

Bezos acknowledged Musk’s impressive leadership, despite not knowing him personally. “Well, I don't really know Elon very well. I know his public persona, but I also know you can't know anyone by their public persona. It's impossible,” Bezos remarked. He added, “You may think you do, but I guarantee you don't. So I don't really know. You know Elon way better than I do, Lex, but in terms of judging by the results, he must be a very capable leader. There's no way you could have Tesla and SpaceX without being a capable leader. It's impossible.”

The history of their rivalry includes several high-profile incidents, from patent challenges to competition over NASA contracts. This rivalry had been intense at times, with Bezos challenging SpaceX's NASA contracts and lease agreements. Despite this, Bezos’s comments on the podcast reflected a more conciliatory and respectful tone​​.

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Fridman, highlighting the importance of their work in space exploration, expressed hope for a friendship between the two billionaires. “Yeah, I hope you guys hang out sometimes, shake hands and sort of have a kind of friendship that would inspire just the entirety of humanity because what you're doing is one of the big grand challenges ahead for humanity,” he said.

Bezos responded positively to Fridman’s remarks, indicating an openness to a more collaborative relationship with Musk. “Well, I agree with you and I think in a lot of these endeavors we're very like-minded. So I'm not saying we're identical, but I think we're very like-minded. And so I love that idea,” Bezos stated.

The potential collaboration between Bezos and Musk, two of the most successful entrepreneurs of this time, presents an inspiring vision for the future. Their journey from starting innovative companies to becoming leaders in the tech and space industries exemplifies the boundless potential of entrepreneurial endeavors

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