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Jeff Bezos once pitched an off-the-wall idea for how The Washington Post could make more money

Jeff Bezos Michael Seto/Business InsiderJeff Bezos

Since Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013, the paper has undergone an internet traffic renaissance, ballooning from
30.5 million monthly visitors in October 2013 to 73.4 million last month.
Though he hasn’t been a presence editorially, Bezos has been involved in crafting some of the product mandates designed to enhance the Post’s reader experience. These include initiatives around web-page load time and how easy it is to become a subscriber, Fortune reports.

But that doesn’t mean all his product ideas stick.

In Fortune’s new profile of Bezos, Shailesh Prakash, the Post’s head of product and technology, related an amusing anecdote about one of Bezos’s more off-the-wall production suggestions.

Prakash says Bezos suggest a feature called “disemvoweling,” where a reader who didn’t like an article could pay to remove the vowels from it. Another reader could then pay to put the vowels back in, and so on, ad infinitum.

The Post’s editor, Marty Baron, didn’t like the idea, Prakash says, and it didn’t get very far.

“Working together with other smart people in front of a whiteboard, we can come up with a lot of very bad ideas,” Bezos said. But he’s a firm believer in the power of brainstorming, he told Fortune.

Read Fortune’s whole profile of Bezos here.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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