Documentary photographer Doug Menuez has spent time with some of the most notable figures in Silicon Valley.
But it was during a 1994 trip to Aspen, Colorado, when he met a young Jeff Bezos, who was looking for funding for his brand-new company. Both Menuez and Bezos were in Aspen for an event held by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.
“He was wearing this shirt that said ‘Amazon’ on it. My wife is Brazilian, so she said, ‘Let’s go talk to him,'” Menuez said to Business Insider.
Menuez, his wife, and Bezos all got on a gondola together. Bezos used the 20-minute ride to practice his pitch for Amazon.
“I said, ‘You’re going to kill my local bookstore.’ But it was amazing,” Menuez said. “Some things you hear and you just know it’s going to work.”
Menuez says that Bezos was open and friendly when talking about his new company.
“He was really smart, and you could see his passion,” Menuez said. “The thing about that story is that it shows that if you have enough guts and passion, you can make your dream happen.”
Several photos of Bezos appear in Menuez’s new book, “Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley.” Menuez spent 15 years behind the scenes at major Silicon Valley companies, including Apple, Adobe, and Sun Microsystems.
“I do wish I could’ve gone back and done Amazon and Google,” Menuez said. “It’s an imperfect record.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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