Power Point: Extend beyond your skill set

June 2, 2009, 2:51 AM UTC

“You can always do what you should do if you’re willing to put in the time and energy to develop a new set of skills. If you only extend into places where your skill sets serve you, your skills will become outmoded.”

– Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos in “Amazon’s Next Revolution,” the Fortune cover story that hits newsstands today. My colleague Jeff O’Brien uses Bezos’ newest big venture, the Kindle, to get inside the brain of this durable entrepreneur who has an overriding sense of adventure, an unusual attraction to non-linear growth, and a perpetual willingness to fail. “The thing that allows for all the teams to come together after a failure is the recognition that this is just a first failure [for the project],” Bezos says. “After every failure, we ask ourselves, ‘Do we still believe in the vision?’ If we have conviction, that gives us energy to pursue [another] approach.”

Kindle competition is coming fast and furious. Google intends to enable publishers to sell digital books direct to consumers, according to the New York Times. The Google retail program would allow consumers to read books on any Internet device.

For now at least, I’m content with my Kindle 2. The e-books are cheap, at $9.99 or less. Though the Fortune cover story suggests that a profit-building model, perhaps ads, will likely come.