Of All Of Jeff Bezos' Blunders - This Stands Above The Rest

It's clear that, after stepping down as CEO of AmazonJeff Bezos is living his best life. The new retiree went to space and back this summer (per CNN Business), and having a net worth of $197 billion (per Bloomberg) to throw around doesn't hurt, either.

But life hasn't been all peaches and cream and zero-gravity shenanigans for the mogul. The mega-corporation that is Amazon — Bezos' baby — has seen its failures. Its failed video game Crucible lost millions, the healthcare company Haven was a flub, and the short-lived travel service Amazon Destinations never took off (via Yahoo! Finance).

In his personal life, Bezos has also experienced some setbacks. The end of his 25-year marriage with MacKenzie Scott, whom he paid a $38 billion settlement (via Business Insider), played out in public for the world to see. And, as much as they appeared to stay amicable throughout the process, there was chatter of an affair and much buzz about what the divorce meant for Amazon's future (per Vox).

Personally and professionally, Bezos has sometimes missed the mark. But, of all of his setbacks, this Amazon creation was his biggest blunder.

The Fire Phone went up in flames

In 2014, Amazon released the Fire Phone, the company's first foray into the smartphone space. Yes, it had some stiff competition, with iPhone and Samsung smartphones already up and running and introducing smarter and faster versions every year. 

But, even without that competition, the Fire Phone might as well have caught fire and disintegrated before it debuted to the public. It would have saved Bezos a lot of embarrassment because the release was a complete disaster. Media outlets called the phone a "debacle," "a fiasco," and "a surprising disappointment" (via CNBC).

Admitting defeat, Amazon tucked its tail between its legs and pulled the Fire Phone from distribution after a mere two months with a reported loss of $170 million. One would assume that the developers behind the very public failure would have been shown the door. But that wasn't the case. Bezos was quick to forgive one of the smartphone's key developers, Ian Freed, telling him in 2015 (via CNBC), "You can't, for one minute, feel bad about the Fire Phone. Promise me you won't lose a minute of sleep."

When the Fire Phone was shelved, it was a pretty big blunder for Bezos. But it's clear that the debacle is firmly in the rearview for Amazon, with the company's success surging onward unabated. And, as an entrepreneur like Bezos surely knows, without risk, there is no reward.