Around 1998, David Streitfeld gave Jeff Bezos a quick tour of The Washington Post. It really wasn’t a big deal.
“It was a newspaper,” Streitfeld told Poynter. “There wasn’t much to see.”
- David Streitfeld looks through books in his basement. (Submitted photo.)
After he ushered Bezos around the newsroom, the two attended a lunch with editors of the Post.
“The editors there thought Amazon was cute, interesting, a frill — not something transformative,” Streitfeld said. “The notion that the Post would one day be owned by the guy with the goofy laugh sitting in front of them was literally inconceivable.”
Streitfeld, though, already knew that Amazon had that potential to be transformative, at least for the publishing industry. He covered the book beat for the Post at the time (in that role, he identified Joe Klein as the author of “Primary Colors”) and discovered Amazon early in his reporting. Then, Streitfeld, who is now a New York Times technology reporter as well as a book lover and collector, saw possibility in a company taking the selling of books into a digital space. Read more