It was the night before SXSW 2008 kicked off, and Kassia Krozser, Erik Hersman, and I were hanging out at the pre-party at the Six Lounge in Austin. Erik was explaining that the guy in the corner who looked remarkably like Jeff Bezos, actually was Jeff Bezos.
The truth is, there are a lot of guys at SXSW who look like Jeff Bezos. That might be why Bezos wasn’t attracting much attention. He blended seamlessly with the crowd of Web 2.0 geeks, and he looked absolutely in his element.
Eventually, word got out and a small but disorganized receiving line began to form around Bezos. Partygoers were eager to approach him for an autograph or photo op, but everyone seemed to be cautions about making too big a deal about it.
At some point, I realized that we were being sucked into the Bezos Vortex and were actually in line to meet the man. I remember thinking that it was not unlike waiting in line to meet Santa Claus, but better, because Amazon already has my wish list on file. I was certain that when I introduced myself, Bezos would shake my hand and say, “Yes Kirk, you’ll be getting that plasma TV for Christmas. As long as you remember to take out the trash and clean your room.”