Jeff is a genius. He is the smartest guy I have worked with. He is also a super nice person. I remember, once I finished a particularly good meeting with him, and was walking out of his office -- he called out to me and said, "Venky, just wanted thank you very much for working here." I have never said that to anyone and no one since has said that to me.
A few months after we sold Junglee to Amazon, Rakesh Mathur (Junglee's CEO) decided to leave Amazon. Right after he told Jeff, Jeff was in my office, concerned that I might also leave. I told Jeff I was very happy but would like more of his time. This resulted in Jeff and I having a weekly meeting -- it was his last meeting of the day, so sometimes would go on for much more than an hour. We would just sit down and discuss random topics of importance to Amazon and honestly was amazing fun. Marketplaces, financial metrics, valuation, retail strategy, competition, you name it, we talked about it. It was a crucial time in the evolution of Amazon and Jeff had great ideas and it was so much fun to hear his thinking and question it.
When I was leaving Amazon, I told Jeff, "I love, love working with you, but I want to work with startups. So it's a hard choice, but I think I am going to pick the startup path." Jeff said I didn't have to make a choice, and that we could do both. So after some twists and turns, Jeff became a partner and largest investor in my fund, Cambrian Ventures. So I got to keep in touch with him for a few more years after I left Amazon.
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