Forever wrong

It's only because we know we're going to snuff it one day, that we get anything done at all

Peter Edgerton
PETER EDGERTON

All of the most successful business people I've ever met have had two things in common: they worked very hard and they were lucky to a greater or lesser extent (they're very often loathe to acknowledge the latter - especially if they're blokes - but it's always true). Our old mate Jeff Bezos is no exception. I've no doubt that he's put the hard miles in over the years but, let's face it, selling books online from a garage in Seattle isn't the most inspired business idea in history. He just happened to catch the zeitgeist, adapted and expanded and, next thing you know, he's faffing about in a spaceship for reasons best known to himself.

Good old Jeff's back in the news again currently, because, rumour has it, he's been investing some pocket money in Altos Labs, a company dedicated to investigating age reversal or eternal youth or something equally awful. Hang on, surely the principal prerequisite for any company looking into such mind-boggling matters, should be an extraordinarily well-developed gift for imagination and, I'm sorry, but the name 'Altos Labs' implies that those involved are, in fact, possessed of anything but. Actually, if you were to hold a competition to find the least imaginative name for some laboratories, 'Altos Labs' would probably win.

Even more baffling is why Bezos would want to hang around this mortal coil for any longer than his allotted time, anyway. It's not like he might not be able to fulfil the odd wayward caprice over the next few years, is it? Crumbs, if he fancies a kebab in Fuengirola tomorrow, he can just whizz by in some flying machine or other and be home in time for tea.

I used to give guitar classes in my house, just so I'd have to tidy it beforehand, which is something I'd never have got round to otherwise. The same principle applies to life in general - it's only because we know we're going to snuff it one day, that we get anything done at all.

Come to think of it, I couldn't imagine anything worse than living forever, except maybe age-reversal. Imagine accumulating the wisdom of decades padding about the planet, only to discover that nobody pays any attention whatsoever to your opinions because you've got a severe bout of acne. On the plus side, I suppose I'd have a bit more hair but, then again, it'd be ginger. No, count me out of your devilish schemes, Alto Labs; the current design is pretty darn good as it is.

Jeff Bezos, then, should be very careful what he wishes for. The way he's going, he could well find himself back flogging books from a garage in Seattle - and he might not be so lucky this time around.