Jeff Bezos asks his Twitter followers for ideas on how to spend his billions

amazon hit series
Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia
Having more money than he knows what to do with has prompted the eye-wateringly wealthy boss of Amazon to ask his Twitter followers for advice on how to spend it.

Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post and space company Blue Origin, is believed to be worth a colossal $82 billion, which makes him the second richest person on the planet after Bill Gates.

Aware that he’s unlikely to think up enough projects on which to spend his fortune before his time’s up — even a wildly intense shopping session on his own web store would unlikely make a dent in his cash pile — Bezos turned to his 228,000 Twitter followers on Thursday, June 15 with “a request for ideas” on what to do with it all. Or at least, some of it.

The 53-year-old tech and retail entrepreneur said he was “thinking about a philanthropy strategy” that’s geared toward “helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”

With ears wide open, Bezos encouraged anyone with ideas to simply post a reply to his tweet, adding that he also welcomed opinions from those who disagreed with his approach.

Offering an example of the “here and now,” Bezos referenced Mary’s Place in Seattle, a homeless shelter that Amazon recently promised to build alongside a new office that it’s constructing in the city.

Hundreds of wide-ranging ideas from Bezos’s Twitter followers have already rolled in — you can check them out by clicking on the tweet above.

Giving it away

While fellow tech billionaires such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have for some time made efforts to back good causes, Amazon’s CEO has come under scrutiny in some quarters for his apparent unwillingness to follow suit. However, in recent years Bezos has been showing greater enthusiasm to get in behind projects and spread the wealth generated by his business endeavors. For example, a few years back he made a donation to fund cancer research at the Fred Hutchinson Center, and before that gave money to Princeton University to create a center in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. And as he hints in his tweet, he’s also putting huge amounts of his own money into Blue Origin’s reusable rocket system, technology that he believes will ultimately help to protect the planet and help all Earthlings as heavy industry moves into space.

In Thursday’s tweet, Bezos didn’t say how much he’s put aside for funding new projects, but we’re certainly looking forward to finding out more about the plans and beneficiaries.

Emerging Tech

Michigan’s former transportation chief has some advice for wannabe smart cities

After 31 years as Michigan’s transportation director, Kirk Steudle has seen it all, particularly with smart city projects. He spoke with Digital Trends recently about what makes smart cities work, and offers advice along the way.
DT Daily

DT Daily: Hip-hop artist Rakeem Miles talks musical upbringing, ‘Dante’s Toys’

Rakeem Miles may be best known for his musical endeavors, but he's looking to change that with his forthcoming animated show. On Monday's DT Daily, we discuss Miles' origins, what drives his passions, his favorite superhero, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Social Media

Twitter tests home screen button that offers more control of your timeline

Twitter recently relaunched its reverse-chronological timeline, but accessing it means diving into settings. Now the company is testing a button on the main screen that lets you switch between the two different styles of timeline.
Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."