Recently Jeff Bezos the founder and the CEO of Amazon created quite a tension around Sri Lanka for his recalling of a Sri Lankan student back in the day at the University of Princeton, who helped him solve a math equation. This interview was held at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. on the 13th September

Economic Club of Washington established in 1986 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created to strengthen ties among the diverse and growing business community-based in Metropolitan Washington D.C and with the diplomatic community. This is a stage where Internationally renowned speakers address global industry trends at breakfast, luncheons, and dinner Signature Events. The Club also hosts programs that provide top executives with opportunities to exchange insightful business-focused information.

Jeff Bezos, CEO Of Amazon was the invite for the September 13th conference where he addresses the secret sauces of Amazon.  During this interview, the host questions “How come you wanted to go to Princeton?” to which he replied exaggerating the Sri Lankan Yasantha Rajakarunanayake solved his Math equation. Watch the links to see Jeff recalling his experience.

Here’s the full interview:

This is what Bezos said:

“I can’t solve this partial differential equation. It is really, really hard. (I was) studying with my roommate Joe, who is really good at maths. The two of us worked on this homework for three hours. And we got nowhere.”

“We finally said ‘Yasantha’, because he was the smartest guy at Princeton. And we went to Yasantha’s room. And he was Sri Lankan. And in the Facebook, which was an actual paperbook at the time, his name was three lines long. He was the most humble, wonderful guy. And we show him this problem.”

“He looks at it, stares at it for a while and says ‘Cosine’. We are like ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘That’s the answer’.”

“He brings us into his room and writes out three pages of detailed algebra. Everything crosses out and the answer is cosine. I said ‘Listen Yasantha. Did you just do that in your head?’ He said, ‘No that would be impossible. Three years ago I solved a very similar problem and I was able to map this problem onto that problem and it was immediately obvious that the answer was cosine’.

“That was an important moment for me because that very moment I realized I was never going to be a great theoretical physicist.”

This great storytelling of Bezos created the buzz around the Sri Lankans, taking pride to know, that a Sri Lankan made the world’s richest man understand he was not for the theoretical physicist.

According to the print, Yasantha R, had an impression that he had been hacked following the conference of Bezos.

“I think Jeff had done the interview on 13 September, and by 15th, I was getting spam in my LinkedIn inbox,” said Yasantha.

“Several people were asking me,’Are you Jeff Bezos’ Yoshanta’. I thought someone had hacked my Linkedin and was quite worried. They had misspelled my name as well.”

This was finally seen by Yasantha by the 18th September and hailed him through a tweet.

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Blair villanueva
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Blair villanueva

A wise decision. You have to keep someone who beat you coz he is an asset for sure.

Amy Kramer
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Amy Kramer

Wow, you never know the impact you will have on someone!

anshul
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Such a wonderful realization. Well made decision I must say.

Nina Nichols
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You’ll never know where to find an asset for your company. Definitely a wise decision.

Abril www.parisandjune.com
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Good managers always surround themselves with people smarter than them. Same applies to CEOs. Interesting read.

Juli
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This is so nice when you remember and give credit to others where its due.

Bushra
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I would say, He made a great decision. A wise man! Shows humbleness.

The Beauty flicks
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A very good decision. Thanks for sharing.

Monidipa
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We never know how our decision can affect us and our business in future, well made decision I must say.

Evelyn Hernandez
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Jeff Bezos is the man and his decision was a smart one.

Aakanksha
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Aakanksha

This is an interesting anecdote and interesting that he still remembers.

Indu
Guest

Interesting read and eye opener too. This is the legacy of accomplished people.

kristina @ Spirit of the Soul
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It is amazing that Jeff could recall the exact person who helped him all those years ago. Also, a huge benefit to us/me that Jeff decided not to go to Princeton.

Sheena Moncatar
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Sheena Moncatar

Oh gosh, I would want to be the ‘Yasantha’. Must be pretty cool to have once helped Jeff Bezos. Thanks for sharing this post.

Olivia
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Olivia

Its awesome that he talked about and remembered the person that helped him! He is such a successful man so it’s awesome to see the humbleness.

thedailysunlight
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Wow! This is amazing. 😀 What a great decision this is. It is amazing how our memory can take us back to old times, to people we don’t even talk now and more. I just love how some people are grateful in life. I am loving this!

Mane
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Mane

Amazing! This is very interesting. Some people will come into our lives to leave that unforgettable experience. Yasantha is an amazing man, and we can admire Jeff’s humility.

Edwin at Regular Daddy
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Amazon is one of the pioneers in the business boom in the internet world. People like Bezos are worthy of being a measure in developing business on the internet …

Puja
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Puja

Great story! It’s cool that Jeff Bezos remembers his friend and shared the story.

Danielle Rice
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Danielle Rice

This is absolutely stunning! To work a complex math equation is so mesmerizing to me. I love that Jeff Bezos isn’t too “big” that he can’t praise others.

Synz
Guest

Nice one! A simple math problem can make someone remember you for a lifetime.

aisasami
Guest

You never know who or what you have an impact on. Such an inspiring tale!