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Amazon Needs to Watch What It Eats

By any measure, things are going pretty well for Jeff Bezos. On Thursday, the chief executive briefly surpassed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the richest person on Earth. Bezos—who is worth almost $90 billion thanks to a 17 percent stake in the mega-retailer—has so much money that he's taken to asking random people on Twitter for suggestions on

. And in his spare time, the 53-year-old got swole.

Gates retook the rich-guy crown on Thursday night, after Amazon did what it always does and reported that it barely made any money, despite selling $38 billion worth of goods and services. That fact briefly spooked Wall Street, but it's a matter of time before Bezos is on top again.

Amazon's profit was miniscule because the company is pouring money into myriad new growth opportunities, including international expansion, grocery stores, Hollywood movies, and wacky new gadgets. Analysts remain optimistic about Amazon, which is worth about $500 billion. Some say it could outpace the likes of Apple to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

It's a good story, one Bezos has been telling for 20 years. "It remains Day 1," he wrote in his most recent letter to Amazon shareholders, a reference to the first such...