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CNBC has a story about a recent panel discussion that included Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos, who said that “he let his four kids play with knives at age 4 and power tools since age 7 or 8 … Because allowing them to take risks and be self-reliant teaches resourcefulness — a key trait both in business and in daily life.”

Bezos said he learned this lesson was one he learned when visiting his grandfather’s ranch as a kid. The ranch was in the middle of nowhere, so if something broke, they had to fix it themselves: “Together they fixed heavy machinery, performed veterinary work on his cattle and even built a house one summer.”

Bezos said that being resourceful is a skill “that he and his wife have instilled in their children, ages 12 to 17. His wife's rationale, Bezos says jokingly, is that she ‘would much rather have a kid with nine fingers than a resourceless kid,’ which he the CEO believes is a ‘fantastic attitude about life’.”
KC's View:

I’d like to think that Bezos was being either hyperbolic or metaphorical. But I suspect he wasn’t.

There are a lot of things that make Bezos different from me, and now I’ve discovered another one. We have a neighbor with a table saw, and years ago he offered to help my son Brian with a school project … and I had to walk out of the room because I was no nervous about him being near such a sharp tool.

This is a character flaw on my part, I concede. (Though, to my credit, I did teach Brian how to make risotto.)