Jeff Bezos: From Books to Billions

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Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, was born on the 12th of January, 1964. He had a knack for science at a young age, and he showed this when he used a screwdriver to take apart his crib. When he was a teenager, he kept his younger siblings from entering his room by building an electric alarm. Eventually, his parents suggested that he turn the garage into his personal laboratory and move all his science projects there to encourage his career in science.  This paid off in many ways.

Biggest School Accomplishment

When Bezos was in college at Princeton University, he wanted to pursue a degree in physics, but he eventually realized that he had a bigger passion for computers. When he graduated from Princeton University, he had a bachelor’s degree in computer science and science.

 

Starting His Career

Since computer scientists were in high demand on Wall Street, Bezos went there to work for a number of firms. He became the vice president of Bankers Trust and then D.E. Shaw, an investment company, later on. He got a taste of the digital world that sparked his passion for computers further and the idea to transform the internet forever while working at D.E. Shaw. Bezos discovered that the internet grew 2,300% every month while he was looking into bringing new business to D.E. Shaw. That’s when it clicked in his head that selling things online had massive potential.

 

Amazon.com

In 1994, Jeff left D.E. Shaw and went to Seattle to take advantage of the growing online potential by launching a store that sold books online. On the drive from Texas, Bezos drafted a business plan for investors using his laptop as his wife, MacKenzie, drove the car. Through friends and relatives, he managed to come up with $1 million in investment funds, which enabled him to operate the business from his house in Seattle.

On the 16th of July, 1995, a beta version of the website was available to 300 users. Bezos told the users to tell their family and friends about Amazon and also developed a bell that went off when a sale was made. But this bell would make a lot of noise in just a month with the sudden explosion of sales from all 50 American states and 45 other countries. The website site was generating weekly sales of $20,000 by September 1995.

 

Rapid Expansion of Amazon

When Amazon began selling clothes from retailers around the world in 2002, that is when the website began to truly take off. Later on, it would expand to offer customer and sporting goods as well. Another thing that contributed to its rapid expansion was the success of Prime, which made the launch of Amazon in Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, France and Italy a major success. Two other huge leaps in innovation for Amazon were the launch of the Amazon Kindle e-readers in 2007 and the KindleFire devices in 2011.

Amazon is a remarkable company, considering the fact its revenue increased from $48.08 billion in 2011 to $107.01 billion in 2015 (an increase of 122.56%). Jack channelled a majority of this revenue into marketing and promoting the website in a bid to take Amazon to the top. By February 2016, the price of a single Amazon share was $549.42, a significant increase from $18.00 in May 1997.

Amazon Web Services was launched in 2006. It is a wide range of storage, computer, deployment, application and analytics services. Amazon Studios was launched in 2012, and, like Kickstarter, it is a crowdsourcing platform. The difference is that its sole focus is on film and television.

In 2012, Jeff Bezos was named “Businessperson of the Year” by Forbes magazine, and he has a net worth of 143.1 billion as of 2018.

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