Inspiring Success story of the richest man on the planet - Jeff Bezos
“Failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it's going to work, it's not an experiment.”- Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos always believed in experimenting. According to him "Failure "and "Invention" cannot be separated, they go hands-on hands, without failure nobody can be perfect. Experiment leads to inventions.
When you think about Amazon, the first thing that comes to your mind is creativity, invention, innovation, customer satisfaction, variety of products, employment.
So, let's talk about the person who is the richest man on the planet- Jeff Bezos.
Early life of Jeff Bezos and his childhood
Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to a teenage mother, Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen, and his biological father, Ted Jorgensen.
The marriage just continued for over a year. In 1968, she later remarried Miguel Bezos when Jeff was 4 years old. Jeff Bezos had a strong interest in computer Science as he grew up.
He moved to Miami with his family as a teenager, where he developed a love for computers and graduated valedictorian of his high school. It was during high school that he started his first business, the Dream Institute, an educational summer camp for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.
Jeff Bezos completed his early education at River Oak Elementary school in Houston and Miami Palmetto Senior High school. Later, he went to complete his graduation in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University.
Career switch from Finance to Internet
After graduating from Princeton, Jeff got Job offers from Intel and Bell Labs to join a startup called Fitel. After quitting Fitel he joined the Bankers Trust and the investment firm D.E. Shaw. In 1990, Jeff became the youngest even senior Vice president at the Wall Street Investment Banker D.E. Shaw.
Once he was surfing the internet in search of a new Venture for D.E Shaw. He was astonished to see the growth of internet usage by 2300% in a year.
Jeff was earning well but he had other plans. When his career was at its peak, was about to get a hike and promotion, and also he was getting a high paid salary Jeff decided to take a risky move to pursue his dream and open his own company.
He quit his job in 1994, moved to Seattle, and targeted the untapped potential of the Internet market by opening an online bookstore.
Journey from Cadabra to Amazon.com
In 1993 Jeff decided to open an online book store. He left his job at D.E. Shaw and established a company in Washington state with the name Cadabra, Inc. After few months the name was later changed to Amazon.com, Inc. The company was operated out of a garage from Bezos's house on Northeast 28th Street in Bellevue, Washington.
Choosing a company name also have been a crucial task. Jeff was searching for a name that is extremely different and exotic. While he was thinking about the name, Jeff noticed that the Amazon River is the longest river in the world and he planned to make his store the biggest bookstore in the world. Therefore he changed the name from Cadabra to Amazon.com on the river name Amazon which is situated in South Africa. While he was searching for the name he noticed that the first alphabet in the dictionary is "A". Additionally, a name that began with "A" was preferred because it would probably be at the top of an alphabetized list. So he finalized the company name to be Amazon.com.
Launch of first-ever Online Bookstore - Amazon.com
Bezos created a list of 20 products that could be marketed online. He narrowed the list to what he felt were the five most promising products, which included: compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books. Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, because of the large worldwide demand for literature, the low unit price for books, and the huge number of titles available in print.
On 16 July, Jeff asked his 300 friends to do a Beta test on his site. It turned out to be a success as it was smoothly working across different platforms. In the months leading up to launch, a few employees began developing software with Bezos in his garage; they eventually expanded operations into a two-bedroom house equipped with three Sun Microstation.
Bezos' parents invested almost $250,000 in the start-up.
In July 1995, Amazon opens as an online bookseller, selling the world's largest collection of books to anyone with World Wide Web access. The initial success of the company was meteoric. With no press promotion, Amazon.com sold books across the United States and in 45 foreign countries within 30 days. In two months, sales reached $20,000 a week, growing faster than Bezos and his startup team had envisioned.
In October 1995, the company announced itself to the public. In 1996, it was reincorporated in Delaware. On May 15, 1997, Amazon issued its Initial Public Offering(IPO) at $18 per share, trading under the NASDAQ Stock exchange symbol AMZN.
Amazon.com went public in 1997, leading many market analysts to question whether the company could hold its own when traditional retailers launched their own e-commerce sites.
Two years later, the start-up not only kept up but also outpaced competitors, becoming an e-commerce leader.
In the next three years, Amazon.com grew on to become from a company with 100 employees that drew sales of more than $15.7 million, to a company, to a company of more than 3,000 employees and more than $610 million in sales, in just 3 years.
Bezos continued to diversify Amazon’s offerings with the sale of CDs and videos in 1998, and later clothes, electronics, toys, and more through major retail partnerships.
On June 19, 2000, Amazon's logotype has featured a curved arrow leading from A to Z, representing that the company carries every product from A to Z, with the arrow-shaped like a smile.
According to sources, Amazon did not expect to make a profit for four to five years. This comparatively slow growth caused stockholders to complain that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough to justify their investment or even survive in the long term.
In 2001, dot- com bubble destroyed many e-companies, but Amazon survived and moved forward beyond the tech crash to become a huge player in online sales. The company finally turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001 on revenues of more than $1 billion. Amazon flourished with yearly sales that jumped from $510,000 in 1995 to over $17 billion in 2011. Jeff made everyone believed that his business model is unconventional which eventually lead to success.
In 2006, Amazon.com launched its video-on-demand service. Initially known as Amazon Unbox on TiVo, it was eventually rebranded as Amazon Instant Video.
In 2011, Amazon had 30,000 full-time employees in the US, and by the end of 2016, it had 180,000 employees.
Milestone: The journey of Amazon
1995- "First book sold" :
Amazon sells its first product book titled"Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanism of Thoughts" by Douglas Hofstadter.
1997-"Firm goes Public" :
In May 1997, the firm goes public. $1000 investment in Amazon fetches over $2,00,000.
1998- "Addition of more products in the catalog" :
Amazon adds music, DVDs, video cassettes, software, and video games to its catalogs.
1990-"addition of 1 click" :
In 1990, the company adds 1 click and allows customers to buy items within a pre-determined credit card.
2000- "3rd party seller allowed" and Launch of Blue Origin :
In 2oo2, 3rd party merchants were allowed to sell products through the site.
As mentioned earlier, Blue Origin is Jeff Bezos’ space project. The aerospace company is one of the prime focus of the world’s richest man's future projects. Founded by Bezos in 2000, Blue Origin is led by CEO Bob Smith. Its primary goal to make space travel cheaper and more reliable.
2001-"Book Previews" :
Users were allowed to see previews of books.
2002-"Launch of Amazon Web Services" :
In 2002 Amazon Web service was launched which was a backend for firms like Netflix and Dropbox.
Amazon Web Services is a subsidiary of Amazon providing on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments, on a metered pay-as-you-go basis.
2003- "Book Search feature added" :
Online book previews went a step further. You can now key in terms and search inside books.
2005-"Launch of Amazon Prime" :
In 2015 Amazon Prime was launched with an annual subscription of $79 and also offers two-day shipping of items.
2007-"Launch of Kindle and Amazon Fresh" :
Amazon released the Kindle, its first e-reader on November 19, 2007, for $399. It sold out in 5 1/2 hours. The device remained out of stock for five months until late April 2008. It is a handheld digital book reader that allowed users to buy, download, read and store their book selections, in 2007.
Amazon Fresh is a subsidiary of the American e-commerce company Amazon.com in Seattle, Washington. It is a grocery delivery service currently available in most major U.S. cities, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Milan, Munich, Rome, Tokyo, Singapore, and India.
2008-"Acquisition of Fabric.com" :
On June 25, 2008, Amazon.com, announced the acquisition of Fabric.com, a leading online fabric store that offers custom measured and cut fabrics, as well as patterns, sewing tools, and accessories.
2009-"Acquired Zappos and Audible" :
Acquired by Amazon Inc in 2009, Zappos is a famous footwear and apparel e-commerce website based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Zappos was bought by Amazon for an all-stock deal of $1.2 billion at the time. Notably, Zappos recently appointed Indian-origin Kedar Deshpande as their CEO.
March 19, 2008-Amazon.com, Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition of Audible, Inc.
2010-"Launch of Amazon Studio and acquisition of Woot.com" :
Launch of amazon studios to develop original TV shows.
On June 30, 2010, Woot announced an agreement to be acquired by Amazon.
2011-"Launch of Kindle Fire" :
Thanks to Kindle, e-books sale purchase surpasses those of paper e-books and launched Kindle Fire in 2011. The following September, he announced the new Kindle Fire HD, the company's next-generation tablet designed to give Apple's iPad a run for its money.
2012-"Launch of Junglee.com and acquisition of Kiva system" :
Amazon tests Indian waters by launching Junglee.com, for online and offline goods.
Kiva Systems underwent a rebranding when it was acquired by Amazon in 2012, and is now known as Amazon Robotics. The company manufactures package-carrying robots in Amazon warehouses and was purchased for $775 million.
2013-"Launch of Amazon.in and Drone Delivery" and "Bought The Washington Post":
Amazon officially launches in India with Amazon.in .
In early December 2013, Bezos made headlines when he revealed a new, experimental initiative by Amazon, called "Amazon Prime Air," using drones to provide delivery services to customers.
He said these drones would be able to carry items weighing up to five pounds and be capable of traveling within a 10-mile distance of the company's distribution center.
The first Prime Air delivery took place in Cambridge, England, on December 7, 2016.
The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos’ Nash Holdings. The company was previously owned by Warren Buffett, later the company was bought by Jeff Bezos in 2013 for $250 million.
2014-"Launch of Fire Phone and Alexa" :
In 2014, Amazon launched the Fire phone. The Fire Phone was meant to deliver media streaming options but the venture failed, resulting in Amazon registering a $170 million loss.
This would also lead to the Fire Phone production being stopped the following year. In August of the same year, Amazon would finalize the acquisition of Twitch, a social video gaming streaming site for $970 million.
This new acquisition would be integrated into the game production division of Amazon.
Alexa first launched on the Amazon Echo in November 2014. The Echo, and Alexa with it, was initially only available to invited Amazon Prime members. The general release for the Echo and Alexa was in June 2015.
2015-"First original TV Series" :
Amazon hired Woody Allen to create his first original TV Series. The company produced and released its first original feature film, Spike Lee's, Chi-Raq, In 2015.
2016-" Launch of IMDb" :
This might come as a surprise to many, but IMDb or Internet Movie Database is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon Inc. The website, which also offers ratings and reviews of movies and TV shows, packs data of nearly 250 million titles.
In 2016, Bezos stepped in front of the camera for a cameo appearance playing an alien in Star Trek Beyond. A Star Trek fan since childhood, Bezos is listed as a Starfleet Official in the movie credits on IMDb.
2017-"Launch of Amazon Go and acquisition of Souq.com and Wholefoods" :
Amazon prepared to launch Amazon Go, an ambitious and experimental retail concept that uses sensors and other technology, not cashiers, to identify and automatically charge customers.
For the past year, Amazon employees have been testing and trying to trick, the technology in its 1,800-square foot shop Amazon Go store in downtown Seattle.
Another e-commerce company owned by Jeff Bezos, Souq.com is popular as the Amazon of the gulf. The e-commerce marketplace is based in Dubai and was acquired by Amazon in 2017.
Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods grocery chain for $13.2 billion in cash was one of its biggest purchases in the physical store industry. The all-cash deal did not result in a change in management but offered a range of benefits for Amazon users. Namely, prime exclusive deals, two-day delivery in some areas, and extra discounts, among others.
2018-"Prime Subscription increased to $119 and announced joint Health Venture" :
Amazon announced a price increase for Prime from $99 to $119—the current price. An Amazon Prime subscription went from $79 in 2005, increasing by $40 over the last 15 years since Amazon offered the service.
On January 30, 2018, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase delivered a joint press release in which they announced plans to pool their resources to form a new healthcare company for their U.S. employees.
2019-"Amazon Fresh free benefit for Prime members"
Amazon offered Amazon fresh as a free benefit of Prime. Prime members in select cities can shop for groceries, everyday essentials, and more with Amazon Fresh. Amazon Fresh is available exclusively to Amazon Prime members by invitation only.
2020-"News-4152 Sellers crossed Rs 1 crore sales mark" and " Launch of Bezos Earth Fund":
Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce business in India, Amazon.in breaks the record in 2020. The report exclusively published that 4,152 sellers surpassed Rs 1 crore in sales while the number of ‘crorepati’ sellers grew 29 percent year-on-year (YoY).
On February 17, 2020, Bezos announced that he was launching the Bezos Earth Fund to combat the potentially devastating effects of climate change.
Along with committing $10 billion to the initiative, Bezos said he would begin issuing grants and fund "scientists, activists, NGOs- any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world."
2021-"Stepping down as the CEO of Amazon.com"
In February 2021, Amazon announced that Bezos will step down as CEO in the third quarter of the year. He will transition to the executive chair of Amazon's board.
On February 2, 2021, Andy Jassy was announced as the new CEO of Amazon.
Jeff Bezos is not just the world's richest man and a great Entrepreneur but also he has inspired and motivated millions of people around us who want to be Entrepreneurs one day.
From his milestones, you can figure it out, how much hard work and dedication he has put in to build a great Empire.
I hope this post is an inspiration for many people who follows Jeff Bezos and who want to be like him one day. If you like this story please like, comment, and share this post with your friends and loved ones who want to be an entrepreneur one day.