Jeff Bezos, founder of global E-retail giant Amazon, was named as “richest man in modern history” in 2018 by Forbes. His net worth as of May 2020 is above 145B USD. World media is now flooded with a study by Comparison claiming Jeff Bezos is likely to become world’s first trillionaire by 2026.
Here is the journey of Jeff Bezos
Jeffrey Preston Bezos (or Jeff Bezos as we know him) was born on 12th Jan 1964 in Albuquerque, the most populous city of the state New Mexico of the US. He was raised in Huston and later in Miami. Jeff went to Princeton University to study Physics but soon he decided to study computers. Bezos graduated with two degrees: electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University in 1986. He worked with several firms on Wall Street in few related fields from 1986. In 1990, he became the youngest Sr. V.P. at D.E. Shaw, the investment firm.
While surfing the web in search of new ventures for D.E Shaw, he found a statistics that World Wide Web is growing by 2,300 percent a month. This is when he realized the untapped potential of internet market and decided to quit a job at Wall Street and move to Seattle.
Jeff came up with an idea to use internet to sell books online. His boss at D. E. Shaw cautioned him saying “It actually sounds like a really good idea to me but I think it would be a better idea for somebody who didn’t already have a good job.” Jeff went on and founded Amazon in 1994 with setting up an office in his garage and investment of USD 10,000. He started by creating an online bookstore software. He invited 300 friends to beta test the site. He packaged and delivered books himself at the beginning. His sales reached USD 20,000 a week in two months.
At Amazon India event called “Sambhav”, he spoke about taking a call to quit a job at wall street to found an online book store, “I pictured myself 80 years old and thinking back on my life, would I regret leaving this company in the middle of the year and walk away from my annual bonus and all those things, not really but I would definitely regret not trying the idea I had in my mind.”
Rise of Amazon with innovations
In 1997, Amazon went public. Analyst raised questions about Amazon will be able to hold on its own without any physical presence as brick and mortar retailers were also launching e-commerce. 2 years later, Amazon outperformed its competitors to become an e-commerce leader. Amazon introduced CDs and Video in 1998 and later cloths, toys, electronics and much more to become “The everything store”. In 2007, Amazon introduced Kindle the E reader. Amazon announced launching of “Amazon prime air” delivery services using drones. The first delivery by drone took place in Cambridge, England on 7th December 2016.
In 2018, Bezos shared in his letter to share holders that the company has surpassed 100 million paid subscribers for Amazon Prime. By September 2018, Amazon was valued above USD 1 trillion, the second company to ever hit that value after Apple.
Jeff Bezos about dealing with failure:
In the innovative journey at Amazon, they also faced with few failures. Some of them are as below.
- Amazon launched WebPay services which were inspired from Paypal, which was later closed in 2014.
- In 2011, Amazon launched Test drive but was shut down in 2015.
- Amazon launched fire phone in July 2014 which was discontinued soon after loss of 170M USD.
- Amazon destinations was launched in 2015 and was closed in 6 months.
“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”– Jeff Bezos
This was the driving force in Jeff Bezos while deciding to give up lucrative career in finance to try a venture of selling on internet. Trying to innovate and saying no to the fear of failure have been two biggest qualities of Jeff which are also largely driving innovation journey of Amazon.
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