Who Made Amazon The Most Valuable Retailer In America?

What does a pair of socks, a high-end digital camera, gummy bears and a combination lock specifically designed to safeguard your ice cream pint when keeping in the office fridge have in common? You got it! All of these products can be purchased online from Amazon; the most valuable retailer in America and even bigger than Wal-Mart by market value.

At the very beginning, it was difficult to tell Amazon apart from all the other companies that caught the wave of ecommerce and attempted to profit from this newly developing market. But after the dot com bubble burst and Amazon found itself as one of the few survivors, the world started to pay attention and the company began its steady climb to success.

Let us have a look at the life and achievements of the man who made Amazon the retail giant that is today and how everything started as a simple online book retailer.

Beginnings

Jeff Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1964 to Jacklyn (née Gise) and Ted Jorgensen. His parents divorced when he was just 4 years old and his mother remarried to Miguel Bezos, a Cuban who immigrated to the United States alone when he was fifteen years old. Jeff learned the importance of hard work and was not adamant to getting his hands dirty. As a child, he spent summers at his grandfather’s ranch in Texas, doing everything laying pipe and vaccinating cattle to fixing windmills and whatever else needed to be done.

Bezos always displayed great interest for the scientific and technological. After his family moved to Miami where he attended where he attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Bezos became part of the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida, receiving a Silver Knight Award in 1982.

He attended Princeton University to study physics, but he couldn’t forgot of his love for computers and instead he graduated with highest honors and obtained two Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and computer science.

Jeff Bezos Quote_american businessman_patrick dwyer merrill lynch
Image courtesy of John Fischer at Flickr.com

Business Career

After graduating from Princeton and before Amazon, Bezos worked on Wall Street for companies like Fitel, Bankers Trust and D. E. Shaw & Co where he met his wife.

Not satisfied with already having an extremely lucrative business career and his financial future secured, he left it all behind to found Amazon in 1994.

At this point, ecommerce was a new concept that many companies tried to embrace and profit from, but it is clear now that only a few were truly successful. Amazon was one of the businesses that made the right moves and survived the market crash.

The company began right at his garage in Seattle and within 30 days it was already selling books across the United States and more than 45 countries worldwide. Two months later, sales were racking up to more than $20,000 a week, an unexpected number by everyone’s standard.

Playing the long game steadily and slowly diversifying was always Bezos strategy and it has paid off since then. The company began selling CDs, clothes, electronics, toys and more through major retail partnerships and while many of the early dot coms that were contemporary to Amazon were left behind, Bezos’ company thrived.

The 2006 Amazon launched its on-demand video service and their e-reader the Kindle hitting the markets in 2007 and further proof of the company’s constant diversification and commitment to innovate. In 2010 Amazon Studios, a division that develops television shows, movies and comics from online submissions and crowd-sourced feedback, made its debut projecting the company way beyond the world’s expectations for any online retailer.

Jeff Bezos_Nasa_businessman_patrick dwyer merrill lynch
Image courtesy of NASA HQ PHOTO at Flickr.com

The future of Jeff Bezos.

In 2000, Bezos founded Blue Origin, a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company with its headquarters in Kent, Washington. The initiative wants to enable private access to space travel to people at dramatically lower costs and safer than ever before. Originally satisfied with achieving sub-orbital spaceflight, the company built and flew its New Shepard spacecraft design at their Culberson County, Texas facility. The ship was able to achieve heights of 339,178 feet (103.8km) up in the air, before again returning both the space capsule and its rocket booster successfully back to land. In 2014, Blue Origin moved into the orbital spaceflight technology business supplying rocket engines to other companies. In September 2015, Blue Origin announced plans to manufacture and fly its orbital launch vehicle from the Florida Space Coast.

Jeff Bezos and his parents are advocates in initiatives to provide incentives to the improvement of education and the support social legislation. Miguel Bezos and his wife are the founders of The Bezos Family Foundation with the idea that “all young people are prepared to achieve their full potential and make meaningful contribution to society”.

 

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