Jeff Bezos: The Man, The Myth and The Legend
Abhay Tomar, INN/Gwalior, @infodeaofficial
How Jeff Bezos built an empire from a garage and became the wealthiest person on the planet?
Jeffrey Preston Bezos, commonly known as Jeff Bezos, is not just a name now, it has become a synonym for triumph. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Amazon. He has led the Amazon to prodigious growth in last 21 years, and has become not just the wealthiest person on the planet but also the first centi-billionaire (one who crosses the $100 billion net worth) with a whopping net worth of around $150 billion and is designated as the “wealthiest person in modern history”. The factor that makes him a legend is that he started his dream project from a garage! So, to know how he achieved, what common herd can only dream about, we must take look at his astounding journey.On 12 January, 1964 at Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jeff Bezos was born but he was raised in Houston, Texas. As a child he turned his garage to a laboratory for his inventions. In 1992, in his valedictorian speech, Jeff shared his views and ideas on colonizing outer space and turning Earth into a giant nature preserve. He graduated from Princeton University with a computer science degree in 1986, but he didn’t want to go directly into the tech. So, he started working in Wall street. He quickly made a name for himself, at the age of 26, in 1990, he became the youngest ever vice president of Banker Trust company and at the age of 28, he became the youngest ever vice president of DE Shaw and Co.
While he was at DE Shaw and Co. he came across the giant and untapped resource INTERNET, and when he got to know about the fact that internet grows 2300% a year, he decided that he will not wait long and will make use of internet as his business platform. Now, he was standing at a crossroads in his career: continuing building up small fortunes or giving it all up for a startup? He took a grave decision of leaving his job. Probably, he didn’t have an idea then, that his decision is completely going to change the history of e-commerce, publishing, films, TV, journalism and interstellar traveler.He packed his stuff and came back to Seattle from New York, and legend has it that he wrote his business plan in car while he was on this trip. In 1994, he again transformed his garage into something else, this time it was a book store. He chose to sell books online for two simple reasons; they were easy to pack and hard to be damaged. Initially he named the company as “CADABRA” but he had to change it because a lawyer misheard it as “cadaver”, which was quite funny. Then he named the company as “AMAZON” which is related to world’s largest river and as his plan for Amazon was to make it world’s largest company.
On 5th July, 1995, Amazon was launched and in the first month only it sold books in all 50 states and 45 different countries. By September 1995, Amazon was making $20,000 in monthly sales, by 1997, Amazon was valued at $400 million and by 1999, Jeff Bezos was worth $10 billion and was Time’s Man of The Year.
In the early 2000’s when dot com crash took place, many competitors of Amazon were eliminated. Amazon took this opportunity to strengthen its grip in the market and went beyond books, it brought new things like, Kindle, Alexa, Studios and most importantly Amazon Prime, it locks the people in Amazon ecosystem and hence they become much more inclined toward buying a lot more. It has been the biggest driver of Amazon’s mindboggling revenue growth. By this time there was enormous amount of money flowing through the company and instead of giving the excess money to shareholders, Bezos was reinvesting it into the company and in his core businesses; in his aerospace company, Blue Origin. Currently Bezos owns the 16% of the Amazons profit.
In this way Jeff Bezos became the world’s richest man in 2017 and still thriving!