More than 4 million orders a day and 350 million types of gadgets, clothes, home appliances and more. All this on the largest trading platform in the world - Amazon.
Since 2014, Amazon’s value has nearly doubled: from $ 180 billion to $ 350 billion, and its founder, Jeff Bezos, has become one of the richest people in the world. According to Bloomberg, his fortune reached $ 2017 billion at the end of 99,6 (followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with $ 91,3 billion).
Twenty-two years ago, Microsoft reached its peak of popularity, but no one expected that to happen to Amazon. The company didn't even have a name, and Bezos was sitting at a table made of old doorknobs, hoping someone would buy his books.
"Not to regret it later"
They say, "In order to be truly free, you have to be a little stupid." Jeff Bezos proved it with his example. He has served as vice president of Wall Street and one of the leading foundations in New York. His own house had several hundred thousand dollars in his account. He even married a tall brunette girl. His bosses respected him and rival companies hired him. But Bezos lacked all this.
In the service, Bezos was in charge of the Internet business division, a new direction in the 90s that is now emerging in the United States. He grew up out of nowhere, looking for companies with tens of thousands of customers. Jeff discusses this with his boss, and they conclude that in the near future there will be online stores that sell absolutely everything and deliver any product directly to the customer's home. The more Bezos thought about it, the more he liked the idea.
“If I don’t do it, someone else will,” Jeff Bezos said as he walked away from his office one day.
After retiring, Jeff and his wife moved to Seattle to develop their own website concept. When asked in one of the interviews what made him take such a stupid step, Bezos replied: "If I hadn't tried, I would have regretted it all my life."
The epic has a name
Jeff Bezos had the idea to open a store to sell any product. The usual obstacles to its implementation were limited budgets, a lack of understanding of the market, and a lack of investors. In order not to go bankrupt in the first week, Bezos decided to start the business in a simple way. He divided the goods that should be sold well on the Internet into 20 groups. It included computer programs, movies, music, office equipment, and other products.
But books sell well as a primary product - they are lightweight and easy to deliver. It doesn't matter who buys it, the choice on the Internet is more than in a regular bookstore.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos registered Cadabra in Seattle and set out to sell books. But things didn't work out: when the company's name was pronounced, it was reminiscent of the word cadaver ("dead body"). The second option was "Relentless," but the businessman's friends said the name was too scary. Relentless.com is still registered in Bezos' name, and if you click on this address, it will redirect you to Amazon.com.
Jeff browses the Oxford Dictionary in search of a better name and encounters the word "Amazon." It's the world's largest river (Bezos also intended to make his store the largest in the world), as well as the letter "A" (there was no Google at the time, and users searched for new sites through online catalogs) - all in one image. Amazon.com was registered in November 1994 and launched in 1995.
There is nothing special about our business idea. All of these may have been copied. But you know, there are others who copy from McDonald's, but he's still the leader. Much here depends on the name. You need to be able to trust him. This is especially important in the online world than in real life. The name is the first thing users see in you.
The first step
The first book on the site - a programming guide - was sold on April 1995, 3. At the time, Amazon's database contained more than a million books - just black text on a white background. Jeff himself did not have any books: Bezos, who received the order, sent it to the partner's offline stores, after which he received the goods. Amazon's Seattle warehouse holds only 2 books - which are also due to be shipped to customers in the near future.
Later, when the volume of orders increased, the staff (Jeff hired 5 people at once) looked at the orders on the computer during the day and at night placed the products in the company's boxes in the warehouse.
Amazon's work has been on the rise since the store began appearing on the Yahoo search engine's homepage. Two months later, sales increased to $ 20 a week, and Jeff began hiring new staff on a regular basis. He was followed by the first investors, who donated $ 1 million to improve the site's design and servers. This made Amazon look better, and resources began to include product images. Thus, it became clear to everyone that the project was a success.
At the time, Amazon's business plan was very interesting: the company spent all its profits on self-improvement. "We were either first or we lost," the concept was later used by Google and then Facebook. But in the ’90s, such an approach was a novelty, and investors are worried that the company hasn’t made a profit in five years.
In March 2000, when the dot-com balloon burst and hundreds of Internet companies went bankrupt, only companies like Amazon were able to resist it. Shares fall from $ 107 to $ 7 (currently Amazon's stock is worth more than $ 800), but the firm has a "cushion" that allows it to spend its own money. During the crisis, the online store bought its competitors and expanded.
Jeff Bezos has two finishes at the start of his business:
if by 2000 the company was selling $ 74 million worth of goods a year, that's a good result;
if by 2000 the company was trading at $ 144 million a year - that’s a success.
In fact, in 2000, Amazon's sales exceeded $ 1,6 billion. It has become one of the largest participants in the online business network.
The company began selling not only books, but also music recorded on DVD. First of all, the sale of printed products limited the audience. Second, Amazon was suing Bezos at the time for calling his company "the largest bookstore in the world." No one doubted that Amazon would sell more prints than others, but lawyers clung to the word "store." Bezos was forced to pay large sums of money to the plaintiff's shops, and the matter was settled outside the court.
From 1998 to 2000, a toy and electronics section was opened on the site. In 2003, the company launched its own IT center, followed by Amazon Prime for the most active customers and Paris Hilton jewelry line enthusiasts. Amazon acquired online services such as Twitch and IMDB, bought Audible audiobooks for $ 300 million, and created its first gadget, the Kindle.
In 2009, Amazon bought the world's largest online clothing store, Zappos.com, for $ 1,2 billion. Jeff Bezos now owns The Washington Post, one of America's largest newspapers.
Amazon has not stopped growing. It regularly buys new companies and provides new services. They recently began delivering drones and opened an Amazon Go offline store. This is a place where you don't have to pay for what you buy: the system automatically charges what you buy and deducts money from your Amazon account.
Now the company has become an important part of the global economy:
One-third of all online purchases in the United States are made by Amazon.com;
The company employs 270 people (4 times more than Google);
Amazon.com is the 7th most popular site;
Amazon has an annual turnover of $ 107 billion (more than Google and Microsoft);
The company has more than 304 million active users, who make more than 120 million purchases per month.
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