Amazon is used by consumers all over the world for their daily needs. But have you ever wondered who invented Amazon and when?
In the digital world that we live in today, online shopping has become a major part of our everyday lives. Online companies are easy to access from smartphones and desktops, making shopping less stressful and much more convenient.
One online retail company that stands out is Amazon, a one-stop solution for all our retail needs with a simple tap of our fingers. In the six months leading to April 2023, Amazon had direct visits to its website via desktops reaching 5.9 billion visitors!
But who invented Amazon? The name you’re looking for is Jeff Bezos! Let’s talk about it (and him) below.
Who Invented Amazon?
Jeff Bezos is the founder and inventor of Amazon. Born on January 12, 1964, Bezos showed an interest in technology from an early age. After graduating from Princeton University, he began working on Wall Street.
Bezos eventually quit his job to launch Amazon in 1994. The company experienced fast growth, becoming one of the most successful in history.
Bezos has ventured into several businesses besides Amazon, such as the cloud service, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the aerospace company, Blue Origin, and even the purchase of The Washington Post.
In 2021, Bezos stepped down as CEO to become Executive Chairman of Amazon, while Andy Jassy became the new CEO.
The Birth of Amazon
Jeff Bezos’ journey into the retail industry had humble beginnings, as he began Amazon in his garage in Seattle. During this time, Bezos was still working on Wall Street at the investment firm, D.E. Shaw. However, Bezos saw the potential of the internet and an opportunity that could not be missed.
On July 5, 1994, Bezos started Amazon.com with the goal of building an online marketplace that can meet the diverse needs of consumers. The company started as an online bookstore, allowing customers to buy books from the comfort of their own homes.
From a Simple Bookstore to a Global Giant
Although Amazon started as a simple online bookstore, Bezos had bigger plans in mind. He saw the potential for expansion, aiming to transform Amazon into a platform that offered an extensive range of products and services. Amazon then expanded its product range to include music, electronics, and other goods.
With the introduction of Amazon Prime in 2005, the online retail giant began to soar. Amazon Prime offered members free two-day shipping on certain items and access to exclusive content, revolutionizing the concept of convenience for customers worldwide.
Today, Amazon Prime boasts over 200 million subscribers worldwide and has become synonymous with fast, reliable, and hassle-free shopping.
Amazon’s Venture Into Other Sectors
As the person who invented Amazon, Jeff Bezos knew he had created something special. The sky was the limit for the company, so Amazon ventured into other sectors, becoming a cloud service provider with Amazon Web Services. AWS provides cloud computing services to businesses, allowing them to access vast computational power and storage capabilities.
Amazon’s ventures into other sectors continued by expanding its services to include digital streaming platforms like Amazon Music. The company has used artificial intelligence (AI) technology in several areas of its business, including Alexa, its AI-powered virtual assistant.
In late 2007, Amazon introduced a revolutionary reading device called the Kindle. This device allowed book lovers to access, buy, and store a vast library of books with just a tap of their fingertips. Its wireless internet connectivity lets readers indulge in their favorite books anytime, anywhere.
Kindle quickly became a popular reading device. In 2010, Amazon proudly announced that sales of Kindle books had overtaken those of traditional hardcovers!
Creating Amazon Studios that same year was Amazon’s first step into television and movies. In addition to shopping for books, customers could now immerse themselves in original Amazon shows and films, putting even more entertainment at their fingertips.
By 2008, the company’s net sales soared to an amazing $19.1 billion. In 2018, Amazon’s net sales hit an astounding $233 billion, establishing it as a dominant powerhouse in online shopping.
Amazon’s growth is made possible by AWS, which generated about half of the company’s operating income in 2018.
Two years later, Amazon shattered records with its exceptional profits. In the fourth quarter of that year, the company achieved a remarkable milestone — its revenue surpassed $100 billion for the first time!
This can be due to the increase in home shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people turned to online shopping while staying safe at home.
Becoming a Public Company
In 1997, Amazon became a public company through its initial public offering (IPO). The IPO marked a significant milestone in the company’s journey toward becoming the global phenomenon it is today.
During the IPO, Amazon offered its IPO price of $18 per share. With 3 million shares on offer, the company raised $54 million in capital. This was a massive achievement for Amazon, especially since it started as a simple online bookstore.
In the years after the IPO, Amazon experienced exponential growth and became one of the most successful companies in history. Its market capitalization soared, reaching $1 billion by 1997. In 2018, Amazon became the second company after Apple to achieve a market capitalization of over $1 trillion.
Today, Amazon is the 5th most valuable company in the world by market cap, with a market capitalization of $1.419 trillion!
The Investors Who Shaped Amazon’s Journey
Building a successful business is a team effort, including a team of investors. It’s impossible to stress how important the initial investors were to Amazon.
In a discussion in 2016, Jeff Bezos shared the impact these investors had on the company’s remarkable journey.
The Power of Like-Minded Investors
Bezos acknowledged the importance of funding and guidance while emphasizing the importance of investors who believe in the company’s mission beyond financial rewards.
He recognized the vital role that early Amazon investors like Tom Alberg and Nick Hanauer had in defining the company’s culture and strategy.
Despite its financial success, Amazon always put its growth and customer satisfaction first. According to Bezos, Amazon’s business model was only possible with early investors’ perseverance and backing. They remained dedicated while experiencing financial difficulties because they believed in the company’s future.
A combination of patient capital, ongoing innovation investments, and a commitment to continuing innovation allowed Amazon to remain one of the world’s most valuable companies.
The Support of Loved Ones
While investors play a major part in a company’s success, most startup founders will agree family support is an important factor for companies to succeed in the early days.
In his discussion, Bezos explained that as he was the one who invented Amazon, he had to rely on his family for help, specifically his parents. Bezos was grateful for them and the investment of their life savings into his business.
This shows the important role a strong support system, including family support, can play in a startup’s initial stages.
Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth 2023
As the person who invented Amazon, Bezos has accumulated a fortune that most of us will never see in a lifetime.
As of August 31, 2023, Jeff Bezos is the third richest person in the world, with a net worth of $161.3 billion. In August 2023, Bezos generated $200 million per minute to his fortune in the first hour of trading when the market opened.
Bezos is a philanthropist, donating his wealth to various nonprofit organizations. In 2022, he donated more than $400 million worth of stock to charities and has stated he will donate most of his fortune during his lifetime. However, the details of how much he will give away and to which organizations remain private.
Because of the invention of Amazon, online shopping has become a part of our everyday lives. Due to his creative outlook and commitment to providing excellent customer service, Amazon has emerged as one of the most powerful forces in the retail industry.
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