Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon - From Internet jungle to sky heights
Bill Clinton's father had passed away before the future president of the United States of America was even born. Barack Obama, the current president of the USA, saw his father on rare occasions and the last time when he was only ten. Steve Jobs has never met his biological father.
The story of Jeffrey Jorgensen is similar. When he was born, his father Ted was 19 and his mother Jacklyn only 17. They got divorced shortly after his birth, the father left the family and they have never met again. Moreover, Ted did not even know if his son was still alive until two years ago. That was when journalists found him in a small town bicycle repair shop in Arizona and asked him about the life story of his son Jeffrey.
And that life story is everything but ordinary. His mother remarried a Cuban imigrant who gave him the family name and encouraged him to use his talent and restless fingers. He is said to have tried to disassemble his bed while still a kid and reprogrammed the house alarm later in order to prevent his brothers and sisters from entering his room.
Given all this, nobody was too surprised at learning that he was the best student in his high school, that he completed electrical engineering and computer science studies at Princeton University, or even that he began his career on Wall Street.
However, many people around him were surprised when he decided to leave a well-paid job in 1994 and move from New York to Seattle guided by a quite unusual idea - to open a bookstore or better to say an Internet bookstore or, to be even more precise, to establish Amazon.
In that way, Jeffrey Jorgensen changed the history of Internet and laid the foundations for a multitrillion business that made him one of the wealthiest people on earth. However, he is known under a different name. Namely, people all around the world know Jeffrey as Jeff Bezos.
So Jeff Bezos is actually the hero of our story. And we must say, he is quite interesting to the media and the public hungry for intrigues.
Not only did he create a company that managed to survive all shocks, challenges from competition and the Internet bubble, but he also laid the foundations for online trading, a business that completely changed the way we buy and sell stuff.
Just like many others, he began in a garage. However, unlike the most, he achieved a meteoric success. Without much marketing, already in the first 30 days he was selling books across the USA and in 45 other countries. One of the keys to Amazon's success is adaptation to buyers. The company quickly started selling CDs in addition to books, as well as electronic devices, toys, clothing, Kindle ebook readers... In the period 1995-2011, Amazon's annual sales grew from 500,000 to 17 billion U.S. dollars.
In order to make this possible, however, he had to operate in a way that is usually not associated with large Internet companies of today. And while the employees of companies like Facebook and Google work in multi-colored offices with slides and video games and seem to have a lot of fun, Bezos and Amazon are often criticized for their attitude towards the workers.
Bezos is known for forwarding clients' complaints from his personal email to responsible persons at the company with only one question mark. When they receive such an email, a solution must be found immediately because they know Bezos never asks twice for the same thing.
At the same time, Amazon is criticized for treating personnel as a disposable material, subordinating everything to profit.
Bezos is, therefore, often compared to another giant of the computer era - Steve Jobs. Just like Jobs, he too is considered to be a genius with an incredible feeling for buyers' needs and an obvious absence of understanding for all those who are unable to keep up with him.
Nevertheless, although he is criticized for donating "only" few tens of millions out of USD 60 billion he possesses, Bezos is a lot more than "the Montgomery Burns of Internet". Lately, he's been more often mentioned in the media in relation to his other business interests than Amazon.
In 2000, he founded the company Blue Origin with the aim of enabling people to fly to space. Only a month ago, the spacecraft New Shepard took a big step towards that historical goal by reaching the edge of space before peacefully returning to Earth. Bezos himself says that the aim of the Blue Origin project is to lay the foundations for settling other planets.
Also, Amazon has been working for a long time on the development of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which would deliver the goods bought online to the buyer's doorstep (or anywhere else).
Maybe you didn't even know you really needed that and that you were ready to pay extra for that service. Never mind, Jeff Bezos knows.
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