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The Journey of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

He was an electrical engineer who had a stable job, but chose to quit and create

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Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is one of the richest people in the tech industry. In Forbes’ Richest People in Tech, he ranks as number two with a net worth of $66.2 Billion.

As a child, Bezos was already showing signs of being a problem solver. When he was still a toddler, he took apart his crib using a screwdriver because he wanted to sleep on a real bed.

Eventually, he finished his Bachelor Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Princeton. When he graduated, we was offered jobs from Intel and Bell labs, but he declined the offers to join a startup Fitel.  After some time, he quit Fitel and got a job at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw wherein he became a senior vice president after just four years.

Young Bezos at an early Computer. Source: Business Insider

In 1994, Bezos saw that the world wide web was growing at 2,300% in a year. Being amazed by the number, he wanted to find a way to take advantage of its rapid growth. He tried to look for 20 possible product categories that could be sold online and decided that books were the best option. Once he realized this, he quit his stable job at D.E. Shaw to build his own company. 

Bezos holds the first book he sold online, entitled “Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies” by Douglas Hofstadter. Source: Telegraph

“When you are in the thick of things, you can get confused by small stuff. I knew when I was eighty that I would never, for example, think about why I walked away from my 1994 Wall Street bonus right in the middle of the year at the worst possible time. That kind of thing just isn’t something you worry about when you’re eighty years old. At the same time, I knew that I might sincerely regret not having participated in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a revolutionizing event. When I thought about it that way … it was incredibly easy to make the decision.”

This was when Amazon started. Bezos started in a garage and held most of his meetings that the nearest Barnes & Noble. When they just started, a bell would ring every time someone made a purchase, and everyone would gather together to check if anyone knew who the customer was. After just a few weeks the bell was ringing so often they had to make it stop. In its first month, Amazon was already able to sell books to people in all 50 states and in 45 countries. Amazon then went public in 1997 and is still continuing to expand until today.

Source: Business Insider

Bezos was also one of the first investors in Google in 1998. Then, in 2000, he founded Blue Origin, a human spaceflight startup company primarily to help anybody to go into space”, because of his fascination with space travel. The company was kept a secret for a few years, and was only found out publicly in 2006. In 2013, he announced his purchase of The Washington Post. A year after, he made the first significant change at The Washington Post and lifted the online paywall for subscribers of some U.S. local newspapers.

To end this article, a quote from Jeff Bezos on innovation. “I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”

Read more  Signs Every Engineer Has What It Takes To Be An Inventor

Article Sources:

Funders and Founders

Business Insider

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