Giving up his dream job on Wall Street at the age of 30 and starting a business with a cumulative sum of less than $ 250,000, Jeff Bezos – the founder of Amazon – has contributed to change global consumer culture and making Amazon one of the most famous brand in the world.
Jeff Bezos, as Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen, was born on 12 January 1964. When both of them were in high school, his biological dad, Ted Jorgensen, met and began to date his mother, Gise. Jorgensen was 18 and when she got pregnant Gise was 16. They flew money for marriage to Mexico with their friends.
His mother divorced Jorgensen when Jeff Bezos was 17 months old.
In 1968, Gise returned to Miguel Bezos who arrived from Cuba in Miami in 1962 knowing only one word of English: “Hamburger.” Jorgensensen decided to allow Bezos to take up his son.
Bezos grew up and spent the summer on their Texas ranch with his grandparents, Lawrence Preston Gise. He said at Princeton’s 2010 opening address. “Windmills have I helped repair them, cattle and other activities have been vaccinated. Every afternoon we also saw soap operas, particularly “Days of our Lives,” Bezos said.
At five, Bezos saw Apollo 11 on the Moon beginning a lifelong fascination with space on a black and white TV. He read Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein. He got the award for best scientist and math student in high school and dreamt of “saving humankind through the creation of permanent human colonies in space stations, turning the planet into a vast natural reserve.” Today, he created Blue Origin to help people explore the solar system and to cut space flight costs.
The billionaire said he has acquired his grandfather an important business skill he has used time and time again throughout his career: resourcefulness.
“All my summers on his four to 16-year-old ranch he was unbelievably self-sufficient,” Bezos used to say. The grandfather of Bezos, who is called “Pop,” lived in the “middle of the night,” a rural community. When machinery broke, his grandfather said that not only could his grandfather call someone to come to it.
The businessman says, “You can determine how to fix it for yourselves. “As a child, all these problems have to be resolved and I’ve had to be a real problem solver.”
And Pop wasn’t only fixing machinery, Bezos adds. He even did his veterinary work for his grandfather. Pop would suture his cattle with needles by hand. He’d heat a blowtorch for the first time, flat out it, sharpen it, and boil a hole into it. “I would take major projects he couldn’t do and then figure out how to do them,” Bezos says.
Jeff Bezos graduated from two universities, the Dream Institute and Princeton both faculties of computer technology. After graduating from school, he turned down offers from Intel and Bell Labs to work on a startup project called Fitel.
After that, Jeff Bezos nearly ended his career as a fax typist at the office company if he hadn’t been accepted into D.E.Shaw. He quickly became senior vice president after only 4 years working.
Started from the “river” of books
Jeff Bezos, also known as the “bookseller”, has gone through a lot of difficulties and struggles to achieve today’s success. However, with his market acumen, and natural leadership, he has stood on the “top of glory”, and is undoubtedly one of the most successful “myths” in the field of technology.
At first, he wanted to name the company Cadabra, but then he decided on Amazon. This is the name of Amazon River, aiming to make the biggest bookstore “river” in the world.
In 1994, while serving as Vice President of D.E. Shaw & Co., a Wall Street finance company, Jeff Bezos knew that the website and online services have grown by more than 2,300% in just one year. This number stunned Jeff, and he decided that it was time to do something to take advantage of the growth of the Internet. From there, he decided to set up an online store on the Internet.
After listing the top 20 stocks bought and sold online at that time, Amazon’s boss chose books and novels as a key target, because this was a large market, low product prices, and can reach many customers in all parts of the world.
Just two months since it was officially founded on July 5, 1994, Amazon had customers in more than 50 states and 45 countries, bringing sales to $ 20,000 a week. The first book Amazon sold was “Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought” by Douglas Hofstadter. However, at that time, Amazon was almost unprofitable because all revenues were invested back into the company’s development.
By the end of 1995, Amazon’s sales had reached $ 511,000 and had 2,200 visits per day. By June 1996, the company received its first $ 8 million investment fund from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Kaulfield & Beyers. And by the end of that year, Amazon’s revenue had “skyrocketed” to $ 15.7 million. May 15, 1997, marked Amazon’s initial public offering (IPO) with the stock code AMZN on the Nasdaq with the listing price of 18 USD / share.
… to the “store of everything”
His original ambition was to make Amazon “the largest bookstore in the world.” However, his “river” Amazon has gradually “encroached” into new areas. In 1998, Amazon began selling music CDs – marking an expansion of its non-book business and the start to become Amazon’s “Everything Store.”
It is the best advantage of this “giant” because you can buy almost anything on Amazon with just a few mouse clicks.
From June 19, 2000, the Amazon logo added an arrow line from the letter A to the letter Z, implying that the business sells everything, and the arrow is drawn in an arc-like smile. Besides, Amazon’s greatest invention is the Kindle e-book, which hit the market in November 2007 and is also Amazon’s huge revenue stream.
For over 20 years, the favorite website of book lovers has now become the largest online retail business in the world.
Amazon also sells cloud storage services with Amazon Web Services or paid subscription services with Amazon Prime, along with “huge” revenue from advertising. Bezos’ “darling” is also accelerating in the race of artificial intelligence (AI), with smart home fields like Amazon Echo Dot and Alexa.
As a result, Amazon.com’s share price briefly crossed the $1,000 mark for the first time in its 20-year history as a publicly-traded company on May 30, 2017, marking a major turning point for the billionaire-owned business. Bezos. Over a year later, on September 4, 2018, this group became the second US enterprise, after Apple, with a market capitalization of more than $ 1,000 billion and joined the “trillion USD” club. of the world’s largest economy.
“It’s harder to be kind than clever”
There is a story that happened a long time ago, but so powerful that Jeff Bezos always sees it as a guide to his decisions later.
At the age of 10, Jeff Bezos learned from his grandfather a valuable lesson. As a child, he said he was obsessed with math and would find any reason to show off his prowess with numbers. He would calculate everything, including gas mileage, useless statistics, and grocery spending. One day, as he sat in the back of his grandparents’ car, he overheard a radio ad saying that every cigarette puff takes minutes off your total life span. His grandmother was a smoker, which he hated, so he decided to calculate the number of years she had taken off her life thus far.
Bezos said: “I estimated the number of cigarettes per day, estimated the number of puffs per cigarette, and so on. I poked my head in the front of the car when I was satisfied, tapped my grandmother’s shoulder, and proudly proclaimed, “With two minutes per puff, you’ve taken nine years off your life.’
As he waited to be applauded for his wit and arithmetic skills, but Instead, his grandmother burst into tears. As Bezos recalls, his grandfather pulled over to the side of the road, got out of the car, and waited for his grandson to exit the vehicle. Then he said to him, “Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.”
Bezos said that there is a difference between using gifts, such as intelligence, and making life choices. “Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy – they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.”
Choices can be difficult. If you’re not careful, you can seduce yourself with your gifts, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices. You can choose to include rather than exclude. You can choose to build people up rather than tear them down. You can give before you receive, knowing you may never receive. You can shift the spotlight to other people. You can listen more than you talk.
What really happens inside Amazon?
So how is the working environment in Amazon. Do Amazon’s employees suffer in a cruel, ultra-competitive, cult-like dystopian nightmare of a workplace? Or are Amazon employees “having fun working with a bunch of brilliant teammates, helping invent the future, and laughing along the way.”
Certainly, Amazon didn’t come out sounding like a kind environment in which to work. Yet as a Bloomberg story noted, Jeff Bezos has emphasized the importance of kindness in the past.
Some of the Amazon workers interviewed in the Times piece clearly think that some of their colleagues—and perhaps the company structure itself—focus on cleverness at the expense of others over kindness. That’s why Jeff Bezos is so upset, and why he responded to the company’s depiction in the article by saying, it “doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day.”
This story represents the problem many of us face every day: How often do we choose to be a nice person – at home and at work? When we have to choose, will we “kick” on colleagues to advance? Do you take advantage of the opportunity to take down your opponents to gain the advantage?
Today at Amazon, Jeff Bezos is working to build a culture of “Friendly and passionate.” Friendly is a priority, but each employee will always be enthusiastic about difficulties and challenges. Enthusiasm also shows the employees’ commitment and passion for the job.
This philosophy is about building a happy and warm working environment, creating conditions for employees to maximize development.
A senior Amazon manager once shared on Quora as follows: “We treat each employee fairly and every individual has a significant influence on the end product. When you come to work at Amazon, you are sure to do great things with the enthusiastic support of any of your colleagues.
Be kind and can be successful. But why are so few companies choosing this path! Because sometimes company culture is being put behind products, services, and profits, they are gradually dragged into temporary goals, applying patchy strategies to survive in the market. Meanwhile, a healthy and happy environment is the vitality of an organization.