Jeff Bezos has certainly left a big mark in the world of business, and even though he has retired from the position of CEO of his company, he still continues to build himself and teach young people his methods for success.
Bezos expanded his riches through assisting Amazon in becoming one of the world’s largest corporations. However, as he has already stated, his entrepreneurial journey was fraught with difficulty.
In one of the interviews, he acknowledged that he used to deliver goods himself. It’s difficult to envision a company CEO delivering orders to consumers in his personal car nowadays, but Bezos didn’t mind back then.
“What has actually happened in the last 25 years is far beyond my expectations. I was delivering packages myself, we were selling books. I was hoping to build a company, but I wasn’t hoping to build the company you see today,” he said at the time.
Where did Bezos start building the big empire we call “Amazon” today, what did he go through and what are his 5 advice to young and ambitious people like he used to be, read below!
Back in 1994, he launched Amazon.com as an online bookshop from his garage, where he and a few colleagues began creating software for the site. Within a year, they had grown to a two-bedroom home. The Amazon test site was established in July 1995 and was a huge success almost immediately. Within 30 days of its start, Amazon had sent books throughout the United States and 45 other nations.
Amazon launched its Affiliate Program in July 1996, rewarding other websites for directing visitors to Amazon’s books. The program is still active today and is an important aspect of Amazon’s e-commerce presence.
Amazon conducted its first initial public offering on May 15, 1997, at a price of $18. Such shares are now considerably more valuable. Despite an 800% rise in income that year, Amazon was losing money at the time.
However, Bezos informed shareholders that the business is focused on long-term investments rather than short-term revenues. Later that year, Amazon also launched a “1-Click” option, which allows users to purchase books with a single click.
Amazon’s first significant acquisition was the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) in 1998 for around $55 million. For the first time, he broadened his offering and began selling CDs and DVDs. Over the next few months and years, the firm expanded by introducing additional product categories.
Then the expansion simply kept going. Bezos revealed why he picked books in another interview from 1997. He claimed that at the time, the most traded items on the Internet were books and music. The book category had over 3.5 million items globally, including all world languages.
Amazon’s ongoing success drove it to extend its portfolio to include gadgets, toys, and even apparel at the age of 34. Bezos’ firm has experienced exceptional growth in all sectors since then.
Amazon Marketplace, which allows people to sell their items on its website, was launched in 2000. On Amazon’s sales site, anyone may sell secondhand books, DVDs, and other things. Amazon made a 75 million dollar profit for the first time in history in 2003.
2014 was Amazon’s busiest year for consumer software. In April, the firm launched Fire TV, a $99 digital set-top box aimed at competing with Apple and Roku.
After years of speculation, Amazon released its most significant hardware breakthrough to date in July 2014: the Amazon Fire Phone, an Android-based mobile phone that also acts as an entry point for different Amazon content and services.
The camera and the Firefly app for scanning and purchasing Amazon goods were the main selling features. Amazon announced the $970 million acquisition of popular game broadcasting platform Twitch in August 2014.
On July 15, 2015, Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary by holding the inaugural Prime Day, a mix of deals at bargain prices comparable to Black Friday. This event has been held every year since then and has become one of Amazon’s most successful sales days.
Bezos developed Amazon Prime, the first reward program of its type, in 2005. Customers may obtain free two-day shipping on over a million goods for $79 each year.
When Amazon Prime first began, most shops delivered products within four to six days. As a result, Prime swiftly altered the standard – not only for customers, but also for the whole retail sector. Amazon Prime prompted shops to consider offering free and speedy shipping.
Amazon Prime now has over 150 million subscribers worldwide, and it is so popular that its users have their own ‘holiday,’ Prime Day.
However, the run-up to the 2013 Christmas season may be one of the most crucial stages in Jeff Bezos’ business and his aim to grow the Amazon empire. UPS, one of Amazon’s main package delivery partners at the time, failed to deliver a huge number of goods bought through Amazon and other sites before Christmas.
It was a watershed event for Amazon, which then considered starting its own delivery service, for what many thought would be a big competitor to UPS, FedEx, and the US Postal Service.
Bezos achieved his aim eight years later with the founding of Amazon Logistics, or AMZL. In 2019, they were on target to dispatch 3.5 billion packages globally, accounting for over half of their total orders. Given the increase in popularity of online orders during the coronavirus outbreak, the firm has most certainly exceeded that level by now.
Bezos started a number of external ventures while leading Amazon. One of these is the Day 1 Fund, which helps the homeless and builds preschools in low-income regions. There’s also the Bezos Earth Fund, which works to minimize the consequences of climate change. Bezos also owns his own private space enterprise, Blue Origin.
Jeff Bezos retired at the beginning of July 2021 from the position of CEO of Amazon. That company made him the third richest person in the world with assets worth more than 126 billion dollars, and ahead of him are only Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault.
In his resignation letter, he assured workers that his new role will provide him ‘the time and energy needed to focus on those initiatives’. “I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m passionate about the positive influence I believe these organizations can have on the globe”, Bezos stated at the time.
Amazon’s current market capitalization is about $1.15 billion. Every year, Bezos includes his original 1997 letter to shareholders alongside the current annual letter.
Those letters have become required reading for many business professionals because they provide insight into the thinking of Amazon’s founder and his guiding business principles – never stop trying, doing, and even failing to stay relevant.
“For decades, I’ve been reminding folks that every day is the first day,” Bezos stated.
Throughout his almost 27-year career as CEO, Bezos routinely imparted advice and lessons learned from his experiences in interviews and during the annual presentation to Amazon shareholders.
Here are a few of the finest advices Bezos has given throughout the years:
– Take a chance
“When you think about what you’ll regret, nearly always it’s the things you didn’t do. “You rarely regret doing something that didn’t succeed”, Bezos remarked in a 2018 interview.
That idea influenced Bezos’ life even before he founded Amazon. Bezos began his career on Wall Street at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw when he was barely 30 years old. However, seeing the potential of the Internet economy, he developed the concept of launching an Internet bookshop. His employer acknowledged that the concept had potential, but sought to persuade Bezos that it would be safer to maintain his current employment.
– Make rapid decisions
Bezos believes that making great choices fast is the key to running an innovative firm. In his 2015 letter to Amazon shareholders, he emphasized the importance of speed and “agility” for Amazon to remain “a great company that is also an innovation machine.” Although he acknowledges that certain judgments are “irreversible or almost irreversible,” the majority of them are not.
– Discover your calling
Discovering one’s life’s passion is essential advice that Bezos claims he most frequently delivers to his younger workers and his children. It is the most important part of finding yourself.
– Accept ineffective wandering
Bezos labeled one portion of his 2018 letter to Amazon shareholders “Intuition, Curiosity, and the Power of Wanderlust.” In that part, he emphasized the need of making time to satisfy one’s own curiosity in order to come up with fresh, unique answers to problems.
– Be true to yourself
Bezos emphasized the necessity of keeping his own “originality” in his final letter to shareholders as CEO of Amazon in April.
“We all know that originality – uniqueness – is desirable,” Bezos stated. “We all aspire to ‘be ourselves’. What I’m asking is that you acknowledge and be realistic about how much energy it takes to retain that uniqueness. The world wants you to be ordinary; it drives you to do so in a thousand different ways. “Do not allow this to happen.”
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