If you aren’t aware of Jeff Bezos, then let us introduce him. Bezos is the founder of commerce giant Amazon, transforming the online bookstore into one of the largest companies in the world. In 2017 the internet company made $177.86 billion in revenue and is considered to be the largest online retailer in the world. Bezos has been a huge part of that success for 23 years now and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Life before Amazon
Jeffrey Jorgensen was born in New Mexico in 1964, but his name was changed to Bezos after his mother remarried when he was four years old. Always interested in science and technology as a kid, he created an alarm to stop his siblings from entering his bedroom. As a teenager, he worked for another huge corporation, at a McDonalds near his family’s new home in Florida. Bezos graduated from Princeton in 1986 with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering.
After college he worked with a telecommunications company, Fitel, to build a network suitable for trading internationally. He subsequently moved into the financial sector working as a product manager and later as the president of hedge-fund D. E. Shaw & Co. from 1990 to 1994.
Keen to get involved with the booming internet business industry in the ’90s, Bezos started an online bookstore and left his job in the financial sector. The name Amazon was chosen after Bezos looked in the dictionary for inspiration. He chose Amazon because he felt it was both exotic and different, which was how he wanted his company to be perceived.
Aiming to grow the business as quickly as possible, Bezos set about plowing the profits made by Amazon back into helping the company. He acquired many smaller but similar competitors and tried to diversify as much as possible. In 1998 Amazon began to sell music and videos online as well as a range of consumer goods to attract more people to the internet shopping site. Amazon launched the Kindle in 2007, and by 2013 it was the largest online retailer on the planet.
You can email him
Being the CEO of Amazon doesn’t stop Bezos’ customers being able to get in contact with him. He still has a public email address that anyone can send a question or concern to and he will pass it onto the relevant executive. Although he is a very busy man, he takes care to read as many as possible and often forwards the message on to his employees with single character messages. He developed a kind of shorthand to streamline communication with Amazon executives to allow him more time to concentrate on other endeavors.
In 2000 Bezos founded private aerospace company Blue Origin. The goal of the company is to enable space exploration while significantly reducing the price and increasing the reliability. Bezos has been interested in space exploration since he was a child and by the time he graduated high school, it was his dream to build space hotels and colonies for people in orbit.
Funded by Bezos’ sale of Amazon stock, Blue Origin has been spending $1 billion per year since 2016. Bezos has declared Blue Origin to be his most important work. He sees it eventually as a method for sourcing alternative fuel for Earth, to avoid having to cover the planet in solar panels. He believes the solar system would have no problem in supporting over a trillion humans.
Bezos started from humble beginnings to found the largest online retailer in the world. Not only that, but he is doing his best to advance space exploration with the hopes of saving humanity as soon as possible.