Jeff Bezos – On the Trail of the Richest Man!

Written by Krishnapriya Pradeep with Aiswarya Rajan.

Introduction:

Jeffrey Preston Bezos known to the world as Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque,  New Mexico. He is an American internet tycoon and a well-versed investor. Bezos is the master mind behind the Multi National Technology company called Amazon, which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence. He is also the owner of the Washington Post an American Daily Newspaper and Blue Origin, which is a privately funded space exploration company.

Forbes listed Billionaire:

As per the Forbes list of “The World’s Billionaires” Bezos is ranked first in the year 2020, and also in the past two years that is 2019 & 2018 he has been continuously in the top positions of the list. He surpassed the billionaire Bill Gates who is the co-founder of Microsoft with a hefty net worth of 120 billion dollars.

Jeff Bezos was born to Ted Jorgensen and Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen in New Mexico. His father Ted Jorgensen was the owner of a bike showroom and his mother was a high school student when she gave birth to Bezos. Later his parents got divorced and his mother got remarried to a Cuban immigrant named Miguel Bezos who is an Engineer when Jeff Bezos was just 4 years old. Jeff Bezos has got his surname Bezos from his stepfather Miguel Mike Bezos.

Early Life & Education of this curious Inventor:

From his very young age he showed great interest on inventing different gadgets in his garage. He invented an automatic gate closer from cement filled tires, a solar cooker with some tinfoil and an umbrella, baking pan alarms to keep his siblings out of his room. When he was 16, he used to help his grandfather on the ranch and he praised his grandfather from whom he had learned business tactics, self-reliance and resourcefulness. Later Bezos have bought the ranch and expanded it up with more acres, due to his immense nostalgic love for that property.

Early Life & Education of this curious Inventor:
Early ideas and inquisitiveness follows massive wealth.

Bezos did his schoolings at River Oaks Elementary School in Houston and his high school in Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest, Florida. In 1986, he got graduated from Princeton University with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering. From a very young age itself Bezos was a hard worker and a great thinker. He used to do part time works from his high school time itself. On the other hand, he attended many science trainings programs, Jeff was a National Merit Scholar and a Silver Knight Award winner. At his graduation ceremony he spoke about his dream, that is about a colony build up by humans in the space. Jeff Bezos is an inborn genius and a superhuman with great ideas who have the power to make his dreams into reality.

Works at the Wall Street & Vice president of D.E. Shaw & Co.

After graduation, he worked at different firms in Wall Street. He is the real master talent of whichever fields he has worked. The companies which he has worked were not ready to give him a resignation, as though they all knew that to lose such a talent will be a great loss to the firm. He became the youngest vice president of the investment firm, D.E. Shaw & Co., in 1990. His career was at a peak but in 1994 he decided to quit his job and went on to begin a profession in the e-commerce field. He travelled from New York to Seattle, during the journey he garnered ideas for his new business venture. He had a humble beginning; he established an online bookstore in the late 1994 and he started the company from his garage. He named the company after the South American river, Amazon. In July 1995 Amazon went live. Within a month the company had already shipped books to various countries around the globe.

Works at the Wall Street & Vice president of D.E. Shaw & Co
Wall Street to the renowned eCommerce firm by the name of the great River.

In the beginning, the company sold only books, but in 1998 they started the sale of videos and music on the advice of his consumers. He even inquired to his customers what they wanted to include in the online retail shop. The responses to the query was a never-ending lists of consumer products. That is how Bezos got an idea to expand his company by including variety of new products. The company went on to become a great success and today it has become the largest e-commerce company in the world by selling all kinds of products and services.

Establishes a space exploration company:

In 2000, he founded a space exploration company called Blue origin. Blue Origin has launched an experimental flight and it has successfully reached space in 2015. After the gigantic success of their experimental flight the company is now planning to start a commercial suborbital human space flight. He has a keen interest in space science and exploration. To fund Blue Origin, he assured to sell about one billion dollars in Amazon stock annually.

Establishes a space exploration company:On to the Skies; ventures into space exploration.

In 2005, a paid membership service called Amazon Prime was introduced which is still continuing in the peak of success. This service offered free two-day shipping in United States. In 2015, they have started providing free same day delivery to Prime members in only some areas of the United States. The Prime Membership owners have access to Amazon Videos and Prime Music for streaming films, TV shows and music at no additional expense. Today there are prime members in 17 different countries and have more than 150 million subscribers globally.

Amazon launched its first eBook reader, Kindle in 2007. On the first day of its sale, within hours it was sold out. In January 2011, Amazon announced their e-books surpassed the sale of traditionally printed books. Its success resulted in the launching of various Kindle devices. We can even see his prodigy in the selection of his company’s name that is Amazon. He named it in the logic that the letter ‘A’ comes first in the alphabetic order and now  proudly Bezos and his company Amazon stands first in the world, he as the words richest man and his company as the giant of e-commerce field.

Buys Washington Post; one of Americas most reputed Newspaper.

In 2013, Bezos announced the purchase of Washington Post for 250 million dollars under Nash Holdings LLC, a company owned by him. When he bought the newspaper, it was financially in a tragic situation. The idea behind the purchase was that he thought it is a supreme institution and he wanted to bring the newspaper out of its rough transition.

In 2014 Jeff Bezos launched Amazon Alexa. It is a Virtual Assistant Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Alexa was first used in Amazon Echo smart speaker developed by Amazon lab 126. It is efficient in voice interaction, music playback, making to do list, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audio books and providing weather, sports and news. Alexa is capable of controlling all smart devises. Jeff Bezos made Alexa at an affordable rate which everyone can purchase it.

Buys Washington Post; one of Americas most reputed Newspaper.
In 2014 Jeff Bezos launched Amazon Alexa

Picture courtesy Mediium.com

Alexa everywhere: how will the domestic assistant market evolve?

Owns celebrated web platforms & companies:

Bezos also owns a wide variety of companies and websites. The following are the websites and companies owned by him.

Jeff Bezos and his company owns a large number of well reputed platforms through acquisitions.

IMDB

It was setup in 1990, it is a website for movie, TV and celebrity news and content. It is otherwise known as Internet Movie Database.

Woot.com

It is a daily deals website. It was founded in 2004 and later it was purchased by Amazon in 2010.

Souq.com

It is one of the giants in the field of e-commerce platforms. Souq is a Dubai based e-commerce company. It is also known as the Amazon of the Middle East. Amazon acquired the ownership of Soup in 2017 for a huge amount of 580 million dollars.

Alexa Internet

It was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliant. It is a web rankings and ratings website. It was bought by Amazon in 1999. It provides website information and analytics.

Twitch

It was launched in 2011 by Justin Kan. It is a video live streaming service operated by Twitch Interactive. This site primarily focuses on video games live streaming. It provides some special features for the subscribers of Amazon Prime. Twitch was purchased by Amazon in 2014 for a bulky amount of 970 million dollars.

Site: twitch.tv

A9.com

It was created by Amazon itself in 2003. The main aim of this company is to produce technology for searching and advertising. A9 focuses in areas of product, cloud, visual search and community question answering.

Annapurna Labs

It is an Israel based Microelectronics company that was purchased by Amazon for its web services. It was named after a Himalayan Peak Annapurna Massif in Nepal.

Ring

It was started in 2013 by Jamie Siminoff. It is a home security and smart home company owned by Amazon. Its home security products incorporate outdoor motion detecting cameras including ring video doorbell. It is otherwise known as Doorbot.

Amazon Lab 126

It was founded in 2004 by Gregg Zehr. It was later purchased by Amazon for developing, Amazon Kindle line of e-readers and tablets.

Shopbob

It is launched in 1999 by Boy Lamey. It is an American Online fashion apparel and accessories shop which was later purchased by Amazon in 2006. This application is also available in English, Russian and Chinese.

Kuiper System

It is a large broadband satellite internet constellation. It is also known as project Kuiper. It will take up to a decade to fully launch all 3236 satellites in order to provide internet to millions of people who lack internet access.

Eero

It was founded in 2015, it is based in San Francisco. It is a company that produces Mesh-cables routers. Amazon announced in 2019 that it would buy Eero.

ComiXology

It was founded in 2007 by David, John and Peter. It is a cloud based digital distribution platform for comics. It offers more than hundred thousand comic books graphic novels and manga across Android, IOS, Kindle Fire, Windows 8. In 2014 Amazon bought ComiXology.

Health Navigator

It was founded in 2002 at United States. It provides online health services to the world. In 2019 Amazon has come forward with a new decision to acquire health navigator which has been included into Amazon care, which will be also used as the company’s employee health care services. Amazon gives great importance to its employees’ health and Bezos have proved it by acquiring Health Navigator.

Pillpack

It is an online pharmacy that makes it simple to take the right medication at the right time. It is an independently operated subsidiary of Amazon which was purchased by Amazon on spending somewhat around one billion dollars.

Junglee

It was an online platform for sellers to advertise for free. It enables retailers to advertise their products for free to millions of shoppers and drive targeted traffic to their stores. It began to operate as a virtual database which is used to work as an intermediate, that collects information’s from the internet and provide it to the applications of the company. Junglee was bought by Amazon in 1998 and it has started a website junglee.com, later it was shut down by Amazon itself.

Shelfari

It was founded in 2006 by Josh. It was a social cataloging website. It enabled its consumers to build a virtual bookshelf of the titles they possess or read. We could even create groups by adding other members on it and can have discussions about books or other topics whatsoever they prefer. Amazon acquired it in 2008 and later decommissioned it in 2016.

Amazon Maritime

It holds a Federal Maritime Commission permit to function as a non-vessel owning common carrier. This enables Amazon to succeed in doing its own transportation of goods and services from China to United States.

CreateSpace

It offers independent people to self-publish music, films etc. Amazon brought CreatSpace in 2009.

Brilliance Audio

It was founded in 1984 by Michael Snodgrass in Michigan. It is an audio book publisher for consumers, resellers and librarians in the United States. The company has supervised the making of its first eight audio titles in 1985. Amazon acquired the ownership of the company in 2007. Even after it was acquired by Amazon it was set free as an independent company. It produces and manufactures unabridged and abridged recordings on compact disk and Mp3 CDs.

Beijing Century Joyo Courier Services –

It is a subsidiary, that is owned and controlled by Amazon and they have made a formal request for the freight forwarding permit with the United States Maritime Commission. Amazon is constructing out its logistics in trucking and air freight to compete with famous courier service like UPS and Fedex.

Whole Foods

It was founded in 1980 by John Mackey, Renee Hardy- Lawson, Mark Skiles and Craig. It is an American Multinational supermarket chain which sells products that is free from chemicals and preservatives. It was acquired by Amazon in 2016.

Zappos

It was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn. It is an online apparel and footwear website. It is purchased by Amazon in 2015.

Kiva systems

It was invented by Mick Mounts with the help of Peter Wurman and Raffaello D’Andrea in 2003. Before the launching of Kiva Systems goods can be moved from one distribution center to another only with the help of human controlled machines, but after the arrival of Kiva systems the items can be stored on a portable storage device. It is a robotics company which was later renamed as Amazon Robotics after it was purchased by Amazon in 2012.

Audible

It was launched in 1995. It is an audio books company acquired by Amazon for somewhat about 300 million dollars in 2008. Audible is one of the world’s largest manufactures of downloadable audio books. It plays a dual role of both a seller and a producer of audio entertainments and programming on the internet.

Goodreads

It is invented by Otis Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler in December 2006. It is a website for readers and book recommendations. Goodreads allows its users to read books and annotations and also the critical assessment of each books. Amazon purchased the company in 2013, and Amazon has made an extension to the website by merging Shelfari in it.

DPReview

It is otherwise known as Digital Photography Reviews. It was launched in November 1998. It is a website about digital cameras and digital photography bought by Amazon in 2017.

Unique Content accumulation through User Generated reviews:

Amazon allows its users to submit reviews on the webpage of every products. Customers can give ratings on each and every product they purchase according to their level of satisfaction. Customers can comment or vote on the reviews. Amazon was selected in 2010 as the biggest sole source of consumer reviews in the internet.

Product reviews that can help you decide:
Biggest sole source of consumer reviews on the internet.

In 2020 Amazon has announced a Climate Pledge Fund with an initial 2 billion dollars for investment of sustainable technologies and services. This new venture investment program was praised by clean energy developers which is intended to support the company’s transition to Zero Carbon emissions by 2040.

Amazon previously launched Amazon Care with one and only aim to provide virtual and in-person health care for their employees. Amazon’s move towards diversification made it again the one and only e-commerce site that customers can solely relive on by which it’s gross merchandise grew up by 25%.

Bezos is the first centi-billionaire, in 2019, his divorce from his wife Mackenzie Bezos has led him to decrease in his wealth. Mackenzie acquired about 25% of Amazon shares by which she has become the fourth richest woman in the world. He is the 28’th largest land owner in the country. Bezos spends billions of dollars on real estate from one side to the other side of America. As per the report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Bezos earnings per day is more than thrice of what a medium U.S employee earns in a year. His net worth is 171.6 billion dollars, which allowed him to become the richest person in the world of the modern history.

Book selling site to Empire in the world of e-commerce:

Jeff Bezos is not only a successful business tycoon but also an enthusiastic reader. He is confident enough that his workers also do the same that is they will find time to read good books. Bezos is having several Honorary Doctorates. He is a sharp thinker, and this is proved from the fact he is planning to make a 10-thousand-year clock. Different from other clocks, this particular clock will be having a decorative pattern to tick only once in a year for 10 thousand years. He had already planned to invest somewhat around 40 million dollars for this project. Being one of the big fan of Star Trek, Bezos have played a role as an alien in the movie ‘Star Trek Beyond’ which was just a short role.

Book selling site to Empire in the world of e-commerce:
A virtual store of massive size and scale, almost beyond comprehension.

Amazon is in a healthy competition with established retail rival companies like Walmart and Target. As the first ever e-commerce company, Amazon was able to make it not only convenient but also authentic and assured.

Bezos have gone through many ups and downs in both business and in his personal life. At some stages of his life, he even had to take some heart-breaking decisions to close some of his distribution centers and even cut short the number of his employees. Amazon even faced some hard times when some reputed persons came against it. Bezos and his company Amazon have come up like the ascending sun and have raised the minimum wages of his workers to 15 dollars while the minimum wages of other US employees are somewhat around 8 dollars. His strong belief in his talents and his hard works have made him where he is today.

Bezos is not only a money maker but also a lender that is, he spends money for charity and social welfare purposes. He has donated to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and many donations for homeless people and also for the educational purpose of the poor. When appointing workers for Amazon he has formed some inquiries and only based on that the selection procedure is finalized. Six hours a year is the time which he spends to meet up with Amazon investors. Bezos is different in everything and he doesn’t prefer power point presentations, instead he prefers top level workers to present information with six page descriptions in details.

Bezos has even supported the electoral campaigns of many people. Bezos and his ex-wife Mackenzie have supported an provides encouragements for the legalization of same sex marriage and has contributed 2.5 million dollars to Washington United for marriage in 2012.

Even in this pandemic, fortune has favoured Bezos in a positive manner that is during lockdown many have used the benefits of online shopping. Due to some severe security issues that have arised shortly the US based Amazon workers were told to uninstall Tik Tok from their phones. Employees are allowed to use these applications on the computers but not on their smart phones.

Bezos has faced a decline in his profit in the previous week, but with his talent he came up with gaining double the amount of what have lost and also with a new record of attaining such a huge amount in a single day. The Covid 19 pandemic has exposed deep inequalities and massive failure in our economic system, leaving millions of people unemployed in every country and bankrupting countless small business entrepreneurs. In this serious situation Jeff Bezos and his company Amazon works as how heart pumps blood to every part of the body that is how serving the customers in every parts of the world at their doorsteps.

Amazon’s success story was possible because of its continuous innovation and forethought in the field of technology. Bezos being the backbone of Amazon he is having great visions and experiences. Due to Bezos’s continuous determination and inventions, from a simple book selling site Amazon has now become an Empire in the world of e-commerce, without anyone to defeat or dethrone them.

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