Amazon is the most well known shopping web site in the world. This Scribd audio book delved into the history of Amazon from a biographical perspective of Jeff Bezos.
The book begins by talking about Jeff’s upbringing. Jeff Bezos was born Jeff Jorgenson. His mother was a teenager when she had him. Her marriage lasted less than a year. She later remarried Miguel Bezos. Miguel was a hard working Cuban immigrant, who would get a degree in engineering. Early on Jeff Bezos was a loner. He had incredible focus and enjoyed to take things apart and fix them. Jeff was very much into books and space exploration.
After graduating college he would get a job at DE Shaw. David Shaw was a Columbia University professor. Shaw helped create programs for investors on Wall Street. He was offered so much money for his programming that he went on his own and started DE Shaw. The company was known to hire the cream of the crop technology candidates. They would only take in 1% of the applicants. After obtaining this position, Bezos got promoted often.
Bezos, following his interest in books, went to a book store business seminar. He was interested in mixing technology with book selling and Amazon was born. The name was strategically picked out, as it started with the letter A and he wanted his company to be large like the Amazon river. In the beginning stages of the company e-commerce was relatively new. Customers would be required to email a customer service representative their credit card number.
Bezos wasn’t too concerned about the company losing money, as they did lose quite a bit of money in the beginning. Instead of taking in profits they invested heavily into other acquisitions. They would soon be known as books and electronics seller. Customers didn’t like the bulky packaging that came with their products, so he changed the packaging. In the quest to be the best, Amazon was constantly looking into creative ways to move ahead.
Amazon hired some experienced programmers to come up with a one-click ordering system. Then Jeff patented the idea, so no other online retailer could use it. If a retailer did want to use the system they had the option to pay Amazon royalties. Another great idea followed, Amazon published reviews from customers on products, good or bad. He was asked, why he would allow negative review on his site about products they sell. Jeff’s response was customer focused. He wanted customers to have the ability to make an informed purchasing decision.
Through the hard work and dedication, Amazon would soon bring in a big profit. Borders would go out of business and Barnes and Noble would struggle after Amazon. To make their online store even bigger, they started a retailing on Amazon program. Retailed could sell their items on Amazon and Amazon would get a cut of the sales. To keep their loyal customers, Amazon created the Prime program. For an annual fee (which i believe is currently $99), customer get free 2-day shipping. Other perks such as Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime Music are included in this program.
The book concludes with the introduction of the Amazon Kindle. Studies were done showing that people would rather read books on paper. Also, the first Kindle, sold for $399 was criticized for looking like an old piece of technology. Many Kindles came afterwards and most people have changed their mind to reading digitally instead of paper.
This is a great book about Jeff Bezos and Amazon. It’s an interesting story of how Amazon got to where they are today.