Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos- How A Bookish Kid Became World’s Richest Person

Jeff Bezos is an entrepreneur, computer scientist, an e-commerce pioneer and has a passion for space exploration. He is the founder of Blue Origin, Amazon and is an investor in many other businesses. Jeff Bezos was born to a teenage mother, Jackie and Ted Jorgenson, a circus performer his biological father on January 12th 1964. He however grew up knowing that his father was Mike Bezos, a Cuban immigrant who married his mother when Jeff was still young. He only found out about his real father when he was 10. He cared less and his father has never really looked for him.

Jeff’s mechanical talent was seen from early in his life. When he was a toddle, he dismantled his crib with a screw driver so he could sleep in a regular bed. In his teen years, Jeff made an electric alarm with the aim of keeping his siblings from his room. His parents even had to let him use the garage for his science projects. Growing up, Jeff spent his summer vacations at his grandfather’s ranch. The maternal grandfather has been a role model to Jeff and taught his the farm work and piqued his interest in science even more.

Jeff Bezos schooled at the River Oaks Elementary School, Miami Palmetto Senior High School and finally at the Princeton University. He excelled throughout his school life and crowned it with two degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Princeton.

After school, Bezos joined the startup company named Fitel where he applied his skills in computer science. He later quit Fitel and later joined the D.E Shaw where he rose to the position of Vice President in four years. At this hedge fund he met the love of his life, MacKenzie Tuttle who was a research associate there. She is currently the wife to Jeff and a novelist. It was also while working as VP at the D.E Shaw that the idea of starting Amazon came to him. While he was looking for new ventures for the company he worked for then, he saw a statistic that made him interested in internet. It was shown that the World Wide Web was growing by 2300% a month. He immediately saw the potential prospects of selling online and quit his job.

Jeff Bezos began his first business while in school. It was an educational summer camp called the Dream Institute. He charged $600 per person and was able to enroll 6 people. Not bad for a school going child!

Amazon did not begin as what it is now. When it was born in 1994, Jeff wanted it to be an online book store. He thought of the details of the business and called up friend and family who would invest in the business while his wife was driving them to Seattle. He raised $1 million in capital and set up the business in his new home’s garage. The company was initially called Cadabra then it changed to MakeItSo.com, aard.com, awake.com, Bookmall.com, Relentless.com and Browse.com before finally settling for Amazon.com named after the largest river in the world.

Amazon was set up in July 1995 and within a month there were sales in all the 50 states and in 45 foreign countries. Within three years, the company grew to 3,000 employees making over $610 million in sales. However, the company was not making money yet. In 1997, they actually has a $30 million loss and $1,23 million loss in 1998. According to Jeff the company’s aim was to be customer centric company, not making profit. This strategy helped the company survive the dot com burst that killed many startups. In 1998 Jeff Bezos invested $250,000 in Google.

2001 was the first time the company recorded a profit of $5million on $1 billion revenues. Since then Amazon has grown more and more selling everything and with current revenues of $107 billion as of 2016. Jeff owns 18% of Amazon.  Amazon today owns Amazon cloud and web services. Amazon launched its cloud services years before Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. Jeff Bezos also founded aerospace company called the Blue Origin in 2014. This has been quite a success with many achievements including the launch of a reusable rocket recently. The company is working towards making space travel possible for the general public.

In 2013, Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250 million. This has since grown surpassing the New York Times as the leader in daily unique visits. Jeff Bezos is currently the third richest man in the world with a value of $65.3 billion with only Bill Gates and Amanda Ortega worth more than him.

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