Who is Jeff Bezos?

Who is Jeff Bezos?
Source: Joshua Roberts, Reuters
According to a report, Bezos could potentially become the world’s first trillionaire as early as 2026, when he’s 62.

  • With a net-worth of over US$200 billion, Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people in the world.
  • The founder and chief executive officer of Amazon has achieved tremendous personal success, but – considering the company was founded all the way back in 1994 – Bezos hasn’t always been as fortunate as he is today.

What kind of life did Bezos live before Amazon?

  • After graduating from Princeton, Bezos went to Wall Street where he worked for four years.
  • He climbed the ranks at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw where he became senior vice president.
  • But after four years, Bezos surprised many in his orbit by borrowing money from his parents to open up an online bookstore, which he originally wanted to call Cadabra.
  • When talking about making the leap, Bezos has referenced the “Regret Minimization Framework,” which essentially consists of asking yourself the question, “in however many years, will I regret not doing this?”
  • “I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this,” Bezos has said. “I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried.”

How did he start his company?

  • Much like Apple or Microsoft, Amazon started in 1994 in the same magical place that so many billion dollar tech companies seem to start in – a garage.
  • The company soon proved to be successful and eventually went public at US$18 a share in 1997.
  • Fun fact: if you had bought 100 shares of stock in Amazon in 1997, which would have cost you US$1,800, they would be worth US$350,000 today.
  • At first, the company had a bell that would ring every time a purchase was made on the platform. This bell was turned off when the store became more popular.
  • By 1998, Amazon had moved into offering other goods, such as DVDs, toys and homeware.

When did everything change for Amazon?

  • Amazon had a rough few years in its earlier days after being sued by both Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Walmart Inc. for allegedly stealing trade secrets and for claiming to be “the biggest bookstore in the world.”
  • After the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, hundreds of online shopping websites were destroyed. Amazon, somehow, survived all of these trials and tribulations, but the company didn’t have its first profitable year until 2001.
  • Fundamentally, the company’s success has been based on its network of warehouses. Having so many warehouses has given Amazon the opportunity to stock a variety of products and get them to their customers ASAP.
  • Bezos always knew that he wanted Amazon to become “an everything store” and that’s exactly what happened.
  • Amazon went public in 1997, making Bezos a millionaire after the company raised US$54 million. Then, in 1999, Bezos became a billionaire.

Where is Amazon now?

  • Much like Bezos always wanted, Amazon seems to be in the business of … well, everything.
  • Whether it’s acquiring Whole Foods Market, Inc. or purchasing MGM Studios, Amazon is involved with anything that can make the company more money.
  • Amazon has such control over the online shopping market that the company is currently being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for its monopolistic practices.
  • To give you some perspective, nearly 50 cents out of every dollar spent when shopping online goes to Amazon, with the company occupying 47% of the e-commerce market.

What is Bezos doing now?

  • According to a report, Bezos could potentially become the world’s first trillionaire as early as 2026, when he’s 62.
  • Bezos is planning to step down as CEO of Amazon on July 5, but that’s just so he can focus less on the day-to-day activities of the company, much like ByteDance’s CEO.
  • Bezos plans to celebrate his retirement as CEO with a little trip to space, which is quickly becoming the billionaire’s playground.
  • A recent petition on Change.org has been widely circulated that has seen people suggest that billionaires like Bezos should just “stay in space.”
  • But the founder of Amazon has claimed in the past to be open to scrutiny, telling investors in his final shareholder meeting that “We recognize that with success comes scrutiny and we welcome it.”

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