Jeff Bezos is a world famous business leader most popularly known as the founder and CEO of Amazon. He is also a technology entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and one of the active billionaires interested in space travel.
He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and was raised in the state of Texas in Houston. He went to Princeton for his graduation and graduated in electrical and computer science engineering in 1986. From 1986 to 1994 he worked in various stream in Wall Street. IN the year 1990 he became the youngest senior vice president at an investment firm by the name of D.E. Shaw. He first started Amazon in the late 1994 while on a road trip New York to Seattle. It initially started out as an online book selling store but soon branched out to become a full-fledged e-retail store offering almost all kinds of products. Amazon today is the world’s largest online sales company and the largest provider of cloud services through its AWS or Amazon Web Services sector.
As mentioned above Jeff Bezos is one of the few billionaires and entrepreneurs who is interested in Space Travel and as such in 2000 started his own space flight company by the name of Blue Origin. In 2015, the first Blue Origin space flight capabilities were tested successfully and the company plans to commercialize suborbital human spaceflight by the late 2018. Subsequently, The Washington Post was purchased by him in 2013 for $250 million. The remainder of his investments is managed by his venture capital fund known as Bezos Expedition.
His early Life
Jeff Bezos was born to a teenage mother by the name of Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen and native of Chicago by the name of Ted Jorgensen. During his birth, his mother was just 17 years old and his father was the owner of a bike shop. The two were married for less than a year and Jacklyn soon married a Cuban immigrant by the name of Mike Bezos in the same year as her divorce. After their marriage, Jeff was adopted by Mike Bezos and his last name was changed accordingly. The family then subsequently moved to Houston in Texas. Jeff’s father Mike, worked as an engineer for Exxon after he graduated from the University of New Mexico. Jeff attended the River Oaks Elementary School in Houston from 4th to 6th grade.
Jeff Bezos is the maternal grandson of Lawrence Preston Gise, who happened to be one of the regional directors of the U.S Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque. Gise had an early retirement and moved to his family ranch in in Cotulla Texas. Bezos spend quite a lot of his summer days at that family ranch. Bezos purchased this land later in his life and transformed it from a 25,000 acre land to a 300,000 acres. The country singer George straight happens to be Bezos’s maternal cousin. At an early age Jeff displayed interest in the scientific field and acquired technological proficiency. He had turned his parent’s garage into his own laboratory and had started rigging and tweaking with various electrical contraptions throughout the house. He later moved to Miami when he was a teenager and there he developed a love for computers. He graduated from his high school as the valedictorian and it was during his high-school period that he started his first business, the Dream Institute. It was basically an educational summer camp for fourth, fifth and sixth graders. While staying in Miami, Bezos worked as a short-order line cook for McDonald’s during his high school days. He also attended the student’s science training program at the University of Florida. He graduated in 1986 from the Princeton University with a GPA of 4.2 in electrical engineering and computer science. While at Princeton he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and was also elected to the Tau Beta Pi. He was also elected as the student’s president for the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.
He was offered jobs from Intel, Bell Labs and Anderson Consulting. After his graduation, he started working at Wall Street and worked for numerous firms such as Fitel, Banker’s Trust and the investment firm by the name of D.E Shaw. His first job was at Fitel where he was asked to build a network for international trade. Soon after this, he was promoted to the head of development and customer service. Banker’s trust was his first official job ion the banking industry and became a product manager at the firm. He shifted to D.E Shaw in the year 1990, which was back then a newly-founded hedge fund. It was in this firm that he met his future wife Mackenzie and was became the youngest vice-president in 1990. His career in the finance sector was secured and extremely lucrative. Despite this, he took the risk of venturing into e-commerce in the year 1994. He moved to Seattle and started his own online bookstore and was his first foray into the online markets.
Amazon was started in the year 1993 as the first online bookstore. The business for the trip was written while he was on a roadtrip from New York to Seattle. He finally founded Amazon from the garage of his home on July 5 1994. It was in this garage that Bezos worked with a small group of employees and created the software for the company. They later expanded the operations into a two-bedroom house which were equipped with three Sun Microstations. Once the website was developed, Bezos invited about 300 friends in order to beta-test the product. The rise of Amazon was tremendously fast. Within the first 30 days of starting the website, it sold books all across the United States and across 45 countries. This was without any kind of press promotion. In just a week the sales hit $20,000 a week, indicating that the growth was faster than the expectations of its founders.
He accepted around $300,000 and invested them into his company. One of the main reasons for selecting the name Amazon was that it began with the letter A. A lot of the early investors of Amazon were warned by Bezos that the company could go bankrupt and there was a 70% chance of being so. Bezos always had plans of expanding into other products when he started Amazon. Three years after finding Amazon Bezos decided to take the company public and took and Initial Public Offering. Fortune and Barron’s published several critical reports of Amazon but Jeff maintained the opinion that the growth of the internet would allow them to defeat their competitions in the book retail sector like Barnes & Noble and Borders.
In 1998, Bezos decided to diversify the services of Amazon and began the online sale of music videos and other media. By the end of 1998, Amazon had expanded to include a wide range of consumer good. Bezos aggressively acquired smaller competitions using the $54 million he had raised during the company’s 1997 offering of equity. In 2002, Jeff Bezos launched the AWS or Amazon Web Services. The service initially compiled data from website traffic and weather channels. In 2002, due to a spurt in the spending by Amazon, the company experiences certain financial hiccups. In the year 2000, Bezos had to borrow $2 million from a bank as the cash balance of the company dipped to $350 million. The company nearly went bankrupt which forced Jeff to close a lot of distribution centers and fire about 14% of the Amazon workforce. In 2003 Amazon successfully recovered from the financial instability and made a profit of $400 million. In 2007, the Amazon Kindle was launched which a one of a kind ebook reader featuring paper like glare and light free display. Bezos revealed that he wanted to people to have the same level of immersion with books that people had with videogames. He wanted his readers to engage completely with the world of books.
In 2013 Amazon secured a major contract worth $600 million with the Central Intelligence Agency for the Amazon Web Services. In the same year, Amazon was declared was the world’s largest online retail service provider. In the May of 2016, Jeff sold nearly one million holdings of in the company for around $ 671 million. This was the largest sum he had ever raised from selling Amazon stock. In August 2016 he sold another million and raised $756.7 million. One year later, Jeff took in 130,000 new employees into the company. As of January 2018, the values of the stock had appreciated to $109 billion. Today Amazon has taken over the online commercial space with a state-of the-art inventory tracking and asset management system.
Apart from Elon Musk and Branson, Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is the only known billionaire who has shown interest in space travel. His main interest lies in reducing the cost of space travel and commercializing it as a form of transportation. IN 2015 Jeff had announced the development of an orbital launch vehicle. Bezos work style has often been described by him as something that constantly minimizes regret.