Jeff Bezos Essay

Submitted By etch711
Words: 1080
Pages: 5

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1964. His mother, Jackie, was in her teens when he was born and she was only married to his biological father for about a year. She married Mike Bezos when Jeff was four. Mike was a Cuban who escaped to the United States when he was fifteen. He put himself through college in New Mexico and eventually became an engineer at Exxon. Jeff attended Miami Palmetto high school and was valedictorian of his class. He went to Princeton and planned to study physics until arriving at Princeton and realizing that the courses were to difficult. He then decided to change his major to electrical engineering and computer science. He graduated summa cum laude in 1986 with a GPA of 4.3 on a 4.0 scale. After he graduated from Princeton, Jeff joined a high-tech startup in New York that was building a network to facilitate international trade. After two years with this company he left and joined Bankers Trust Company. At Bankers Trust, he climbed the ranks quickly and worked to setup computer systems that managed $250 billion in assets. Bezos eventually became the company's youngest vice president. In 1990, he decided to join D.E. Shaw and Company. After a few years here he helped the company build the most technically advanced hedge funds on Wall Street. He eventually went from being a computer expert to a money manager, and became the company's youngest vice president. After four years working for D.E. Shaw and Company Bezos was looking for another challenge and in 1994, he found one. One day, Jeff read a statistic that said the Internet was growing at a rate of 2300% per year. He realized the potential of the internet business and decided to leave D.E. Shaw and Company to form Amazon.com, which he named after the seemingly endless South American River. Jeff had already spent several months planning Amazon.com while he was at D.E. Shaw. During these months he realized he would need assistance with Amazon.com so he started traveling to California to meet with Shel Kaphan, a programmer who was the first employee at Amazon.com. Jeff, Shel, and a contractor named Paul Barton-Davis built the prototype for Amazon.com. The startup of the company was in Bezos' garage that was heated by an oven in the middle of the room. Bezos built the desks they worked off of from doors that he purchased at Home Depot for sixty dollars each. In fact, all of the desks at the current Amazon.com office are made of doors. Jeff, Shel, and Paul spent a year developing database programs and creating the website. On July 16, 1995, Amazon.com went live to the world and within 30 days, the company had sold books to all fifty states and forty-five foreign counties. Shortly after the launch, they added new features to the site, such as one-click shopping, customer reviews, and e-mail order verification. By September, the site had sales of $20,000 a week although Amazon didn't turn a profit until late 2001. Jeff has a unique management style. He invokes loyalty from his employees and most of them see him as a colleague. He often refers to himself as a computer nerd and jokes about his lack of social skills. He is known as a fun person to work with, but his employees and investors know that he is serious about his company. The main focus of Jeff's corporate strategy is customer service. Instead of focusing on the competition, he focuses on how he can improve his customers' experience. Jeff believes that if a company is watching its competitors, it is unlikely to be creative. Although it isn't a strong strategy of Bezos, he does admit that the company watches its competitors' innovations and will often test these innovations on Amazon.com. Jeff believes in constantly running experiments to improve Amazon.com. When struggling with making a decision, Bezos shows half of Amazon's customers one thing and half another, and quickly get some results on which style or strategy worked best. Although some…