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Jeffrey Preston Bezos
Founder of Amazon
The Kindle Book Project

----- Jeff Bezos is the son of Miguel "Mike" Bezos , and Jacklyn Gise Bezos. Jeff has a younger brother and sister. Jeff Bezos gives his grandfather, a retired Atomic Energy Commission manager, credit for guiding his thoughts to higher ambitious and intriguing adventures.- (Continued)

December 2007 - Person of the Week
November - 462005 Jeff Bezos - POWeek 68
NEWS Convergence - 46th Week of 2005


Feature Story - Jeffrey Preston Bezos (Continued)
----- Bezos worked on science and engineering projects that eventually piled up in his parents' garage. His passion for building things was proved when he built his own Infinity Cube, a cube made up of motorized mirrors which allow the user to stare into in an infinite world.
-----When his mother said its $20 cost was too expensive, he bought the pieces cheaply and built it himself. This story is documented in "Turning On Bright Minds: A Parent Looks at Gifted Education in Texas." Incidentally, the book, published locally in the Houston area in 1977, is not available on Amazon.com. Bezos spent many summers on his grandfather's ranch in Cotulla, Texas, where he exercised his hands-on engineering abilities by fixing windmills and doing other such chores
----- By age 16, he could fix windmills, use an arc welder and castrate cattle. In his late grade school years, Bezos became fascinated with the Infinity Cube, which uses a set of motorized mirrors to let the user stare into "infinity."
The Bezos Principles - Internet commerce.
-----"Obsess about customers, not the competitors", is the motto of Bezos' present obsession -- Amazon.com . The company known today as the most visible symbol of consumer electronic commerce started when he discovered the exponential growth of the Internet. He and his wife Mackenzie (a novelist) moved to Seattle and started Amazon.com from their rented suburban house.
-----Before "opening" its doors for business on the Internet, Bezos and his team spent a year developing database programs and creating the Web site, which sells books, music and videos on the Internet. Although the profitability of the company is next to nil - all the extra cash is used for marketing and for buying other companies - the accomplishments of Amazon.com are tremendous:
* It beat Sears in market capitalization value (the number of outstanding stock shares multiplied by stock price), with $17 billion in 1998.
* It went public in May 1997, and is traded on the NASDAQ as AMZN. Its many employees have stock options and are now millionaires.
* It is to date, Amazon is the leading online shopping site, with sales expected to exceed $6.7 billion in revenue in 2004. About 25% will come from third-party sales of $1.92 billion.
* More than 800,000 third party affiliate Web sites are linked to Amazon.com, to sell goods listed.

Why did Jeff Bezos decide to name his company Amazon.com?
 Bezos and his team spent a year creating their Web site and developing the database programs that they knew they would need. They hired a marketing firm to test several names for the new online company with consumers. Amazon was picked because words starting with "A" show up on search-engine lists first.

What can you do when you visit Amazon.com?
Amazon.com tries to offer the broadest possible selections while being customer-friendly and easy to navigate. Search engines make it possible to find books by author, title, subject or keyword and music by artist, CD title or song title. Reviews are provided and readers and listeners are allowed to comment on books and music as well.
Every time a customer buys a book, Amazon.com's computer uses the information to recommend similar books. Bezos says, "The goal here is not rampant consumerism. The idea is to use technology to capture information about consumers and their interests and match individuals with other products they might like, including items they don't even know exist." (USA Today)
-----Bezos is known as a fan of science fiction (his Labrador is named after an obscure Star Trek character); witty; gregarious; keenly interested in anything that can be revolutionized by computers; and known to have an explosively loud laugh. He definitely has a lot to laugh and smile about.

02 / TimeLine
----In 1986 -- graduated from Miami's Palmetto High School. He was elected class president and valedictorian,
-----In 1988, after graduating from Princeton, majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Bezos joined FITEL, a high-tech start-up company in New York.
----- In 1988, Bezos joined Bankers Trust Company, New York, leading the development of computer systems that helped manage $250+ billion in assets and becoming their youngest vice president in February, 1990.
From 1990 to 1994, Bezos helped build one of the most technically sophisticated and successful quantitative hedge funds on Wall Street for D.E. Shaw & Co., New York.
1992 Highlights: he helped build one of the most technically sophisticated quantitative hedge funds on Wall Street, moving from self-proclaimed "in-house geek" to money manager, Bezos became their youngest senior vice president.
In 1994, realizing the Internet was growing at 2,300 percent annually, he and wife MacKenzie moved to Seattle and began an online business out of their rented suburban house. He founded Amazon.com, an Internet retailer of books, music, videos and more.
July 1995 -- Amazon.com is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. His team spent a year developing database programs and creating the Web site. Amazon.com opened its virtual doors for business in July 1995.
Since May 1997 each of Amazon.com's 1,600 employees gets stock options that vest over a five-year period; some are now millionaires. Scaling internal systems to meet rapid growth and low overhead by using centralized distribution.
By the end of 1998, more than 4.5 million people from 160 countries had shopped at Amazon.com, making it the leading online shopping site. In 1998, sales topped $500 million. Amazon.com has become a model for Internet companies by putting market share ahead of profits and making acquisitions funded by meteoric market capitalization. Founder Jeff Bezos and his family own about 34% of the firm.
-----1999 - He was chosen as Person of the Year by TIMES Magazine.
-----2000 to 2003 - The first steps in Amazon's new strategy for their third-party Associate seller program, is installed and readied for 2004. Inspired by EBay Inc.'s sprawling marketplace, Amazon lets more than 800,000 sellers sell Amazon goods on third party websites in exchange for a cut of all sales. Most are individuals looking to unload used books or CDs. Others are established bricks-and-mortar retailers like Office Depot Inc. and Foot Locker Inc. eager to tap into Amazon's base of 44 million active customers.
-----2004 - Amazon won't say what portion of its expected $6.7 billion to $6.9 billion in revenue this year will come from third-party sales. But the program is growing: 28% of Amazon's third-quarter unit sales were from such sellers, up from 22% the same period last year. Amazon's gross margin of 23.5%, is just a little below Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s 23.8% and less than a third of EBay's whopping 80.8%. Amazon still guarantees orders placed through its merchant partners and lets users post reviews of each seller to maintain customers' trust.
4. Related Stories
"Images" - 102 Jeff Bezos and Amazon Celebrates 10th year - 29the Week 2005 / SEATTLE -- Soon after Amazon.com Inc. debuted 10 years ago, Jeff Bezos and his handful of employees spent late summer nights packing books in a tiny warehouse, scrambling to ship a growing gush of orders. - More Story 102BezosAmazon10thyear.htm

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, previewed its new service to sell just a few pages or chapters of a book -- allowing one of the world's oldest media to be chopped up and customized like an album on iTunes. More Story

More Articles • Converging News 462005 / TeleCom BuyOuts, Spinoffs and Asset Seizure Boom

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