Unless you have been living under a rock, you must know who Jeff Bezos is and even know the answer to the question.
However, not everyone who knows him understands why he’s so rich. Yes, he has a business, and he sure knows how to continue making money. But what does he do in specific?
In advance, we can tell you that if you ever want to start your own company, finally develop that idea in your mind and be a billionaire; this man is who you need to have as your idol from now on.
If you feel we’re exaggerating so far, let us show you why with facts.
Who Is Jeff Bezos?
Jeff Bezos is a 57 years old entrepreneur, business magnate, and investor born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
He is the founder and current executive chairman of Amazon, an Internet retailer, and technology company he started in his garage in 1994 with just $300.
Currently, it’s one of the most important companies on the planet and a global leader in the e-commerce space.
Jeff Bezos‘ parents are Ted and Jacklyn Jorgensen. When Jeff was only three years old, his mother divorced Ted and remarried to Cuban immigrant Mike Bezos who adopted the businessman when he was four years old and had his surname changed from Jorgensen to Bezos.
During his early years, there aren’t many remarkable things or moments to mention.
He just attended River Oaks Elementary School in Houston (fourth to sixth grade) and then Miami Palmetto High School in Miami, Florida.
However, he did show great interest in technology and science by creating a digital clock at 10 (to mention one of his inventions).
After attending high school, Jeff went to the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida, in which he stood out without a doubt and led him to win a Silver Knight Award in 1982.
Then, he attended Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1986 and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.
From here on, we can start the most exciting part: how did he get to the point of becoming a billionaire. Of course, it is thanks to his company, Amazon, but many previous steps were required.
In 1986, right after he graduated, Bezos received many offers from Intel and Bell Labs, and other similar companies.
However, he worked at Fitel, a start-up telecommunications company, as a systems programmer and engineer in charge of building a new network.
He didn’t last for long since the following year (1988), Jeff worked at Bankers Trust, where he gained valuable experience in finance.
From 1990 to 1994, he worked with a different company: D. E. Shaw & Co, where he became a senior vice-president with only 30 years.
However, he soon quit his job to start working on his own ideas and business, which eventually led him to be one of the wealthiest people that ever lived.
In 1993 and 1994 is when the magic starts.
Bezos, believe it or not, founded Amazon in his garage on July 5, 1994, with only a business plan written and all the ideas in his mind.
The idea was to become an online bookstore and later a source of entertainment (books, music, etc.).
In fact, Bezos was aiming to make Amazon the world’s largest online store in the beginning but decided that focusing on other products would be interesting as well.
So, by this time, he already had the idea, business plan, vision and only needed the money that, fortunately, his parents gave to him for a total of $300.000, so he could invest in Amazon.
A Trillionaire Project: Amazon’s Evolution
It is hard to go over a company that has been in the market for decades but even more when it is as successful as Amazon.
However, starting now, we will have a wild ride with Amazon’s evolution:
- On May 15, 1997, Amazon went public at $18 per share. During this time, Bezos warned many of his investors that the company could potentially fail. However, on November 18 of the same year, the company had to open a second distribution center to serve more customers due to the great demand.
- In 1998, Amazon stopped being an online bookstore only and expanded itself into music.
- By 1999, one of the most popular options nowadays was born: the “1-Click” buy option, which Amazon secured as a patent. A few days later, the company launches a 3rd party seller marketplace. By the end of this year, Bezos was named Time’s Person of the year.
- In 2002, the company started selling clothes to then launch a web hosting business in 2003.
- 2004 is one of Amazon’s most significant early years after entering China, which was possible by paying $75 million to buy Joyo, the Chinese online retailer.
- Then, in 2005, Amazon Prime debuts valued at $79 as a year loyalty program.
- In 2007, the Kindle appeared! This is one of Amazon’s best-seller and what a signature in products.
Taking a further step in the online bookstore business, Amazon acquires an audiobook company, Audible.
From here onwards, Jeff Bezos acquired many companies and invested in others over the years, leading him to expand Amazon in other niches or areas.
For example, in 2013, the streaming site for video games, Twitch, was acquired by the company, taking him to be involved in the videogames world, and it is crucial to mention that Twitch is considered the best streaming platform for gamers in 2021.
Finally, we will make a jump to 2018 when Amazon reached a $1 trillion market cap, which made it the second company to do so after Apple.
To this date, July 2021, Amazon’s sales and profits have increased during the pandemic due to the need for people to acquire products and rely on online purchases to make it possible.
This rise was so incredible that Amazon is quite close to the $2 trillion milestones in the market.
World’s Richest Person for Four Years Straight
Previously, we didn’t mention how much money Amazon has made over the years. However, if it is close to reaching $2 trillion in the market, it’s logical that “a lot” falls short.
But leaving aside Amazon itself and focusing on the man behind the business, how much money do you think Jeff Bezos has earned so far?
We already gave you a few spoilers earlier, and even if you didn’t know before, you could already guess he is the wealthiest person to this date and the last four years.
Due to Amazon’s success, he reached the billionaire milestone in 1999, when he was first included in Forbe’s billionaire list. During this year, his net worth was $10.1 billion.
However, from 2000 to 2009, his earnings and net worth were quite a topic. He lost billions and registered a lower net worth.
In 2010, his wealth started to peak again and rose by 85.2% during this year.
To this date, 2021, Forbes places Jeff Bezos at the top of its billionaires’ list, with a reported net worth of $207.9 billion.
Although his biggest door for earnings and shares is Amazon, the billionaire has invested in many companies and other businesses over the years.
Whole Foods, Twitch, Zappos, Ring, and Audible are companies acquired under the name of Amazon, which means they’re part of the company.
But as for personal ventures, we have to focus on Bezos Expeditions, Blue Origin, and The Washington Post.
Since he decided to step down as Amazon’s CEO and become the executive chairman, Bezos will have more free time than before, and he has made sure to start investing it in projects that include foundations.
Bezos Earth Fund is one of them. It supports scientists, activists, and charities that work on the climate crisis.
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