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The Rise & Rise of Jeff Bezos & Amazon

WION New Delhi, India Mar 31, 2017, 10.30 AM (IST)

1994

  • Jeff Bezos leaves his position as the vice-president of DE Shaw & Co, a Wall Street firm to launch an online book retailer which later became amazon.com. Jeff terms the venture as the 'regret minimization framework', an effort to fend off regrets for not participating sooner in the Internet business boom. His parents are one of the first investors in the company.

1997

  • Amazon goes public with IPOs at $18.00/share, raising $54 million - A $1000 investment made in the company back then will fetch you more than $200000 now
  • The company acquires bookpages.co.uk and launches Amazon UK

1998

  • Amazon acquires Internet Movie Database, the most popular database of information related to films.
  • The company starts the sale of CDs and DVDs online.

1999

  • Adds toys and electronics to the list of products offered
  • Adds 1-click feature that allows customers to buy products using a pre-determined credit card
  • Files suit against Barnes&Noble.com for copying the 1-Click technology

2000

  • Amazon unveils a new and significant logo - an arrow-shaped smile from 'a' to 'z' - reflecting its effort to offer everything from A to Z
  • Starts to let third third-party merchants sell through amazon

2001

  • Signs deal to take over running of Borders.com
  • Amazon makes its first quarterly profit at end of the year.
  • Amazon allows users to preview books

2002

  • Launches Free Super Saver Shipping - a service which allows customers to get free shipping on orders above $99
  • Wins the 1999 patent infringement suit against Barnes & Noble
  • Launches Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing platform - a backend service for firms like Netflix and DropBox

2003

  • Launches A9.com - a subsidiary that develops search engine and search advertising technology

2004

  • Acquires Joyo - an online bookstore in China for $75 million, which then becomes the seventh regional website of Amazon.com. Joyo eventually becomes Amazon China.

2005

  • Launches Amazon Prime, a membership offering free two-day shipping within the contiguous United States on all purchases for an annual fee of $79
  • Amazon launches Amazon Mechanical Turk, an application programming interface (API) allowing user to perform "human-intelligence" tasks like transcribing podcasts at low wages.

2006

  • Launches Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a virtual site farm that allows users to utilize Amazon infrastructure to run applications ranging from running simulations to web hosting
  • Launches Fulfillment by Amazon, giving small businesses to use Amazon.com's own order fulfillment and customer service infrastructure - and customers of Amazon.com shipping offers when buying from 3rd-party sellers
  • Amazon launches Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which allows other developers to store files on Amazon's servers

2007

  • Launches AmazonFresh - grocery service
  • Launches Amazon Music-  online music store and locker
  • Launches the Amazon Kindle

2008

  • Launches Amazon Games

2009

  • Acquires Zappos - online shoes and clothing platform - for $850 million

2010

  • Launches Amazon Studios to create original television content

2011

  • Acquires Lovefilm, a DVD rental service known as the Netflix of Europe
  • Borders Group, outcompeted by Amazon, applies for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
  • Rebrands its Amazon Video service as Amazon Instant Video and adds access to 5,000 movies and TV shows for Amazon Prime members
  • Launches Amazon Appstore for Android devices in over 200 countries
  • California starts collecting sales taxes on Amazon.com purchases
  • Launches Amazon Locker - delivery locker system to get items delivered at specially-designed lockers
  • Announces the Kindle Fire, a tablet computer that takes aim at Apple's iPad with a smaller device that sells at $199, compared with the $499 value of Apple's cheapest iPad.
     

2012

  • Launches Junglee.com in India to test waters
  • Acquires Kiva Systems for $775 million, a robotics company that creates robots that moves items around warehouses
  • Amazon announces the Kindle Fire HD series of touchscreen tablet computers.

2013

  • Unveils plans to use drones for delivery through prime air
  • Launches Amazon in India
  • Jeff purchased the Washington Post for US$250 million in cash
  • Amazon acquires social reading and book-review site Good Reads

2014

  • Gets into the smartphone market to launch Fire phones
  • Launches the Amazon Fire
  • Announced plans to acquire the video game streaming website Twitch for $970 million
  • Reaches agreement with Simon & Schuster, allowing the publisher to adopt the agency pricing model and set prices on its books sold on Amazon
  • Unveils Amazon Echo, a wireless speaker and voice command device that can take commands and queries, and be used to add items to the Amazon.com shopping cart, among other things

2015

  • Hires Hollywood movie director Woody Allen to create the first original TV series.
  • Alibaba announces that it will invest $1 billion into its Aliyun cloud computing arm, some of which would go into new Aliyun international data centers. This would allow Aliyun to compete with Amazon Web Services outside of China.
  • Launches Amazon Underground, an app which allows users to get gaming and other apps for free that they would otherwise have to pay for, and also get in-app purchases for free.
  • Launches Amazon Restaurants service that delivers food from nearby restaurants, for Prime customers in Seattle.
  • Opens its first physical bookstore in University Village shopping center, Seattle.

2016

  • Amazon Prime Air (Amazon's drone-based delivery system) makes its first delivery in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. 
  • Amazon is eyeing the shipping industry, it is apparently secretly buying ships and Boeing planes to vanquish Fedex in its attempt to dominate the worldwide delivery industry.
  • Also Read: Amazon opens grocery store with no checkout counters

Present

Known as the 'sultan' of e-commerce, founder of amazon.com, Jeff Bezos has turned conventional retail on its head and forced the publishing industry to embrace ebooks and digital reading devices. But as it expands into a more diverse range of products and services, it is disrupting traditional industries beyond publishing — grocery shopping, television and delivery service.

Bezos is now working on Blue Origin, a company that might bring his childhood dream to shape. The company is developing technology to enable private human access to space with the goal to dramatically lower costs and increase reliability.

We have already witnessed the e-commerce revolution. Is the Blue Origin the future of Space Exploration?

Also Read: Amazon to start restaurant deliveries in London

Present

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos the 'sultan of e-commerce' has become the second-richest man on the planet, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His mega fortune now stands at a colossal $75.6 billion, the kindle founder now trails Microsoft founder Bill Gates by less than $10.4 billion. Don't be surprised if he overtakes Gates in quick time after all he has surpassed all expectations in the last 20 years to dominate the e-world. Here is a look at the career of Jeff Bezos and the stratospheric rise of Amazon, some say this is just the beginning... 

2017

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