Jeff Bezos became a mythical figure in the business world. Long before he surpassed Bill Gates is the richest person on earth from humble beginnings Bezos has built the largest. Commerce company in human history Amazon but years before Bezos net worth surpassed 100 billion dollars he was the troubled son of a teen mom in Houston Texas from here. It didn’t take long for Bezos to turn his life around and build an e-commerce juggernaut though much has been written about his. Habits and managerial style few people know about his past today we are exploring how Jeff Bezos built.
Amazon but before we dissect his approach to business let’s consider Bezos challenging childhood he was born Geoffrey Preston Jorgenson to. A 17 year old mom and a dad who owned a local bike shop while. Bezos doesn’t speak much about his dad who was only 18 at the time Jeff was born a.
Few things are clear first he only agreed to marry bassist mom after he found out she was pregnant. The marriage lasted only 17 months reports Brad stone at Bloomberg Businessweek her mom moved in with her parents because Jorgensen stayed out late and drank too much and. Was generally an inattentive father and husband says stone he agreed. To a divorce and paid a small amount of child support to be say when he had money other times he missed the payments three years after their divorce case and married. Another man Miguel Bezos a Cuban immigrant who taught himself English and eventually worked at Exxon Miguel adopted Jeff and Jeff. Took his last name Jorgensen had to sign off on the name.
Change which he did stone reports for a brief period Jorgenson remembered the Bezos name but through the years he. Forgot about it and dropped completely out of touch with his ex-wife and his son druggin son’s absence from Bezos life was so complete that in a 1999 interview.
With Wired Bezos said of Jorgenson I’ve never met him although in reality he lived with him for the first year of his life the reality as far as I’m concerned is. That my dad is my natural father the only time I ever think about it genuinely is when. A doctor asks me to fill out a form said.
Bezos in 1999 Jorgensen for his part had a nearly identical attitude about Bezos however stone managed to find Jorgensen now 69 who owns a bike shop in Glendale Arizona according to. The man who tracked him down he had no idea what I was talking about Jorgensen said he didn’t. Know who Jeff Bezos was and was baffled by my suggestion that he was the father of this famous CEO stone jaw Jorgenson’s memory trotting. Out details about Bezos and his mother says stone the old man’s.
Face flushed with recognition is he still alive he asked not yet fully comprehending despite jeff bezos already being one of the most successful businessmen in the world Jorgensen didn’t remember. He existed let alone that he was the father of a billionaire Jorgensen says that in his younger days he wasn’t a good father or. A husband he eventually quit drinking got his act together and open his bike shop he’s.
Married but he had no other children in his life beyond Bezos and. This is just to illustrate the tumultuous relationship Bezos had with his father growing up but that isn’t. To say that Bezos wasn’t part of a happy home. Bezos recently tweeted I won the lottery with my mom thanks for literally everything mom it’s clear that she and his adoptive father were very caring. And supported throughout his life Bezos was industrious from a very young age and describes. Working with his grandparents on their farm I helped fix windmills vaccinate cattle and do other chores we also watched soap operas every afternoon especially Days of Our Lives said.
Bezos from an early age Jeffrey displayed as striking mechanical aptitude even as a toddler he asserted himself by. Dismantling his crib with a screwdriver he also developed intense and varied scientific interests rigging an electrical arm to keep his younger siblings out of.
His room and converting his parents garage into a laboratory for his science projects when he was a teenager the family moved to Miami Florida in high school in Miami. Jeffrey first fell in love with computers an outstanding student he was valedictorian of his class after. Spending a miserable summer working at McDonald’s as a team Bezos together with his girlfriend started the. Dream Institute a 10-day summer camp for kids they charged $600 a kid and managed to sign up six students the. Lord of the Ring series made the required reading list at Miami Palmetto Senior High School Bezos Excel.
And was invited to participate in the student science training program at the University of Florida where he. Won a silver Knight award in 1982 he graduated as the school’s valedictorian in the National Merit Scholar and went on to Princeton University with an interest in space exploration he. Initially planned to study physics but he soon gave it up so. Bezos turned to his love of computers creating a number of software programs while at the school he found. The field to his liking and graduated summa laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and a second one in computer science he stood out from the rest of his class.
By his presence in honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi as well as his tenure as president of the school’s chapter of students for the exploration and development of. Space graduating in 1986 when the internet was known by very few.
Bezos seemed to have already had a sense of its possibilities the time he turned down offers from a number of large prestigious corporations taking. A position at fight on a relatively young fiber optic company where he would help build computer network for international finance he stayed in the finance realm with Bankers Trust rising to a vice. Presidency at de sha firm specializing in the application of computer science to the stock market Bezos was hired as much for. His overall talent as for any particular assignment while working at Shaw. Jeff met McKenzie Tuttle also a Princeton graduate they began dating and were married in 1993 Bezos rose quickly at siya becoming a senior. Vice president and was looking forward to a bright career in finance when he made a discovery that changed his life and the course of business history at this point Bezos could easily.
Have continued his career in the finance sector the job was well paying by comparison to most work though his. Salary was minuscule compared to his current income in 1994 Bezos read that.
The web had grown 2,300 percent in one year this number astounded him and he decided he needed to find some way to take advantage of its rapid growth. He made a list of 20 possible products to sell online and decided ebooks were the best option this was the birth of amazon.com speaking about the decision Bezos said when you’re. In the thick of things you can get confused by small stuff I knew when I was 80 that I.
Would never for example think about why I walked away from my 1994 Wall Street bonus right in the middle of the year. At the worst possible time the kind of thing just isn’t something you worry about when you’re 80 years old at the same time I. Knew I might sincerely regret not having participated in this thing called. The Internet but I thought was going to be a revolutionising event when I thought about it that way it was incredibly easy to make the decision he named the company. Amazon after the Amazon River because it was massive monolithic and powerful all qualities he wanted his business to have he accepted an estimated 300 thousand.
Dollars from his parents and invested in Amazon he weren’t many early investors that there was a 70% chance that Amazon would fail or go bankrupt although Amazon was originally an online. Bookstore Bezos has always wanted to expand to other products three years after Bezos founded Amazon he took it.
Public with an initial public offering in response to critical reports from fortune. And Barons Bezos maintained that the growth of the Internet would overtake competition from larger book retailers such as borders and Barnes and Noble two years later the market value of. Shares in Amazon was greater than that of its two biggest retail competitors combined and Borders was striking. A deal for Amazon to handle its Internet traffic we weren’t betting on the internet his mother said we were betting on Jeff by the end. Of the decade as six percent owners of Amazon they were billionaires for several years as much as a third of the shares in the company were held by members of the Bezos family when.
The dot-com crash came analysts called the company Amazon bomb but it weathered the storm and ended up. Being one of the few startups that wasn’t wiped out by the dot-com bust in 1998 Bezos diversified into the online sale of music and video by the end of the year. He had also expanded the company’s products to include a variety of consumer goods Bezos used the 54 million dollars raised during the company’s 1997 equity offering to finance aggressive acquisition. Of smaller competitors in 2002 Bezos led Amazon to launch Amazon Web Services which compiled data from Weather Channel’s. And website traffic in late 2002 rapid spending from Amazon caused it financial distress when revenues stagnated in 2000 Bezos borrowed two billion dollars from banks. As its cash balances dipped to only 350 million after the.
Company nearly went bankrupt he closed distribution centers in laid off 14% of VMs on workforce in 2003. Amazon rebounded from financial instability and turned a profit of 400 million dollars in the early days Bezos was a demanding boss and could explode at employees. Rumor has it he hired a leadership coach to help him tone it down Bezos was notoriously hard on his employees and extremely strict when it. Came to making new hires he would ask applicants to share. Their SAT scores and even asked a CFO candidate who had ranked number two in the CPA exam why she hadn’t come in first there’s nothing wrong. With asking for SAT scores Bezos told The Washington Post he also often conducted hour-long reference checks on.
Potential hires himself asking 23 standard questions including can you think of a problem that everyone thought was unsolvable that you personally solved if this person were really brilliant you can remember these. Things if they can’t think of anything it doesn’t mean they’re not. Brilliant but it’s certainly a negative indicator Bezos said Bezos is also known for banning PowerPoint. Presentations in Amazon instead he requires his staff to turn in papers of a specific length on their proposals to encourage.
Critical thinking over simplistic bullet points Bezos maintains the email address Jef. At amazon.com has an outlet for customers to reach out to him in the company although he does not respond to the.
Emails he forwards some of them with a question mark in the. Subject line two executives who attempt to address the issues Bezos has cited Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Bob Iger of Walt Disney. As major influences on his leadership style and Bezos has a few core philosophies that have. Buoyed is success for instance Amazon is focused like a laser on customers instead.
Of starting with an idea for a product and trying to convince executives that customers will love the idea Amazon worked from. The perspective of the customer to come up with ideas that will legitimately generate value for example Prime was created because it was understood within Amazon that customers wanted to buy quality products for.
Less money and customers wanted to receive products as fast as possible. Prime appeared to be a solution that would meet both of these customer needs regardless of his own orthodoxson sometimes controversial methods. Things worked out for Bezos in Amazon his strategy involved reinvesting all of Amazon’s capital back into the business this made investors nervous as Amazon didn’t turn a significant profit for most of its. Existence but Bezos was right to make this gamble Amazon is currently worth more than one trillion dollars and shows no signs of slowing down even as other heavy hitters like Apple and Facebook.
Falter Bezos personal net worth has been hovering around 150 billion. Dollars comfortably making him the richest man in the world.