1. Jeffrey Preston Bezos (famously known as Jeff Bezos), the founder of one of the most successful e-commerce website Amazon.com, was born on Sunday, January 12, 1964. He shares the same birthday as other famous personalities namely actress Kristie Alley from the famous “Look who’s talking” movie, actor Nathan Gamble, “Toy Story” director John Lasseter, “Hangover” actress Rachael Harris and the famous musician Rob Zombie.
2. When Jeff Bezos was born, his mother was only a teenager and her marriage to Jeff’s father lasted for less than a year. Miguel Bezos, Jeff’s stepfather, married his mother when Jeff was only 5 years old. Miguel adopted Jeff when he got married to his mother and hence became the legal father of Jeff Bezos.
3. As a child, Jeff Bezos had a craze for science. He set up a science laboratory in his parent’s garage where he used to come up with new science projects. One of his early science inventions was an electric alarm. What did he need an electric alarm for? Well apparently, Jeff used the electric alarm to keep Christina Bezos and Mark Bezos, his half siblings, out of his room. In short, the electric alarm worked as a security system for Jeff.
4. Amazon.com is world’s top online retail store. So how long did it take Jeff Bezos to come up with such a brilliant business idea? Surprisingly, Jeff wrote down the business plan for Amazon.com during his trip from the state of New York to the state of Seattle. During the drive from NY to Seattle, Jeff penned down the business plan. So NY to Seattle, that’s all it took Jeff Bezos to come up with Amazon.com.
5. Jeff Bezos love for science has evolved over the years. His interest in space travel is the reason behind the formation of his new venture “Blue Origin” which deals with human spaceflight. The venture is still in its initial testing stage. Jeff Bezos had been working on this project since 2000-2001 but it was only in 2006 that this venture became publicly known. With Blue Origin, Jeff aims to make an ordinary man travel into space safely and also at a low cost.
6. Jeff Bezos is the “Greatest living CEO” as declared by the Harvard Business Review. Recently, the list of 100 Best Performing CEOs has been featured in the Harvard Business Review. The most distinctive feature of this list is that the CEOs have been rated keeping in mind their long term performance, rather than short term performance. Steve Jobs, the Apple founder, was named as the number 1 CEO followed by Jeff Bezos. Steve Jobs passed away last year, making Jeff the top performing CEO alive. Both Steve and Jeff were able to do something most CEOs fail to achieve. Both were able to exceed expectations by increasing their Shareholder’s ROI by a margin that most would have felt was unrealistic. Steve’s effort enabled shareholders to get almost 67 times of their investment. Jeff was able to achieve a whopping 124 times return on shareholder’s investment.
7. Jeff’s Amazon saw the holiday season of the year 2012 as one of the best and most profitable one. What was so special about it? Amazon was able to sell around 306 items globally with each passing second, giving a total sale of an astonishing 26.5 million products.
8. The founder of the entrepreneurial success Amazon used to spend the summers of his childhood on his grandfather’s cattle farm. He used to take part in the regular activities being carried out at the ranch. This included cleaning, plumbing, repairing windmills and even vaccinating and castrating cattle.
9. An interesting thing that is common between Amazon.com and one of its competitor eBay is that both of these names were not the first choices of their founders. eBay founder Pierre Omidyar had thought of “Echo Bay” as the name of the venture but couldn’t keep it as the name was already taken by some other company. In case of Amazon, Jeff initially planned to name it “Cadabra” (from Abracadabra). However, when he told this to his lawyer, he misheard it and called it “Cadaver” (meaning dead human body). This association displeased Jeff and he decided to name the venture Amazon, inspired by the river Amazon.
10. Amazon received its first major publicity through Yahoo founder Jerry Yang. Thanks to Jerry, Amazon was put on Yahoo’s What’s Cool webpage.
11. Jeff firmly believes in “Two Pizza Rule”. The rule states that form small teams, consisting of the number of people that can feed on two pizzas, in order to have a successful business venture.
12. Jeff is often called as a “Change Junkie” as he believes in evolving himself with the changing times. He feels that you have to adapt yourself to ever changing environment in order to keep yourself updated.
13. The famous dotcom crash in the early 2000 made many online firms lose their share value. Amazon.com was no different. Its share price fell from $100 to as low as $6. At that particular point, Jeff’s optimism was the key in getting the employees together and working their way up to the top at a time when everyone thought that doing business online has no prospects left.
14. The meaning behind the Jeff’s Amazon.com logo, which shows an arrow starting from a and ending with z, elaborates that the company offers the customers anything and everything. In short, the customers can order anything from A to Z.
15. It is often seen that the most successful business people have their own ways of managing their business. Jeff is no different. According to his company policy, each employee of Amazon.com has to spend two days, after every two years, at the customer service desk. This also includes the CEO Jeff Bezos himself. So do not be surprised if you are an Amazon.com customer and one day you get to talk to the CEO himself.
16. Jeff is a long-term thinker. This is evident from the fact that he is planning to build a “10,000 Year Clock.” The clock is supposed to move only once in a year. There will be a century hand that will move forward after every hundred years. On the occasion of the millennium, the cuckoo will appear.
17. Jeff Bezos loves to read. Not only that, he makes his employees adopt the same practice.
18. With Jeff Bezos running the top online retailer company Amazon.com, it would come as a surprise that Jeff still is a fan of ink and paper. He prefers the written word over multimedia presentations.
19. Laughter is often the best medicine. Jeff surely believes in this. He tends to relieve his stress, disappointments and pressures through laughter.
20. The first item ever to be sold on Jeff’s Amazon.com is a science textbook titled “Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought”.