- Jeff Bezos Facts, AMAZON | # 50 FACTS
- Jeff Bezos Date of Birth – Biography
- Wonder Years of Jeff Bezos
- Amazon.com, founded by Jeff Bezos
- Other Ventures of Jeff Bezos
- Jeff Bezos Charitable Work – Charities
- Professional Success of Jeff Bezos
- Work Philosophy of Jeff Bezos
- Jeff Bezos: Personal Interests
- Jeff Bezos Personality
Jeff Bezos Facts, AMAZON | # 50 FACTS
Jeff Bezos Date of Birth – Biography
1) Jeff Bezos: Born 1964
Jeffrey Preston Bezos (famously known as Jeff Bezos), the founder of one of the most successful e-commerce website Amazon.com, is 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) Family of Jeff Bezos
When Jeff Bezos is born, his mother is only a teenager and her marriage to Jeff’s father lasts for less than a year.
Miguel Bezos, Jeff’s stepfather, marries his mother when Jeff is only 5 years old.
Miguel adopts Jeff when he marries his mother and becomes his legal father.
3) Early Life
When Miguel Bezos marries Jeff’s mother and adopts Jeff, the family moves to Houston Texas where Miguel takes up a job as an engineer for Exxon.
The children attend the River Oaks Elementary School for two years after which the family moves to Miami Florida where Jeff attends the Miami Palmetto Senior High School.
4) Maternal Ancestors
Jeff Bezos is born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and his maternal ancestors are fairly successful people who live in Texas and over the years, acquire a ranch spread over 25,000 acres.
His grandfather, before he retires and settles on the ranch, is the regional director of the US Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque.
5) Jeff Bezos Spends Time with His Grandfather
In his childhood, Bezos spends a lot of time with his maternal grandfather at the ranch and is known for displaying an interest in household devices and appliances.
6) Jeff Bezos Spends Childhood Summers on Farm
Jeff spends the summers of his childhood on his grandfather’s cattle farm.
He takes part in the regular activities being carried out at the ranch.
This includes cleaning, plumbing, repairing windmills and even vaccinating and castrating cattle.
Wonder Years of Jeff Bezos
7) Craze for Science
As a child, Jeff Bezos has a craze for science.
He sets up a science laboratory in his parent’s garage where he creates new science projects.
One of his early science inventions is an electric alarm.
Jeff uses the electric alarm to keep Christina Bezos and Mark Bezos, his half siblings, out of his room.
In short, the electric alarm works as a security system for Jeff.
8) Silver Knight Award
In addition to receiving the honor of being high school valedictorian, Jeff also attends the University of Florida for the Student Science Training Program in 1982 where he receives the Silver Knight Award.
9) Studies at Princeton University: Jeff Bezos
After high school, Bezos is accepted at Princeton University where he wants to study physics but his love for computers influence his academic decisions and he transfers his majors in electrical engineering and computer science.
Hence, in 1986, he graduates summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science from Princeton University where he gets elected to Tau Beta Pi and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies.
10) Early Jobs of Jeff Bezos
The idea for Amazon does not come to Jeff Bezos immediately after graduation; rather, he works for a time on Wall Street for a computer science company.
He then moves on to work for a company known as Fitel and helped them build a network for international trade.
Once done with this, Bezos works at Bankers Trust where he eventually becomes vice president.
Finally, Bezos works in the computer science department for D. E. Shaw and Co.
Amazon.com, founded by Jeff Bezos
11) Jeff Bezos Comes up with the Idea for Amazon.com
Amazon.com is world’s top online retail store.
So how long does it take Jeff Bezos to come up with such a brilliant business idea? Surprisingly, Jeff writes 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 pens down the business plan.
So from NY to Seattle is all what it takes Jeff Bezos to come up with the name Amazon.com and he registered the .com domain name of Amazon.
12) Origin of the Name of Amazon.com – etymology
An interesting thing that is common between Amazon.com and one of its competitor eBay is that both of these names are not the first choices of their founders.
eBay founder Pierre Omidyar wants “Echo Bay” as the name of the venture but cannot keep it as the name is already taken by some other company.
In the case of Amazon, Jeff initially plans to name it “Cadabra” (from Abracadabra).
However, when he tells his lawyer this, he mishears it and calls it “Cadaver” (meaning dead human body).
This association displeases Jeff and he decides to name the venture Amazon, inspired by the river Amazon.
13) Jeff Bezos Is a Notorious Manager
When Bezos first gets the idea from Amazon, he sets up his office in his garage and from the first moment, his colleagues and employees recognize him to be a person who gives a lot of attention to business details.
Portfolio.com describes Bezos as a notorious micromanager and a ‘happy-go-lucky mogul’ who wishes to know everything that happens in his company.
14) Amazon’s 1st Publicity
Amazon receives its first major publicity through Yahoo founder Jerry Yang.
Thanks to Jerry, Amazon is on Yahoo’s What’s Cool web page.
15) First Book that Sells on Amazon.com
The first item that is sold on Jeff’s Amazon.com is a science textbook titled “Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought”.
Other Ventures of Jeff Bezos
16) Blue Origin
Jeff Bezos’s love for science evolves 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 works on this project since 2000-2001 but it is only in 2006 that this venture becomes publicly known.
With Blue Origin, Jeff aims to make an ordinary man travel into space safely and also at a low cost.
17) Purchases Land for Blue Origin
For his human spaceflight startup company, ‘Blue Origin’, Jeff Bezos purchases a huge piece of land in Texas where he plans to build a launch and test flight facility.
One of his aims for founding the company is to decrease the cost of traveling to space and making the whole endeavor safe at the same time.
18) Blue Origin Loses a Prototype
In September 2011 ‘Blue Origin’ loses a prototype vehicle that is unmanned and gets lost while a test flight is in progress.
To the team, it seems as a disappointment, but to the world, it is testament to the advancement made by the company.
19) Space Exploration Project
As part of his scientific and space exploration projects, Jeff Bezos also funds an expedition in March 2012 to recover two powerful Saturn V first-stage rocket engines from the Atlantic Ocean.
These rocket engines are believed to be part of the five rocket engines that make up the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon.
20) Most Profitable Holiday Season
Jeff’s Amazon sees the holiday season of the year 2012 as one of the best and most profitable one.
What is so special about it? Amazon is able to sell around 306 items globally with each passing second, giving a total sale of an astonishing 26.5 million products.
21) Amazon Coins
Jeff Bezos announces the upcoming launch of Amazon Coins, which is a virtual form of currency that people can use to purchase the content of Kindle Fire.
The project launches in May 2013 and the virtual currency can be used to buy games, applications and in-app items.
When the Amazon Coins release, the company gives out tens of millions of dollar’s worth of coins to its US customers.
Jeff Bezos Charitable Work – Charities
22) Donations Jeff Bezos
The website, Newsmeat.com that covers all political donations made by celebrities and well known personalities, reports that as of September 2012, Bezos donates $16,000 to the United States Democrats in addition to donating $2000 to United States Republicans and $55,000 to special interests.
23) Donates $15 Million to Princeton University
In 2011, Bezos donates $15 million to Princeton University for building the Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics, dedicated to finding cures for neurological diseases.
24) Donates to Seattle’s Museum of History
In the same year, he also donates $10 million to Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry which is the largest donation ever given to the museum.
This amount is given to open a ‘Center for Innovation’ at the new location in South Lake Union.
Professional Success of Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos receives many awards and recognitions.
In 1999, he is named the Person of The Year by Time Magazine.
U.S News and World Reports choose Bezos as one of the best leaders in America in 2008 and in 2012; Fortune Magazine names Bezos as the Business Person of the Year.
26) Financial Success, Jeff Bezos
Financial success follows Bezos with the success of Amazon over the years.
In 2011, Forbes.com reports that the shares of Amazon rise by an astounding 55% because of which a significant $6.5 billion gets added to Jeff Bezos’s personal net worth.
Carnegie Mellon University bestows the honorary doctorate in Science and Technology to Jeff Bezos in 2008 and for the Amazon Kindle, Bezos and Gregg Zehr receive the Innovation Award by The Economist in 2011.
Bezos is also a member of the Executive Council of the Business Council for 2011 and 2012 and is a member of the Bilderberg Group as well.
28) The Best Living CEO in the World
According to Harvard Business Review, the top two CEOs in the world are Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs.
While Steve Jobs is at number one, Bezos ranks as the second best living CEO in the world and after Jobs death, Bezos is currently the best living CEO in the world.
29) Ranking with Different Lists by Forbes
According to Forbes.com, Bezos ranks at number 11 on the Forbes 400 list.
On the Forbes Powerful People list, he is at number 27 and on the Forbes Billionaires list he is at number 19.
Work Philosophy of Jeff Bezos
30) Makes His Executives Read Office Memos
In fact, during an interview with Charlie Rose in November 2012, Bezos confesses that he not only reads the memos himself but makes his senior executives read them as well.
Interestingly, Bezos sits along with his executives in a room half an hour before the meeting and everybody goes through the six page memos.
31) Makes His Executives Write Memos
On top of all this, Bezos makes his executives write the memos as well; each executive alternately writes the six-page memo.
According to Bezos, PowerPoint presentations are impressive but writing memos is harder and displays a skill and talent involving fully structured sentences.
32) Believes in the Power of Brainstorming
Jeff Bezos, with his passion for reading and writing, strongly believes in the power of brainstorming and the aid of a whiteboard.
He considers it an important tool for business because it encourages an energetic and innovative thought process.
33) Tries to Set the Culture of Taking Notes
As an inspiring leader, Jeff Bezos tries to set a culture of note taking during his business meeting.
He likes to scribble down his notes and thoughts in the margins of the memos and most of his senior executives follow suit.
34) Two Pizza Rule at Amazon (Jeff Bezos)
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.
35) Change Junkie
Jeff is known 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.
36) A to Z – logo Amazon (Smile)
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.
37) His Company Policy
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 at the customer service desk after every two years.
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.
38) 10,000 Year Clock
Jeff is a long-term thinker.
This is evident from the fact that he plans 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.
Jeff Bezos: Personal Interests
39) Is a Libertarian
Nick Hanauer describes Bezos as libertarian.
Hanauer is one of the earliest investors in the Amazon.
He and his wife donate $2.5 million in July 2012 to have the referendum for same sex marriage passed in Washington State.
40) Fond of Reading
It comes as no surprise that as the Amazon Empire is built in 1994 solely on books, its founder is also fond of reading.
Unfortunately for Bezos, he often has to read printed six page memos right before the business meetings with his senior executives.
41) Prefers Written Word Over Electronic Mediums
Fortune Magazine reports that Bezos has a strong preference for the written word using ink rather than electronic alternatives.
42) Promotes Reading
Jeff Bezos loves to read.
Not only that, he makes his employees adopt the same practice.
43) Jeff Bezos is a Fan of Ink and Paper
With Jeff Bezos running the top online retailer company Amazon.com, it will come as a surprise that Jeff is still a fan of ink and paper.
He prefers the written word to multimedia presentations.
Jeff Bezos Personality
44) Laughter is the Best Medicine
Laughter is often the best medicine.
Jeff surely believes in this.
He relieves his stress, disappointments and pressures through laughter.
45) Jeff’s Optimism
The famous dotcom crash in the early 2000 makes many online firms lose their share value.
Amazon.com is no different.
Its share price falls from $100 to as low as $6.
At that particular point, Jeff’s optimism is the key in getting the employees together and working their way up to the top at a time when everyone thinks that doing business online has no prospects left.
46) Deals with Stress
During an interview with the Academy of Achievement in 2001, Bezos is asked how he deals with things like stress, disappointment and pressure and he responds that his tool is laughter.
He explains that stress occurs when the problem is not being addressed properly, which is something he takes care of, identifying the issue and taking direct action to solve it.
47) Near Death Experience
In 2003, Jeff Bezos has a near death experience in a flying helicopter in West Texas
The helicopter has to take off but instead, it skitters along the field, flips over and lands in a creek.
48) Net Worth
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index lists Jeff Bezos as one of the wealthiest people in the world.
As of October 2012, the Index reports Bezos to have an estimated net worth of US$ 22.1 billion.
49) Helps Business Insider Inc.
At the start of April 2013, it is announced that Jeff Bezos, as CEO of Amazon, helps to raise $5 million of venture capital for Business Insider Inc.
The news website that is co-founded by internet analyst Henry Blodget gets its venture capital when Bezos uses his Bezos Expeditions, investment arm, to increase the startup company’s total funding to $18.3 million.
50) Jeff Bezos = Greatest Living CEO
The Harvard Business Review declares Jeff Bezos as the “Greatest living CEO.”
Recently, the list of 100 Best Performing CEOs features in the Harvard Business Review.
The most distinctive feature of this list is that they rate CEOs keeping in mind their long term performance, rather than short term performance.
Steve Jobs, the Apple founder ranks as the number 1 CEO and Jeff Bezos ranks at number 2.
Steve Jobs passes away last year, making Jeff the top performing CEO alive.
Both Steve and Jeff are able to do something most CEOs fail to achieve.
Both are able to exceed expectations by increasing their Shareholder’s ROI by a margin that most CEOs find unrealistic.
Steve’s effort enables shareholders to get almost 67 times of their investment.
Jeff achieves a whopping 124 times return on shareholder’s investment.