Amazon as a name is indicative of an entity that powers itself by its sheer size, volume, and diversity. Nothing stands in its way. Everything about it is mighty, be it in the form of a South American river which is said to push back the significantly vast Pacific Ocean with its sheer volume and speed when it meets it, or a mighty worldwide enterprise which is pushing and changing the very landscape of commerce, buying, selling, and servicing in ways unimaginable just a few years back.
While nature powers the river Amazon, it’s the acumen, foresight and daring on the part of Jeffrey Preston Bezos, 57, popularly known as Jeff Bezos, an American investor, industrialist, media baron and internet entrepreneur that powers Amazon, the conglomerate.
Under his able stewardship as the entity’s founder-CEO, so definingly successful has been the enterprise that the world today associates the name with just the enterprise, and not with the word’s hoary past. It has also made Bezos the richest individual according to established sources.
An enterprise they say is a reflection of the qualities of the person at its helm. It certainly holds for Jeff Bezos and his enterprise, Amazon. Both stand for success, ingenuity, and most of all, an out and out focus on customer needs be it in the present or foreseeable future, irrespective of the latter’s size or strategic worth. These besides, there are traits to Bezos’s personality that reflect on all the enterprise and endeavour he attempts. We mention some below.
There were others before Amazon but nobody these days even remembers them. Why? Because Jeff the dogged competitor quietly ate them for breakfast! And not a few but over a hundred! Yes, Jeff Bezos does not believe in competition! He believes he is there to be. And only him.
For this reason, from as early as 1998 when the world was very fresh to the idea of e-commerce to as late as January 2021, Jeff Bezos through Amazon has bought, bought, and bought some more. And what he can’t buy (whatever be the reason), he tries to invest in. Either ways, he staves competition and makes Amazon a Giant that’s only growing by the day.
Decades back when Amazon entered the scene, it’s founder Bezos wasn’t known for philanthropy unlike some of his peer. But that has changed and he is today associated with some of the biggest charitable causes. Year 2011 saw him contribute USD 10 million towards Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry and then again bestowing a sum of USD 15 million to Princeton’s Neuroscience Institute. His defining moment came when in 2012, he donated USD 2.5 million to ‘United for Marriage’, a same-sex marriage initiative.
These besides, he is known to have donated USD 2 million towards the education and support of the homeless which brought him recognition in 2018 as one among America’s top 50 donors. Year 2020 saw Bezos pledge USD 10 billion to fund the cause of climate change. This single contribution is said to have the ability to bring real and perceptible change to humanity’s endeavour to save the earth.
His net worth today touches USD 196 billion, and he flies all over the world in his Gulfstream Jet. That said, there is a frugal side to the richest person in the world. In fact, one of his favourite sayings (which certainly has a sway in making him who he is today!) is ‘frugality drives innovation’ exemplified across the organization by means of the “Door-desk awards”. These were instituted and are presented to employees and associates who come up with workable and solid ideas to save money for the organization by tweaking the existing ways of working.
Incidentally, the ‘door-desk’ idea came into being when early in Amazon’s life, Bezos and colleagues turned used doors into tables by putting a leg at each corner of the door! A perfectly workable desk came into being, and so too an idea that there’s nothing like innovation to save money- given that despite its size, Amazon works on wafer-thin margins and has to depend upon volumes to make money and survive.
Calculated risk taker
The story goes that Bezos was great at Fintech from the time he first came into employment in 1986. Having spent time with known entities, he last worked with D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P., a multinational investment management company as its VP at just 30 years of age.
And when things looked great in employment, he took the leap into entrepreneurship with a loan of USD 300000 (USD Three hundred thousand) from his parents while even warning early investors of a 70% chance that his enterprise might fail.
What was initially one of the world’s first online bookstore is today the front runner in practically every product that gets manufactured on the planet. All this was possible because he knew of the risks and still took the plunge.
What started as an online bookstore is today a store that sells everything and is known for its verve to serve customers with any and every service that can alleviate the latter’s pain- even when they don’t exist in the present. Moving from a bookstore, he took the initiative to diversify the focus of his baby into selling everything online and is today known to involve even software and cloud-services! It incidentally is also an internet company that is known for its prowess in digital solutions!
Looked from the perspective of an enterprise, he has mapped out and put in place every technology that can only make his clients (and they could be anywhere on the planet and in huge numbers!) extremely happy. This is the direct result of Bezos’s own experience with experimenting with technologies be it while he was in education or these days when he is the richest entrepreneur in the world.
His acquisitions thru Amazon too point towards his experimenting streak. Introducing the likes of kindle and cornering close to half of the market for the product is a masterstroke only the likes of Bezos can put in place. And by doing so, he has left the others including Apple a distant second!
Bezos and Amazon continue to surprise the world in different ways with amazing and thought-provoking products and services. We haven’t seen the last of them for sure, and only time will tell where this Amazon of an organization is likely to take the world of commerce. After all, it flows fast, and it is BIG in every sense!