November 12, 2015

Innovator of the Month: Jeff Bezos

Photo courtesy of Business Insider.
Who is Jeff Bezos?

Jeff Bezos is an American entrepreneur who is the founder, and current CEO of the world-famous e-commerce website, He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico back in 1964 and was legally adopted by his stepfather when he was 15 years old. Bezos went to Princeton University, studying computer science, as well as, electrical engineering.

In 1994, Bezos’ career would take a major turn, for this was the year that he founded He and his wife had left their jobs at D.E. Shaw & Co to move to the West Coast. They ended up moving to Seattle, Washington, mainly because Bezos did not want to miss out on the opportunity, of the soon to be internet boom.

In the year 2000, Bezos was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. This was the first of many awards that Bezos would earn for his success with Amazon. He also won the 2012 Businessperson of the Year awarded by Fortune.

Today, Amazon is flourishing and has well over 117,000 employees worldwide. The e-commerce site not shown any signs of slowing down their growth. Let’s face it, Amazon is the Google of e-commerce.

Fun Facts about Amazon 

  • Amazon was not the company’s original name. It was supposed to be called “Cadabra,” as in “abracadabra,” but a short time later, Bezos selected the name Amazon. This was for a couple of reasons like, amazon starting with the letter “A”, and at the time websites were ranked based on alphabetical order, and because of the reference to the Amazon rainforest, with it being the largest forest on Earth.

  • When Amazon first went live, it originally sold books. This was mainly because Bezos decided books would have the largest profit margin among the emerging Internet boom.

  • Amazon’s logo today shows an arrow pointing from A to Z, meaning that they will deliver everything to everyone, no matter where they are located!

  • Back in 2012, Amazon’s website was down for almost an hour, and as a result, the company missed nearly $5.7 million in sales. Talk about really missing an opportunity!

Why Jeff Bezos Will Go Down in History

Jeff Bezos will surely go down in history for many reasons. First of all, his strong dedication to his work and drive to succeed are great examples of what makes an American success story. Also, his willingness to take a chance and move from New York and travel out to travel out west to start Amazon is a great example of the success that can come from taking risks.

Bezos will also go down in history for his unique personality. It is no rumor that Jeff Bezos can be a very difficult boss to deal with. He expects quite a bit from his employees, including working in excess of 60 hours a week, constantly providing new ideas and innovation to help propel the company forward, and most importantly encouraging them to never waste his time. 

At one point, Bezos hired a leadership coach to help him better handle his outbursts and frustration. Some of his typical sarcastic responses, according to past Amazon employees, were, “I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?” and “Do I need to go down and get the certificate that says I’m CEO of the company to get you to stop challenging me on this?”

Oddly enough, Bezos will also be remembered for funding a 10,000 year clock that is being built inside a mountain located in West Texas. Bezos funded and is building this clock to serve as a reminder for people to integrate long-term thinking.

Lastly, Jeff Bezos will be remembered as being among the lowest-paid tech CEOs, with making just over $81,000 annually.

In addition to a having a passionate personality, Bezos also has plenty of useful and effective business knowledge and advice that can help motivate young entrepreneurs to keep going when the going gets rough. Feel free to check it out the hyperlink, and maybe it will motivate you enough to start something great of your own!

Do you have an innovator you’d like the Tek Team to write about next month? Let us know in the comment section below! 

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