Jeff Bezos’ childhood:
Spending summers laying brick and tending to cattle at his Grandfather’s ranch in Southern Texas, 18-year-old Jeff Bezos said he wanted to ‘build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2-3 million people who would be in orbit.’ “The whole idea,” Jeff said to the news, “is to preserve the Earth. The goal was to be able to evacuate humans. The planet would become a park.”
Bizarre, right? Welcome to the mind of a successful entrepreneur.
How Amazon started:
The year was 1994. 30-year-old Jeff Bezos, working at Wall Street, noticed the Internet revolution.
In Jeff’s words: “The wakeup call was finding this startling statistic that web usage in the spring of 1994 was growing at 2,300 percent a year. You know, things just don’t grow that fast. It’s highly unusual, and that started me about thinking, ‘What kind of business plan might make sense in the context of that growth?’”
He quit his job in the pursuit of starting an Internet company.
Amazon’s initial funding:
“The first initial start-up capital for Amazon.com came primarily from my parents, and they invested a large fraction of their life savings in what became Amazon.com. And you know, that was a very bold and trusting thing for them to do because they didn’t know. My dad’s first question was, “What’s the Internet?” Okay. So he wasn’t making a bet on this company or this concept. He was making a bet on his son, as was my mother. So, I told them that I thought there was a 70 percent chance that they would lose their whole investment, which was a few hundred thousand dollars, and they did it anyway,” said Jeff at an interview for the Academy of Achievement.
Follow up funding:
Amazon raised a series A of $8M from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1995. In 1997, Amazon went public to raise additional capital. By 1999, the value of the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers investment in Amazon created returns of over 55,000%.
In 1994, weeks after starting out, Amazon was doing $20,00 per week, in sales. In 1997, Amazon had its IPO at $18 a share.
Today, Amazon stands at 984 $ a share, with a market cap. of over 472 Billion USD.
I take my hat off and bow to Jeff Bezos’ success.
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