A short history of Amazon.com

A short history of Amazon.com


Jeff Bezos //Wikipedia

Amazon got established on the 5th of July 1994 in Seattle, Washington, by Jeff Bezos. The history of the website is one of its kind. With now more than 351,000 employees all over the world Amazon belongs to the biggest companies world wide. On this amazing website you can find everything from weird Chinese beauty products to really expensive caviar.

On 5th of July 1994 the first version of Amazon was launched. During that period of time the website didn’t had the popular name it has today. Against public belief the first version of amazon.com was called cadabra.com and it also didn’t had the variety of products we know and appreciate today. cadabra.com started out as a online bookstore which already generated 20.000$/per week after the first two months of its appearance. The change to Amazon.com only happened because one of Bezos lawyers misheard the name as “cadaver”.
The domain cadabra.com still belongs to Jeff Bezos.

In September 1994 Bezos considered buying the domain name Relentless.com but discarded the idea due to his friends telling him that the name was sounding sinister.
By looking through the dictionary Jeff Bezos settled with the name Amazon because of three reasons:

  1. The word describes a place which is “exotic” and “different”. Just what he wanted for his new website
  2. and because of the Amazon River which is the biggest river in the world. Bezos wanted his online store to be the biggest in the world
  3. A name started with the letter A should be preferred cause in any alphabetical list the name will appear on top.



Amazons First Products and Logo

When Bezos first started out, he created a list of the 20 products that he thought will be highly profitable. From this list he choose the five most promising products which included:


  • CDs
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Software
  • Videos
  • Books


The original Amazon.com design

When it came down to making a first step in the online marketing world he settles with books. He knew that there was a large demand on books worldwide and the low price of books along the huge number of titles available to print made it the best choice he could have taken during that time. Only two months after Amazons first online appearance it already earned over 20,000$/per week.
The memorable Amazon logo with he arrow from A to Z was incorporated on June 19, 2000. The arrow makes the logo look like a smile but more importantly the company wants to show that they offer any product available from A to Z.





The Amazon logo how we know it today



Jeff Bezos Businessplan

Jeff Bezos initial businessplan was considered to slow because stockholders couldn’t see that the company would make any profit in the long run. Bezos planted his hopes on a slow growth which in the end turned out to be the right choice. For the five years Amazon was in the red numbers. It was only in the first quarter of 2001 where the company first made a profit of $5 Million. This first profit margin although little enabled skeptics to believe that Bezos unusual business plan might really work out.
In 1999 Jon Bezos was Time Magazines Person the the Year.
During the following years Amazon took off and became the worlds biggest and most popular online shop.



Amazons Employee Numbers

An Amazon warehouse in Germany //Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Amazons numbers of employees skyrocketed over the years. With “only” 30,000 full-time employees in 2011 in the USA and more than 351,000 full-time and part-time worldwide by the ende of

2016. Amazons employee numbers increased by more that 1070% in just 16 years (2017).



The Amazon GO Store

Amazon go store //Photo from theverge.com

In December 2016 the first Amazon convenience store was opened in Seattle. The original idea came up a few months earlier on October 11, 2016. This unusual convenience store works different compared to Walmart for example. By walking through the store your online Amazon account got charged with the items you want to buy. The store also eliminated checkouts and especially checkout lines by placing sensors at the exit doors which automatically finalize the bill online in the customers Amazon account.




Amazons Products and Services

Today Amazon offers a wide variety of different services and products:

  • AmazonFres
  • Amazon Prime
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Alexa
  • Appstore
  • Amazon Drive
  • Echo
  • Kindle
  • Fire Tablets
  • Fire TV
  • Video
  • Kindle Store
  • Music
  • Music Unlimited
  • Amazon Digital Game Store
  • Amazon Studios
  • AmazonWireless


Visit Amazon


Featured Image: The Wall Street Journal


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