Jeff Bezos has become a household name since his online business www.amazon.com took off. Originally set up as a place for folks across America to buy books, in recent years it has become a big promoter of digital reading and media, a place to sell anything to anyone.
Jeff was not born into a rich family, so how did he end up sitting on top of the publishing world? As part of our series “What can we learn from…?”, let’s look at three lessons we can learn from the life of Jeff Bezos, founder and C.E.O. of amazon.com.
Do what you love: Jeff’s grandfather (on his mother’s side) knew something about working with his hands. He was a regional director of the US Atomic Energy Commission in New Mexico. Jeff himself always showed a mechanical inclination – even once trying to dismantle his crib as a toddler.
When he grew older, Jeff put his knowledge of complicated systems to work and studied computer sciences, eventually landing a job on Wall St.
Follow the market: Although his job on Wall St. was going well, Jeff kept hearing about this “internet” thing everywhere he went. So leaving a high-paid position with his firm, Jeff decided to strike out on his own to start a webpage where he would take advantage of this new trend in the market. The niche he chose? Books.
Use the law to your advantage: A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling held that online business don’t need to pay sales tax when selling to out of state customers. Knowing that even a small advantage could make the difference between life and death for his new business endeavor, Bezos chose Washington State as his company’s new headquarters. Because the state had a small population, most of his customers would end up paying lower prices and that would make him more competitive.
Today, Jeff Bezos is valued at around $27.6 billion. He gives generously to charities, keeps investing in new business ventures (including the Washington Post) and strives to continually improve his customers’ experience at amazon.com. His next goal: using drones to deliver orders to amazon customers within the next five years!
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