Time Magazine's 1999 "Man of the Year" Jeffery Preston Bezos (1964-), founder and CEO of amazon.com was born on this day in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He dreamed of being an astronaut as a child.
In 1986, Bezos graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. His path to history was the "wake-up call" of "reading that Web use was growing 2,300 percent a year."
Realizing the potential of on-line shopping, he launched Amazon out of his garage in July, 1995 as a place to order books, cds, toys, and software. By September 1999, the Seattle-based company was the most frequently visited shopping site on the Internet with over 12 million customers in 160 countries.
"People passionately believe in the future of the internet," Bezos urged. "Our vision is to build a place to find and discover anything our customers might want to buy."
In 1999, about $15 billion worth of goods was purchased on line. While experts said amazon.com had a 29 percent jump in holiday sales in 2004, the Customer Respect Group gave the site its highest "Customer Repect" rating for simplicity, responsiveness, privacy, attitude, transparency, and principles.
Bezos's competitive strategy is to be "obsessed about customers, not competitors." About the Internet, the successful entrepreneur said, "This is a big, huge, complicated space. And it's going to be as complex, with as much variety and as many winners, as the physical world."
Make history... have fun doing it.