A 20-year old video of Jeff Bezos has recently gone viral on twitter with over 1.2 million views. The video shows how he went on to build Amazon’s empire on books after quitting his job.
But before that, let’s give you a little insight about Amazon and the young Bezos who started it.
In the year 1994, Jeff Bezos left his work and launched Amazon which went on to become the world’s biggest online retailer. Do you know what was the first thing sold on there? It was a book.
Amazon sold books in all 50 states and 45 different countries within a month of its launch. So yes, he started his business from selling books first.
But why books? That’s what he explains in this old video, along with many other things.
About this video
The analyst Brian Roemmele circulated the video. It is from the Special Libraries Conference in June 1997, three years after Bezos founded Amazon.
The video shows how Bezos, the richest man on earth, established a retail empire worth $881 billion.
The video starts with an introduction of the young Bezos where he explains who he is. He then explained how he got the idea for Amazon.
In his words, “Three years ago I was in New York City working for a quantitative hedge fund when I came across the startling statistic the web usage was growing at 2,300% a year. So I decided I would try and find a business plan that made sense in the context of that growth, and I picked books as the first best product to sell online.”
Why to start with books?
Why to start with books when there were so many other options as well?
According to Bezos, he chose books as his first product to sell online because of the endless options.
Bezos explained, “Books were great as the first because books are incredibly unusual in one respect, that is, there are more items in the book category than there are in any other category by far.”
Bezos said that there are over 3 million different books worldwide active in print at any given time across all languages. There were more books than CD’s, he further added.
“So when you have that many items you can literally build a store online that couldn’t exist any other way,” he said.
Bezos considered music to be the second-best option citing that there are about 200,000 active music CDs at any given time.
“It’s still day one”
If you ever get around to see the warehouses of Amazon, you’ll see signs that say, “It’s still day one.” That’s the motto of Amazon and its founder, a phrase he even mentions in his old interview.
He said, “What’s really incredible about this is that this is day one – this is the very beginning.”
Bezos ended the interview by saying, “I think a millennia from now, people will look back and say, ‘Wow, the late 20th century was a great time to be alive on this planet.’”
So that’s the whole story about the beginning of Amazon. Did you get inspired yet?
Until next time, goodbye!