Emergence of Amazon: From Garage to Multinational Company

Sudha Luitel, Investopaper

Breaking the stereotype of physical shopping, Amazon introduced the retail business as online e-commerce. In today’s context, Amazon is an American based multinational company which at present is responsible for shipping more than 45 million products all around the world. Amazon is one of the world’s largest e-commerce market place, AI assistant provider and cloud computing platforms as measured by revenue and market capitalization. Amazon was found by Jeff Bezos in 1994. The company’s headquarter is located in Seattle, United States of America.

Business

Amazon’s most well-known business is Amazon, which sells a tremendous number of items. It operates in many countries around the world. Amazon also offers subscriptions to its streaming services, Prime Video and Amazon Music, and members can access the content through their Amazon devices. Amazon Studios produces some of the programmings for Prime Video, and it became the first streaming service to win Oscars in 2017 thanks to “Manchester by the Sea”.

Another major business for the company is its Amazon Web Services, which provides a variety of back-end technical services for other websites. Amazon sells and delivers various kinds of goods over the internet. Internet users, suppliers, and producers can sell any goods on the website. Amazon is best known due to its four principles;

  • Customer obsession rather than competitor focus
  • Passion for invention
  • Commitment to operational excellence
  • Long term thinking

Amazon is more focused on creating a positive impact on customers, employees, small businesses, the economy and the community it is located. It provides employment to more than 275,000 people in the USA and has created more than 680,000 jobs in the USA in addition to the direct hires.

Amazon serves its customers to its level best in its own innovative ways. Packaging innovations is one of its best examples. It believes in shipping in its own container with frustration-free packaging so that it can satisfy its customer wants with excellence. Likewise, it has invested in building the world-class delivery network to provide its customers fast and free shipping within the desired time.

Amazon’s product lines available at its website include several books, DVDs, music CDs, videotapes and software, apparel, baby products, consumer electronics, cosmetics and beauty product, food, groceries, health and personal-care items, scientific and industrial supplies, kitchen items, jewelry, watches, lawn and garden items, musical instruments, sport equipment’s, tools, automotive items, toys, games and so on.

 Amazon has won a number of awards and recognition since its initial days. Some of the most recognized awards are the award for the most valuable global brand, 2019, the brand finance world’s most valuable brand, 2018, 50 most engaged companies by Forbes in the year 2017, Most Trustworthy Company of the year 2016 by the Fortune 100.

Amazon has made an investment in the US about more than $270 billion including infrastructure and compensation to its employees as dated from 2010 to 2018. In 2018 alone, it has invested $72 billion in the USA, including infrastructure and compensation provided to the employees. From 2010 to 2018, it is estimated that Amazon’s investment contributed up to $168 billion to the GDP of the USA.

Initial Journey of Amazon

Jeff Bezos moved to Seattle to tap into the potentials of the internet market by opening an online bookstore. He made the decision by drawing up a list of possible products that he could sell through the Internet, including CDs, software, and hardware. In the end, books were the obvious choice because of the wide range of titles in existence. Another advantage of an internet store was a then-recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that mail-order catalogs did not have to pay taxes in states where they did not have a physical presence. So, Bezos paid zero tax for the products he sold via the internet. Jeff and his wife MacKenzie set everything up in their two-bedroom house, with extension cords running down to the garage, and three Sun micro stations on tables that Jeff made from $60 doors. Ironically, staff meetings would take place at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. When everything was ready, Jeff and MacKenzie hurled up 300 people to try the test site when it was up and running, and the code worked seamlessly on different computer platforms. After opening the website on July 16, 1995, they told their 300 beta users to spread the word around and set up a bell to ring every time Amazon made a sale. The Bell did not stay there for long as Amazon abruptly exploded selling books in all 50 states and 45 foreign countries within a month. By September 1995, the sales had summed up to $20,000 a week.

The nineties were intense days at the company. Bezos’s ‘uplifting’ defeat was linked to the network effect – where goods or services become increasingly valuable as more people use them. The Internet was still fresh in the 1990s, and companies were still getting a grasp of how all these things worked.

With a team of extraordinary people in his senior leadership ranks, Bezos was convinced that “If we get this right, we might be a $1 billion company by 2000.” Jeff Bezos and his engineers created a system one-click ordering process to further ease the use of Amazon in the late 90s. The system was determined to preload customers’ credit card information and shipping address, offering to execute a purchase by simply pressing one button. Amazon added clothing sales to the product line in October 2002, after partnering up with hundreds of retailers.

Today

The success of Amazon served as a gateway for Jeff to finally realize his wild ambitions.  Jeff Bezos’s life story shows that he achieved all his success with his strong desire to learn new technologies, hard work and the distinctive leadership qualities he possesses.

Till today’s date, Amazon has more than 61 subsidiaries all over the world.  Jeff Bezos is the richest man on the earth’s net worth of $110.1 billion. He is the CEO since 1986 and owns nearly 12% of the stake of Amazon. The net worth of Amazon as of 22 October 2019 has reached $883.29 billion.

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