Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos - Michael Feldstein Jeff Bezos: Get Big Fast...

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Michael Feldstein Jeff Bezos: Get Big Fast When Jeff Bezos was a Montessori school student, he would become so focused on one task that his teacher would have to pick up his chair and physically move him to his next activity. This determination followed Bezos through his young life, eventually allowing him to become one of the forefathers of e-commerce with his creation of Amazon.com. From a very early stage in the company, Bezos operated under the motto “Get Big Fast.” This could not be truer of his garage start-up, for in ten years Amazon.com has grown to become a 14 billion dollar behemoth. Bezos did not fall backwards into fortune in any sense. Bezos was a standout early on, hinting at his potential for success. He was named valedictorian for the Palmetto High School class of 1982 as well as the Best Science Student. In his valedictorian speech, the zealous young Bezos spoke about his aspirations to build space colonies (Spector 6). Bezos moved on to study at Princeton where he graduated summa cum laude in 1986 with a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Hoovers). After graduation, Bezos declined offers from large companies such as Intel and Bell Labs to work for a startup financial telecommunications firm called Fitel. At Fitel, Bezos managed a team of twelve programmers and analysts working on Equinet, a network designed to electronically connect brokers, investors and banks (Spector 12). In 1988, Bezos began working at Bankers Trust Company, only to become the youngest vice president in company history ten months later. Quite similar to his last job, Bezos - 1 -
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Michael Feldstein was selected to manage a team of programmers that computerized the bank’s system for client notification of companies’ rate of return on assests, transactions, interest earned and other information. BTWorld, the name of this network, attracted contempt from some of the more seasoned employees who thought that relaying information on hard copy should and would never be supplanted. Despite wanting to get out of the financial industry, Bezos was intrigued and later hired in 1990 by the cutting-edge Wall Street hedge-fund firm D.E. Shaw & Co as a vice president. As the hedge-fund market began to diminish in 1994, David Shaw assigned Bezos to research commercial opportunities on the internet. In his investigation, Bezos discovered that internet usage was growing at a rate of 2,300 percent a year (Tadjer). Bezos, astonished by this, noted “It’s not something we see in our everyday life. But things just don’t grow this fast out of Petri dishes. It just doesn’t happen.” From here, Bezos brainstormed twenty possible products to be sold online. He finished with books at the top of the list and music a distant second. In Bezos’ eyes, the case for selling books online was very strong. As opposed to the music industry in which six record companies had a stranglehold on distribution, the book industry was in the midst of an antitrust lawsuit by the American Booksellers Association against a few large
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Jeff Bezos - Michael Feldstein Jeff Bezos: Get Big Fast...

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