How did Amazon start?

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Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos, an American businessman who used to work on Wall Street in various areas of related fields. On July 5, 1994, Bezos started Amazon as an online bookstore which locally competed with other booksellers such as Barnes and Noble.

Amazon was not the first name of it but it was originally called Cadabra, Inc. However, Bezos’ lawyer suggested that the name should be changed to another. So, Bezos chose the term Amazon signifying jungle and a place that is exotic and unique. Moreover, the Amazon River was the world’s biggest river as he envisioned that his store would be the biggest in the world.

The online store had its early operation at Bezos’ garage located in Bellevue, Washington. The domain name relentless.com was purchased and initially used later was changed to amazon.com. Eventually, Amazon expanded its scope of service other than being a bookstore. It also offers other convenience services like Free Super Savers Shipping. It also extended its services to streaming music and videos.

Today, it has been the most popular online store in the world.

Key Timeline

  • From 1994-1998 it started as an online bookstore.
  • From 1998 up to 2004, Amazon began to offer services aside from books. It also added music and video materials to its products like DVDs and compact discs.
  • From 2005 until 2011, it extended its service to cloud computing with Amazon AWS as well as the launching of the Amazon Kindle for eBooks purchasing.
  • Amazon then expanded its scope to streaming services through Amazon Music and Amazon Video from 2011 to 2015. In addition, Amazon restaurant services like food delivery and later, the introduction of Amazon Prime Air in 2016.

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About the author

Pieter Borremans

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