Jeff Bezos Biography
Everyone in this world was not born with a silver spoon in the mouth some have to work very hard in order to survive in this world. In the race of this life, some get fail and others set an example for the whole world. This paper is about the man who becomes the role model for not only this generation but many after this. Jeff Bezos, a centi-billionaire, the richest man of the contemporary world, but he has not always been a billionaire as he is today. His childhood was very unusual and he had to face many family problems. His biographer Stones suggests that his unusual childhood may have contributed to his obsession with success. This obsession with success and how he rose from the ashes and shine in the sky is the reason to choose him over other billionaires and also he is the first to reach a landmark of scoring a century of billions.
On January 12, 1964, Jaffrey Preston Bezos was born in New Mexico and later moved to Huston, Texas after his mother took divorce from his father and married Cuban immigrant. As a young child, Bezos was interested in science and technology. Bezos was a brilliant student, as he was a high school valedictorian, a Silver Knight Award winner and a National Merit Scholar. He was graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. He worked on a startup before he started working at Wall Street, where he turned up company’s youngest vice president. After working four years in Wall Street he left his job and shifted to Seattle where he started his own company. Life is not a fairy tale everyone has to face the music of life in order to get to some point. The road to success of Bezos was not also not all butterflies and rainbows. He started from selling books and from his garage with his wife and two programers. He had to face a lot of difficulties from his competitors, it was only when he invested in Google and started making a profit. But with all the hurdles and hardships in the way, Bezos went on to build the worlds most consumer-centric company.
Amazon was started as an online bookstore, from a two-bedroom house, with a garage. Within the mouth of the opening of the website on July 16, 1995, Amazon started selling books and within no time they were selling in 50 states and 45 other countries and by September 1995 the sales rose to $20,000 per week. After that Bezos was ready to take the company public with IPO, and he started recruiting large amounts of people, who would formally become J-Team, included employees from some established companies. Going public means more competitors and Baren and Noble were the biggest among them with a sale of $2 billion, whereas, Amazon with $16 million in the year 1996. On May 12, 1997, a lawsuit was filed against Amazon by their rivals Barnes and Nobles, for their claim to be “Earth’s Largest Bookstore”. This lawsuit proved to be a blessing in disguise as it only gave Amazon more attention. After a year of lawsuit Amazon finally went public and later Bezos took Amazon to new heights by changing their product line “Earth’s Largest Bookstore” to “Books, Music, and More”. Jeff Bezos always tried to create things easier for his customers and he created a 1-Click ordering system. The system preloads the customer’s details and offers to execute a purchase with just pressing a button, later this system was officially trademarked to Amazon.com. Jeff Bezos strongly believe in innovation and for him, the survival and growth of any company are in producing new things all along.
Amazon was rapidly growing in the nineties and experimenting with new products and services. Some failed to produce the desired result and some helped them to grow further. Amazon Prime, which offered two days free shipping within the USA against $79 per year, proved to be a great success, not even in the country but Prime also led Amazon’s launch in Italy, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, and the UK over the next decade. Amazon took another step towards innovation when they introduced a series of e-reader “The Amazon Kindle” in 2007. With this introduction, Bezos altered the way people acquired the books and established a market of the electronic book internationally. The motto of innovation led Amazon to introduce many new services as in 2006, Bezos launched Amazon Web Services which allows customers to use Amazon’s online infrastructure. Due to this innovation in technology and product lines, Amazon left its competitors far behind and ruling the e-commerce.
Pioneering e-commerce and becoming an important figure in the world of the internet is just one portion of his goals, with his innovative mind and fearsome decisions Bezos sets foot in a new world. Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2004, an aerospace company, aimed at the development of new space technology. Blue Origin carried out its first operation on November 24, 2015, when it sent its first rocket to suborbital space and landed it on a landing pad during a test of their New Shepard space vehicle. Before this, no other company has managed to pull off such an operation. This success takes the world a step closer to open space travel for the general public. After his space operation, Bezos purchased The Washington Post in 2013, against $250 million and set foot in media.
The road to becoming the first centi-billionaire was never been easy for Bezos, as they say, “many greats failed many times before they became successful”. Every time Bezos faced any failure he came back more strongly. In fact, he is never afraid of failures as he says, “If the size of your failures isn’t growing, you’re not going to be inventing at a size that can actually move the needle”. The company faced many failures but every time they came back strongly. The biggest among them is said to the Fire Phone. Amazon introduced its smartphone in 2014 but it failed to compete against Androids and iPhones due to which Amazon faced a $170 million loss. However, Bezos learned from his Fire Phone failure and accelerate its Echo efforts and developed its voice assistant Alexa. In his annual letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos told them that Amazon’s biggest successes have come from failures. He also said that the company will continue experimenting even if we have multibillion-dollars failures, he further wrote, “Of course, we won’t undertake such experiments cavalierly. We will work hard to make good bets. But not all good bets will ultimately pay out”. Everyone fails in their life but those who come back strongly wins, as Jeff Bezos has done every time.
Rising from the ashes and getting up the after every failure needs a very strong character. It needs a man with strong will power and to stand fast on his decisions. This is what Jeff Bezos has done all his life. He took the hard decisions in his life and with his self-belief and hard work he proved his decisions right. He is the kind of person who takes his decisions and then proves them right. Bezos never settle for the good he always looks for the best in his life. He is a self-driven man who achieved everything in life with hands. He never just went with the flow of life but tried to take a step ahead from the rest of the world. He is a hardcore realist who weighs all the possibilities and probabilities. He is of the habit of thinking in a practical manner and does not takes his decisions on instinct. Another trait of his character is that he is highly competitive he not only craves for competition but also looks to eliminate it.
Jeff Bezos has also great leadership qualities which made him the richest man on the earth and his company into a giant of e-commerce. Bezos is considered to be a transformational leader. According to the theorist of transformational leadership, Bernard M.Bass, “leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purpose and mission of the group and when they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group”. Moreover, transformational leaders, like a slave leader, focus on the needs of others rather than of leader, it focuses more on the organizational objective. The transformational leader inspires motivation, confidence. Moreover, he encourages autonomy and creativity in his followers, employers are encouraged to grow and develop. All this means that you have to be on toes while working for Bezos, he has high expectation from his employees. This also makes him a hard leader but to get on the top you cannot be soft all the time. But he is not harsh most of the time, he has a strong sense of sarcastic humor and excellent memory which helps him to create an atmosphere good for work. He makes his employees think like owners, he always promotes the thinking of even a common employee. He always has a small group of team of around five to seven members who provide with new ideas. He always likes to work in small groups so he can interact and listen to everyone in the team. He has his famous two pizza rule which implies that if the food served in the meeting exceeds two boxes of pizza then there are too many people in that meeting.
Jeff Bezos is not the kind of person who just gives the orders from the top but he himself is a manager. He likes to monitor everything on his own, he believes in a friendly environment at work as long as nothing is wrong. He likes to deal with almost every problem by himself and check over his employees due to which he is considered to be a demanding micromanager. He has always an enormous amount of energy that might disturb most associates comfort zones. He has always been an unorthodox manager. He never likes someone who complains about working long hours. He himself read the complaints from the customers because he believes that this is for the betterment of his own company as he regards customers prior to all things. All these qualities of Jeff Bezos made him first centi billionaire of the world. He will always be remembered for his visionary and innovative leadership. He showed with his leadership qualities that how you can make a difference being a good leader of a business organization.
To work with such an ambitious, innovative and good leader is a dream of every ambitious young man who wants to give his hundred percent and get the reward in the same amount. With his transactional kind of leadership, he demands from employees to work hard for him 4 years and he will make you a millionaire. But one has to work up to his hundred percent not for 1 or 2 years but for the whole 4 years. As we can see that many Amazonists quit their jobs after 4 years for a sweet rest spot. Another reason to work for him is that he promotes creative ideas and gives freedom to his employees to come up with new and creative ideas. Bezos is also an experimentalist which makes another strong reason work with him. An ambitious and creative man could crave nothing but an innovative and experimental environment, and more importantly a place where his ideas will be valued on merit rather than on his rank. As Bezos himself is known for thinking out of the box, this will provide an atmosphere to learn more for me. Working under the mentor who is the richest man on earth is the greatest thing could possibly happen to anyone and I would love to choose his mentorship over any other because of his qualities. Good mentors are the one who does not take their roles lightly and feel committed to the mentee. The willingness to share skills, expertise and knowledge is also an important trait of a good mentor which is present in Jeff Bezos. He likes to share his ideas and his strategies and also involves the employee in the decision. Moreover, he exhibits enthusiasm in the work, like any good mentor. He has so much energy in the work that everybody feels as if their job has meaning and they are doing something productive which is a good thing for anyone who is new in the field. Bezos is also known for is paternalistic relation with the employees who are near to him as it is also important for a good mentor to create a good relationship with their mentee which will make him work hard and one can also learn more in a friendly environment.
There are many qualities to be admired in Jeff Bezos but I personally admire his self-belief and decision power. He was not afraid of failure and always ready to go for innovation. This is because of his self-belief. He never loses hope and always keeps on moving and shaping the future as he wants it to be. He also takes hard decisions which makes him different from ordinary people. He left his settled life when he started Amazon and proved it right with his hard work and confidence. The time at which he took that decision to start a company is also important as it was the beginning of the internet world and there were not many rivals. Another trait of his personality is that he never settles for less and always looks for more. This urge for more makes him disguise from ordinary people.
One can get loads of motivation from a figure like Jeff Bezos but for me, the most motivating thing is that he never fears failure. Which is to me is the reason for his success today, if he had not left the job in order to follow his dream out of fear of failure he would have never been here at the first place. He of the philosophy that it’s better to have failed than to never have tried. As he once said, “I did not think I would regret trying and failing and I suspect I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all”. He believes that for every failure there is often much bigger success beyond that. To me, this is the most motivating thing for my whole life that never to be afraid of failure and always come back stronger. Because success and failure always go in hand in hand, and you can never get anything big if you do not take a risk in life. Many people fail in their lives because of the fear that they might fail if they take any risk and due which they start compromising with life. Bezos, whereas, took the difficult path and followed his dream and passion, and that is why he is the richest man on earth with a net worth of 153.8 billion USD
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