Amazon started as a small online bookstore and developed into an internationally renowned online retailer with more than 300 million users worldwide. The birth of one of the world’s largest online mega-shops in 1994 started in a garage in the Seattle area at 10704 NE 28th Street in Bellevue, Washington.
Cadabra or Amazon
After all, the idea for Amazon got born as early as 1994. The computer scientist Jeff Bezos, just 30 years old, created a sales platform on the Internet, initially for books, as the margin was right and they were easy to ship.
Consequently, Jeff Bezos quit his job in New York on Wall Street at D.E. Shaw, a hedge fund investing in the rapidly growing internet sector. Before, he was a product manager at Banker’s Trust, which is now part of Deutsche Bank.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos set up his new office nearby Seattle to run his newly founded online platform. While he initially called it Cadabra, he finally decided to name the company Amazon – after a call to his lawyer, who misheard it as “cadaver”.
Before Amazon became a platform to sell virtually everything, Amazon.com was a pure bookseller. The initial homepage was basic without today’s obsessively considered menus, navigation bars, images and search algorithms. The screen capture from a month after its launch in 1995 is a relic from the early days of web design.
Also quite attractive is Amazon’s first company logo on the upper left corner. Very much different from today’s slick logo.
Amazon takes off
After its successful start, Amazon could indeed maintain its successful course.
About a year after the sale of the first book, “Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies” by Douglas Hofstadter, amazon achieved a turnover of around 16 million dollars.
In 1997, following a successful IPO (led by Frank Quattrone), the results increased to almost 150 million dollars.
Speaking about this, the company now had enough capital for further expansion. For example, Bezos began building the first international websites in 1998, making Amazon accessible in more and more markets.
Amazon logo history
The logo had three main iterations over the years. Jeff Bezos called Turner Duckworth to create a logo for his new company. Initially, the logo was the letter “A” with a river shape inside. The version got replaced in 1997 by a more refined version and the slogan “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore”.
The current logo was introduced in 2000. This logo change happened quickly, and Jeff Bezos attended all logo-related meetings and approved everything himself.
The Smile has become later as recognisable as the logo itself. This change is an excellent example of why it is vital to have a logo that appears versatile.
No Profits until 2003
The company continued to make sales in the years but also had enormous expenses. The bursting of the dotcom bubble around the turn of the millennium was particularly hard on the company – to illustrate, Amazon was on the verge of ruin.
The stock value fell from $100 in 1998 to a low of just $6. Their cash ran short, and investors and creditors became equally nervous. As a result, Bezos was forced to lay off 1,300 people and close a logistics centre.
However, the rapidly expanding Bezos group had a hard time on the stock market for a long time due to chronic red figures.
After the massive decline around the turn of the millennium, Amazon finally made profits for the first time in 2002 and a full-year profit in 2003.
In 2003, Sales that were better than expected, buoyed by a falling dollar that helped lift results overseas, led Amazon.com to earn $73 million in the fourth quarter, giving the company its first full-year profit.
Finally, Bezos delivered reliable profits, and Amazon became Wall Street’s darling.
Despite all these successes, there are also some shadows hovering over Amazon. Headlines with the keywords temporary work, poor pay, exploitation of employees and warnings made the rounds. Bezos’s divorce undoubtedly did not help since his total wealth (157 billion, #1 Forbes List) became a public figure.
Despite all criticism, Amazon developed itself, during the last 25 years, into the largest online retailer with worldwide websites.
Whether hardware, food, books, clothing, electronics or other products – Amazon offers almost everything, and they gained 100% trust over the year.
We have never revisited a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Also, the company is always able to attract attention to innovations.
Stock market: amazon Inc.
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