The biggest online retailer in the world and a well-known cloud service provider is Amazon. The Amazon history timeline is one that would amaze you. Furthermore, it gets interesting when we ask ourselves: how did Amazon get started? An enterprise is not built in a single day. A lot of hard work and effort goes into it. That being said, let us learn the facts about Amazon — Amazon’s first product sold, when did Amazon start selling more than books, etc. Let us dive deep.
What Is the Amazon History Timeline?
Here’s the Amazon history timeline to provide you with a better look into how it all started.
- 1994: Amazon is established by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore, with Seattle, Washington serving as the company’s headquarters. Washington’s lack of a sales tax makes it possible for Amazon to sell almost everywhere without having to charge clients with sales tax.
- 1994: Bezos chooses the name “Amazon” for his business venture. He gives it the name of the world’s largest river.
- 1997: With a capitalization of $300 million and a share price of $1.96, Amazon goes public.
- 1998: Amazon makes the acquisition of MDB. Starts to expand beyond the selling of books.
- 1999: Amazon starts allowing outside, third-party sellers to transport goods through the website and it enters an entirely new market.
- 2005: Jeff Bezos launches Amazon Prime — a customer loyalty program offering free two-day shipping on any order as well as additional bonuses and privileges at a minimum price per year.
- 2007: Amazon Music launches. This is the same year the company also launches the Kindle — forever transforming how books are read. While doing so, it acquired Audible in 2008.
- 2013: The Indian nation experiences its Amazon launch.
- 2014: Amazon takes another bold step and acquires Twitch, now deemed as one of the leading live-streaming platforms. This year also sees the launch of Alexa and Amazon Echo.
- 2022: Now, this year, Amazon has officially acquired MGM.
How Did Amazon Get Started?
As mentioned before, no enterprise gets started in a day. Nobody starts off as a millionaire. So, how did Amazon get started and when did Amazon start?
On July 5, 1994, Jeff Bezos launched Amazon from his garage in Bellevue, Washington. It started off as an online book marketplace. In order to start this virtual bookstore, Jeff Bezos left his position as a Wall Street firm investment banker in 1994. He ended up relocating to Seattle, Washington. Afterward, Bezos started building the software for the website, which he termed Amazon. The original name for the company was supposed to be “Cadaver”.
Most days he would be working at his garage with a small, numbered staff. Hence, as they all say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, Amazon had to see its own fair share of early struggles days before it rose to the stature of hallmark it is at the present.
What Was Amazon’s First Product Sold?
Amazon’s first product sold was — surprisingly — books. Bezos thought a lot about it and ultimately came to the conclusion that the most sensible thing to offer online at first would be booked.
Hence, the Amazon we know today was essentially a bookstore at its inception. They sold their first book in July 1995.
When Did Amazon Start Selling More Than Books?
Their first diversification and departure from books was the April 1998 purchase of IMDB. Later, the company started offering music and videos online. The business expanded a year later and began offering toys, mechanical tools, electronics, and hardware.
Amazon launched the Amazon Marketplace in 2000, allowing third parties to sell goods on its website. Used books, DVDs, and other items were among what was sold.
Facts About Amazon
Following are some interesting facts about Amazon:
- Every time someone made a purchase in the early days of Amazon, a bell would ring in the garage office.
- All 50 states of the United States of America and 45 other countries were served by Amazon’s book sales in the first month after its launch. It was a success!
- In the early days, Jeff Bezos would initially have meetings at Barnes & Noble. This was to soon turn ironic as in 1997, Barnes and Noble ended up suing Amazon.
- Over 40 businesses and brands are owned by Amazon.
- Amazon offers support to charity via Amazon Smile.
- According to Amazon, one customer received their order in a record-breaking 23 minutes, making it their fastest delivery ever.
- The first ever client of Amazon has a building named after him.
- Doug Hofstadter’s book Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies was the very first publication that Amazon ever sold.
- Amazon has a program dubbed “Pay To Quit” that essentially promises to pay employees to leave. Every year that a person works for Amazon, the program offers them a lump amount to leave their position.
- In 2021, Amazon gave more than a million emergency supplies to areas hit by natural catastrophes.
A company with a grand stature like that of Amazon has not only completely transformed the economic landscape, but also impacted people on a cultural level. Nowadays, life without Amazon cannot be imagined. Where else would you go and buy from?
After all, when it comes to owning up to its validity and credibility, Amazon has always stood first. With an interesting historical timeline, facts that are enough to shock you, and Jeff Bezos’ utmost efforts to grow his enterprise, Amazon has first and foremost proved itself to be one of the most intriguing success stories ever.
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