Jeff Bezos the founder

Born January 12, 1964 Jeffrey Preston “Jeff” Bezos the founder and CEO of which isthe largest online merchant of books and a wide variety of products on the World Wide Web.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and computer science. After graduating he worked at several jobs that made that allowed him to put his computer science training to use.

In 1994 the entrepreneur in him spotted an opportunity to use the internet to sell books. He recognised that this new platform can be more effective than mail order and there was no comprehensive mail order catalogue for books. Any such catalogue would be too big to mail but perfect for the Internet, which could share a vast database with a virtually limitless number of people. At booksellers convention he discovered that the major book wholesalers had already compiled electronic lists of their inventory.

On July 16, 1995, he opened his site to the world, and in 30 days with no press, Amazon had sold books in all 50 states and 45 foreign countries. By September, it had sales of $20,000 a week. He and his team continued improving the site, introducing such unheard-of features as one-click shopping, customer reviews, and e-mail order verification.

From the beginning, he sought to increase market share as quickly as possible, at the expense of profits. When he disclosed his intention to go from being “Earth’s biggest bookstore” to “Earth’s biggest anything store,” skeptics thought Amazon was growing too big too fast, but a few analysts called it “one of the smartest strategies in business history.

Over the years he moulded the company into one of the most adaptable creatures of the modern business. When the Internet’s stock market bubble burst, Amazon re-structured, and while other start-ups evaporated, Amazon was posting profits. This adaptability is seen in the fact that company now sells more e-books than hard covers and it pioneered the e-book reader with its kindle series that it sells at a low price in order to tie customers to its large e-book library.

As the company expanded he continually emphasized the “Six Core Values: customer obsession, ownership, bias for action, frugality, high hiring bar and innovation.” “Our vision,” he said, “is the world’s most customer-centric company.  


The company is managed by three board committees: the Audit Committee as well as the Nominating and Governance Committee and third committee, the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee. Almost half of the current directors have been on the board for five years or less. This denotes new ideas and autonomy are presumably being brought into the boardroom.  While longer tenure implies a deeper understanding of the company, it also implies increasing familiarity and even friendship amongst the group. This tends to discourage independent thinking and objectivity.


The board’s is not populated by CEOs or even retired CEOs but by capitalists, a number of senior level business executives from varied industries, an eminent scientist and representation from the non-profit sector. The idea that active CEOs may not have the time to adequately serve on boards other than their own may have come into play in structuring the Amazon board.

As I look at amazon,com  I cannot help but be inspired by his knack for spotting opportunities, the methodical manner and courage in which he peruses his ventures and how he has adapted the company over the years to cope with the changing times.   

Some may question my selection of for a an e-learning company but I believe that by making printed and electronic material available to all in a way that no  other company has qualifies it to be one.


Jeff Bezos Biography — Academy of Achievement. (n.d.). Academy of Achievement Main Menu. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from

Lenkov, P. (n.d.). The Impact of Amazon’s Amazing Board of Directors – Seeking Alpha. Stock Market News & Financial Analysis – Seeking Alpha. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from

Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp