How Jeff Bezos and Amazon took over the world in 25 years


When he and his earliest Amazon staff began selling books from his garage, they started an enterprise that is now the largest retailer in the world. Today Amazon is the world’s most valuable public company, and Bezos is the wealthiest person on the planet — taking the top spot from another Seattle-area digital pioneer, Bill Gates.

Amazon began by selling books but quickly expanded to other categories, including launching a third-party marketplace from which other purveyors could sell their goods.

In 2014, Amazon launched the Amazon Echo smart speaker, the first device in what has since become an entire voice-controlled smart home platform. Amazon has since purchased other smart home device brands, including Blink security cameras and Ring video doorbells, smart lights, and alarm systems.

The first Amazon Prime Day, a summer sales event open only to Prime members, was in 2015. Prime Day sales have snowballed. According to Kelly Herrell, CEO of Hazelcast, during last year’s Prime Day, Amazon processed more than 1,150 transactions representing an average of $41,000 of purchases every second for the 36 hours. Amazon sold more than 100 million products with revenues of approximately $3.6 billion during Prime Day 2018.

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