Jeff Bezos in his office in Seattle. (1999)

The One Value at the Heart of Amazon

Less than 20 years since this day when Jeff Bezos was in his office in Seattle, building his new website, Amazon is worth a Trillion Dollars.

For the last few months we saw industry experts debating whether the first Trillion Dollar US company will be Apple or Amazon. And given the big cult of Steve Jobs I am, I was very happy that it was Apple. But Amazon reaching the mark in less than a month since Apple is nothing less than spectacular. What’s even more remarkable is that over 50% of Amazon’s current value came from the past 1 year.

And the reason for this exponential growth is very obvious. Jeff Bezos’s relentless pursuit to dominate every possible industry. A single month doesn’t go by that Amazon haven’t entered and dominated a new market. What started as an online bookstore, now has business in numerous verticals viz Kindle, Whole Foods, Music and Video streaming, AI devices, rocket company, TV, Cloud services, Mobile devices, Appstore and if it all wasn’t enough a movie studio, which earned Bezos a seat and a nomination at the Oscars this year.

And much of Amazon’s success resonates to this one man and his values. If you watch the picture closely, you will notice that the table is not an actual office table, but is made out of a door. This is one of the fundamental values on which the company is built: Resourcefulness. Or Frugality as they call it, meaning not to spend any money on things that don’t matter to customer.

In the early days of Amazon, the website would take the orders in the day. There was no special person assigned to pack the orders, so Jeff along with his other team members would pack the orders in the night and Jeff would drive the packages to the post next morning. Jeff once said in an interview that while driving the packages, he would visualise that one day Amazon would be so big that it would afford a forklift. Today Amazon has a fleet of 32 Boeing 767 Cargo Jets!

Respect!

Sangram Kakad

Founder, MTJF - More Than Just Friends