Amazon's Growth Story
Varun Mathur has a great thread about Amazon
Bezos had full confidence in himself, what he was doing, and made very deliberate decisions which were in tune with the long term success of his venture, from recruiting, to tech infra decisions to learning about selling books
He was working backwards from being successful
Varun excerpts from the "Amazon.com: Get Big Fast" book and links to a great WSJ article from May 16, 1996.
There are some great reminders that Amazon's future was far from predictable:
Today Mr. Bezos, an unassuming 32-year-old with thinning brown hair and frayed blue jeans, has quietly built a fast-growing business where the world's mightiest merchants have mainly racked up failures. The company he formed here last summer, Amazon.Com Inc., has pinpointed one of the few products that people really want to buy on line: books.
One of the few products that people really want to buy on line... Amazing.
In it's simplest form Amazon really did make book shopping more efficient:
Amazon has caught fire because, unlike most retailers, Mr. Bezos has found a way to use the Web's technology to offer services that a traditional store or catalog can't match. An Amazon customer can romp through a database of 1.1 million titles (five times the largest superstore's inventory), searching by subject or name.
Still they can't envision a world past books:
Although a relatively small company, Amazon provides a singular case in which the frequently hyped Web is actually changing consumers' lives. It also suggests how on-line retailing could change the way publishers market books.