Years before it was the world’s biggest online retailer of books, Amazon.com was “an idea floating through the New York City offices of one of the most unusual firms on Wall Street: D.E. Shaw & Co.” (Stone, 17). Jeff Bezos, entrepreneur and David E. Shaw, financial analyst, with backgrounds heavy in computer science, were able to predict the vision of Amazon.com. At this time, the Internet had just taken off and thousands of households were just discovering it’s beauty. Financial professionals & analytics, were able to determine that “The Everything Store,” as Amazon is referred to now, would be a household name in the turn of the century. The world watched as the preliminary tools of the first computer scientists evolved into complicated applications like Amazon, that were able to make consumerism quick and easy.
Amazon took off in Seattle after “Bezos’ parents invested $100,000, in Amazon.” (Stone, 33). On 1995, much of the preliminary work in stocking Amazon’s “shelves” was done by ordinary people. (Stone, 38). In the basement, in Seattle, many supporters packed many boxes of “esoteric” items, well into the night. Setting up Amazon took a lot of dirty work, but soon, Amazon.com plunged into the Internet, like a new animal that was reborn into the wilderness. (Stone, 43). There was an air of excitement post release. Everyone at the new company worked super hard to keep Amazon afloat. (Stone, 49). Jeff Bezos’ and David Shaw’s internet startup became 150 employees. Bezos was a great leader. Customers flocked to the site over the 1999 holidays after Amazon made national headlines. Amazon’s story was a story of supply and demand. It was a story of understanding consumerism (Stone, 94).
During that year, Amazon worked hard to keep up with holiday orders, and Bezos pulling crazy antics to fulfill out-of-stock orders, like raiding toy stores in third-world countries. Employees made sacrifices to work at distribution centers across the country. (Stone, 95). Amazon was “frugal to the bone”. The bombing of the twin towers didn’t phase Amazon, but pushed it further on it’s trek. (Stone, 127).
Amazon pushed onward like a marathoner, with its operations. In the next decade, Amazon expanded for several reasons: supply and demand, free-shipping and next-day shipping, and Amazon Prime, which paralleled Netflix, Amazon was one major example in technology’s history, of how a new internet startup was able to retain customers. Amazon was there for it’s customers in the times that they most needed it, it worked endlessly to stay alive often at the cost’s of it’s workers.
5 Ways to Increase Customer Retention, which Can Be Summerized from “The Everything Store,” by Brad Stone.
- Understand Your Customer, Understand The Market, Understand How Consumerism Works
2. Be at the Right Place at the Right Time
3. Always Make Sure Your Shelves are Stocked During the Holiday
5. Be a Leader, but be Fair to Your Employees
Amazon is a story of a tech company that took advantage of the Internet “bubble” in 95’ and ran with the idea of e-commerce on the web. It exploited the lower-class in America showering the world with a glittery picture of Internet startup fame, and the people who put there blood into making it a reality today were the lower-class in America.
Today Amazon boasts it gives individuals a “great opportunity to work at Amazon,” to no wit’s end.
The tech company struggled with financial hardship in it’s early years, but is now successful because of Jeff Bezos’s business spirit, and his uncanny ability to fulfill holiday orders in any way possible. Shaw and Bezos, working together, were able to see the vision of Amazon.com as financially possible, and achievable with the uproar of the Internet and the average household computer, especially after the turn of the century.
Decades later and overwhelmed with stock, Amazon and it’s employees are growing weary. Because of the high consumer demand, huge Amazon warehouses have opened. The leadership and skill of Amazon’s leaders is evident by it’s net capital today, and customers are greedily flocking to the site.
consumerism, consumerism, consumerism…
But when does mass consumerism end?
Are we really in the midst of a spiritual awakening, or will America paint it’s own dreary picture in the next decade, grey like Seattle, where Amazon’s journey began?
Brad Stone. The Everything Store. Hachette Book Group, 2014.