Dec 18, 2018

Role Model: Jeff Bezos

Role Models: Jeff Bezos


Role Models is a series dedicated to those individuals who are pushing their passions forward in the world of business and beyond. From well-known figures to everyday success stories, we will highlight their achievements as we work to inspire our everyday lives.


Most people don’t remember their lives before Amazon, as the digital delivery titan has become such an integral part of our lives. From the Prime subscription platform to the newly minted merger with Whole Foods, there is no part of our everyday that Amazon doesn’t touch. We have Jeff Bezos to thank for that. The Albuquerque, New Mexico born and Houston, Texas / Miami, Florida bred entrepreneur made Amazon his baby in 1993. As a graduate of Princeton University in 1986 with a double major in electrical engineering and computer science, Bezos did a brief spell working on Wall Street and other financial capacities before founding Amazon, including financial telecom startup Fitel and Bankers Trust. At 30, Bezos became Senior Vice President of hedge fund company D.E. Shaw & Co. In 1993, Bezos left his job and conceptualized Amazon in his garage. The story goes that during his journey from New York City to Seattle in 1994, Amazon was truly born, as Bezos wrote the Amazon business plan while on the cross-country trip.


Those who remember the company’s early days will recall its place as an online bookseller to start. Three years after forming, Bezos released Amazon’s IPO. A year later, Amazon moved from solely books to other goods. With the $54 million Bezos earned from the equity following the IPO announcement, he began what has now become something of the Amazon trademark: acquiring smaller businesses and filtering them into his own. The company wasn’t always successful in its practices, nearly going bankrupt at the turn of the century and enduring a massive layoff. The peaks and valleys were worth it, as this year the company reported $2 billion of quarterly earnings in February and over $109 billion in stock holdings. In 2017, Bezos was named the world’s wealthiest person, with a net worth estimating over $90 billion. By 2018, he reached a net worth of $150 billion, a feat for the history books.


His aerospace passion project, Blue Origin, has also shown promise since its advent in 2000. Much like Elon Musk, Bezos seeks to reinvent the space travel wheel, often investing time and money into his project—among other ventures under the Bezos Expeditions umbrella.


Many can look to Jeff Bezos and see the centi-billionaire title. They can see the uncharted success of Amazon, and the constant reinvention of the brand that follows it. But the most important gem to glean from Jeff Bezos’s trajectory is understanding the result of having a goal and sticking to it, yet modifying it along the way. Amazon (like other great business inventions) was built in a garage, yet structured on a road trip, and currently living online and in brick and mortar establishments like Whole Foods (via Amazon lockers). Bezos has truly made his mark in every place where consumers frequent. Now he’s an indomitable force, based upon a dream from 25 years ago.


Author Profile

R M Zalatimo
R M Zalatimo
Inspire. Empower. Transform. Those are the words that NYC Wealth Innovator, Russ Zalatimo, lives by. From tips on leadership, self-help, and growing entrepreneurship Zalatimo provides the trade secrets to leading a well-rounded life.