THE BUSINESS MODEL
not store its
it just ordered
Was Amazon the first
Internet book retailer?
§ Amazon.com was not the first internet book
retail store. More surprisingly, neither Bezos
nor any of the early founders had previous
experience in the book retail industry.
§ Book Stacks Unlimited (www.books.com)
was an online bookstore created in 1992,
two years before Jeff Bezos launched
§ Words Worth Books
At the same time, Amazon was competing with traditional
book superstores as Barnes & Noble, Borders or Books a Million.
$219 000 $8 million
Between 1998 and 2000, Amazon raised Offering
more than $2 billion in bond offerings. It
invested almost everything of that on
Acquisitions and Investments
§ Junglee.com (1998) was the first comparison-shopping
site on the Web. It collected data from
a variety of online retailers and allowed
customers to easily compare prices on specific
§ Kozmo.com (2000) Same-day delivery, from
snacks to video games, to any customer in New
§ Amazon also invested in Pets.com, Gear.com,
Homegrocer.com, zShops.com and many others.
§ 1995 on April 3, first order
§ 1996 revenues were growing by 30 to 40 percent
per month. First page of WSJ (orders doubled).
§ 1997 Amazon IPO. Amazon, at that time was just
selling books. Nothing else.
§ 1998 Diversification: CDs, DVDs, Toys and
§ 1999 sales had doubled over previous year.
Jeff Bezos was named Time’s Person of the Year.
1997 1998 1999
§ Music and Films: New categories, new competitors:
CDNow.com was an early leader in the music online
distribution. Reel.com was the leader in the online
DVD distribution and later Buy.com.
§ Toys: Toys were fundamentally different than books,
music, or movies. The majority of sales occurred on
Christmas. Retailers had to predict nearly a year in
advance and if forecasts were wrong, they were in
deep trouble because big toy makers did not take
back unsold inventory.
§ Electronics: The electronics diversification faced
greater challenges. The Japanese electronics giants
viewed Internet sellers like Amazon as sketchy
discounters and therefore they were not willing to
place their products on Amazon’s website.
§ The Everything store: Jeff Bezos and the
age of Amazon, Brad Stone (2013)
§ One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of
Amazon.com, Richard L. Brandt (2011)
§ The Age of the Platform: How Amazon,
Apple, Facebook, and Google Have
Redefined Business, Phil Simon (2011)
§ Inside the Giant machine: An
Amazon.com Story, Kalpanik S. (2011)
§ Amazon.com: Get Big Fast, Robert
§ Amazon Top Seller Secrets: Insider Tips
from Amazon's Most Successful
§ Amazon's Truth Behind the Click BBC Documentary
§ Amazon.com Full Story - World Biggest Online Retailer Revealed
§ Exclusive Interview with Jeff Bezos - Founder & CEO of Amazon
§ Amazing Amazon Story - Jeff Bezos Full Speech
§ TED: Jeff Bezos: The electricity metaphor
§ Amazon's Jeff Bezos looks to the future
§ Four Peaks: My interview with Jeff Bezos
§ Inside Amazon: Secrets of an Online Mega-Giant
§ Amazon's Truth Behind the Click
§ Jeff Bezos at the Stanford Graduate School of Business
§ Jeff Bezos on Amazon, Innovation, Customer Service, Kindle
§ Jeff Bezos discusses Amazon Business Model and Mission
Internet companies series!