Transcript for Jeff Bezos, Reinventing The Way We Shop
The businessman you are about to meet could have been on this list any of the past ten years. It just seemed like this year when you heard the word "Amazon," the last thing that came to mind was a river in south America. 51-year-old Amazon founder Jeff bezos is remaking the world marketplace in his own image. Jeff bezos wants your business. Actually, he probably already has your business. 1/4 of 1 billion people around the world are Amazon.com customers, a number that is growing daily. You can get nearly anything you want from Amazon -- diapers, doughnuts, dishwashers. Do you need to blow your leaves, blow your hair dry, blow a poison dart, or blow your nose? Amazon has over 2 billion products. It sells over $61 billion worth of merchandise a year. It is the eighth largest retail business on Earth. And bezos is not done building it yet. Bezos himself is worth $55 billion -- the fifth richest man in the world. What kind of person could dream this up? A very smart, very driven person. But the most important thing to know about bezos is that he thinks outside the box. Bezos was always like that. He went to a school for gifted children in Houston, where he stood out with his precocious passion for data. I was a very lucky kid. I was inspired by invention and I think when little kids get inspired, you never know what might happen. Reporter: He went on to princeton to study theoretical physics before switching to computer science. After graduating, he worked a Manhattan hedge fund. There, he met his wife, Mackenzie. In 1994, bezos noticed something obvious that most people didn't notice. I came across the startling statistic that web usage was growing at 2,300% a year. Reporter: He envisioned a store built on the internet that one day would sell everything. It's name would be -- Www.amazon.com. Reporter: To bezos, it was obvious what item to start with -- books. He priced his books lower than anyone else. For years, Amazon didn't turn a profit. Amazon.com was actually profitable in December 1995. It must been for, oh, about one hour. Reporter: But to bezos, it was obvious that expanding was more important than profit. Goods were stored in giant warehouses dotting the country. He called them fulfillment centers. The result -- no matter where you live, you can get a cd or a blender or an elliptical trainer, that you'll never use, almost right away. In 2007, bezos created the kindle, which promised to either revolutionize Reading or destroy publishing and bookstores. Book lovers are not the only people unhappy with Amazon. Critics say that Amazon uses many fewer workers than physical stores do, raising the question -- if people don't have jobs, how will they pay for things from Amazon? But Jeff bezos is an unstoppable force. He has invested $2 billion in India, introduced the idea of delivery by drone, and this year, he got his rocket. Yes, he owns a rocket ship company, of course, off the ground. And lift-off. Reporter: There's no question Jeff bezos is a brilliant business visionary, but you could ask -- do we really need all these things delivered to us instantly? To Jeff bezos, the answer is obvious. In fact, his greatest genius may be that he has figured out better than anyone else how to give us what we want.
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