This colossal marketplace was only a bookstore/website when it first launched back in 1995
Nowadays Amazon is a big name in modern e-commerce and online retail industry. You can barely find somebody who hasn’t heard this simple but meaningful name. However, this colossal marketplace was only a bookstore/website when it first launched back in 1995.
In this article, we offer you a compilation of interesting facts about Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos.
The initial name
The company’s founder initially considered to call the store “Cadabra”, as he believed that “magic” name would work.
Nevertheless, the first company’s legal aid Todd Tarbert persuaded Bezos that “Cadabra” would sound similar to “Cadaver”, particularly if you spelled it on the phone.
Jeff had a number of options, however, “Relentless” was one of the most preferred variants. You can even find a kind of Easter egg if you go to Relentless.com. It will redirect you to… Guess what?
Once the company was saved by a weird book about lichens
Back then, book distributors which Amazon partnered with had a rigorous requirement – a retailer had to order no less than ten books at once. Bezos understood that his company had no need to have so many items (or maybe it was just because of the shortage of money).
That was when they discovered a backdoor, which saved the company from becoming bankrupt. Thus, Amazon ordered an item they needed, for instance, some rare book, or a highly demanded one, and nine copies of a strange and incomprehensible (not the most in demand, to put it mildly) book about lichen. The funny thing was, this book was always out of stock.
Work-life balance expectations
Initially, Jeff Bezos wanted his employees to work no less than 60 hours a week. One of the employees worked so relentlessly for eight months, leaving home early in the morning and arriving home late in the evening, that he totally forgot that he had parked his car close to his house.
Furthermore, he used to ignore his mail, because of the lack of time, and when he finally took some time out to read his mail, he discovered multiple parking tickets, a notification that his vehicle was towed, the towing firm warning, and, finally, a notice that his vehicle was sold at an auction.
Insane Christmas and New Year’s Eve in 1998
The extreme scarcity of personnel led to the situation whereby employees had to work night shifts, bring their friends and family members to work, and sleep in their offices/cars.
Since then, Amazon swore that they would never be understaffed, especially during the holiday seasons. That is why the company hires so many employees today, especially seasonal ones.
Amazon decided to create their auction site after eBay appeared on the scene
The implementation of this idea failed, but Jeff liked it.
Moreover, Bezos bought a skeleton of an Ice Age cave bear, which cost him $40,000, and left it in the headquarters’ lobby. You can still see it there, even today.
Jeff developed the concept of “two-pizza teams” at the beginning of 2002
Bezos claimed that workers had to be organized into groups of no more than ten people. It is the number of people who could share two pizzas, which would be enough for a snack. He believed that such a team could carry out duties autonomously. Groups had to set clear objectives, with the possibility of measuring intermediate results. Amazon workers have different opinions about that strategy. Thus, while some employees enjoy working in “two-pizza teams” and claim about an increase in productivity, others hate this strategy and call it “stressful”.
Unsatisfied clients are able to email directly to Jeff Bezos. He will forward the complaint to the responsible officer
However, the mail, that has been forwarded, would have one formidable addition: “?”.
If an Amazon employee receives an e-mail with a question mark from the company’s founder, they react like they have located a bomb. Usually, it means that they have got a couple of hours to address the problem and prepare a detailed report on the issue, with the answers as to how the situation had occurred and how exactly it has been resolved. Firstly, a report is reviewed by local department supervisors, and only then will managers present a complete response to the CEO.
The company’s workers can use “primal screams” option during busy periods and holiday rush
Despite the fact that the company hires many seasonal workers, the holiday rush periods remain too intense for many employees, especially for logistics teams.
Jeff Wilke, the firm’s operations manager, offered to allow workers and groups/teams, which achieved an essential objective, to close their eyes, put their heads together, and scream, yell and shout down the phone line to him at the tops of their voices.