Early Amazon: Planting The First Seeds
In 1994, a 30-year old Jeff Bezos quit his Wall Street firm and moves to Seattle to start a company. Like many of its technology brethren (including Apple and Google), Amazon was born in his garage. He selected the name “Amazon” not only for its exotic, rainforest connotation but because an “A” name automatically puts his company towards to the top of any alphabetized list (free marketing!). At first, Amazon started as an online bookstore, and sales were good. In its first two months, Amazon-the-dotcom-bookseller made $20,000 a week. Over the next four years, it will eventually expand its offerings to include a bigger variety of consumer goods, starting with CDs and movies.
[Bezos] selected the name “Amazon” not only for its exotic, rainforest connotation but because an “A” name automatically puts his company towards to the top of any alphabetized list.
IPO Launch and Early Days of Amazon Stock
The real history of Amazon stock began on May 15, 1997 when Amazon launched its IPO. The then three-year-old company started its IPO launch at $18 per share under the ticker symbol AMZN.Today, one share is worth almost $2,000! Raising $54 million from going public with Amazon stock, Jeff Bezos put much of the money towards aggressively acquiring competitors like European book retailers Bookpages.co.uk and Telebook, as well as software companies like Livebid.com and database company, Alexa Internet.
Today, one share [of Amazon] is worth almost $2,000!
The Dotcom Bubble and Afterwards
When the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, many internet companies folded. Amazon faced some financial hardships and Amazon stock took a hit over the next several years, but ultimately Amazon survived. Survival allowed Amazon to further overcome its competitors in online sales. In fact, 2001, the year after the dotcom bubble burst, marked the year it turned a profit for the very first time.In 2005, Amazon launched Amazon Prime, a subscription-based free shipping program that will later include access to streaming content. In 2007, they launched the Amazon Kindle, an e-reader tablet that allows users to read and purchase books digitally. At $399 a piece, the first batch of Amazon Kindles sold out in five and a half hours!
Recent Developments for Amazon
Times have never been better for Amazon stock. As their success continued to grow following the launch of the Amazon Kindle, they continue to expand into more and more diverse areas. In 2014 they released the Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled smart speaker that lets users play music, make to-do lists, set alarms, ask for information, and, perhaps most importantly for its creator, make purchases on Amazon! In 2017, Amazon acquired health-conscious grocery store chain, Whole Foods, marking its intended expansion into food delivery and brick-and-mortar. In 2018, they acquired home security company, Ring. This acquisition marks Amazon’s focus towards the ongoing challenge of package-theft. Ring offers doorstep video monitoring that users can access from their phones, and integrates with Amazon Key, which allows couriers to open doors to deliver packages. What else? Amazon is currently testing cashier-less grocery stores in cities like Seattle and Chicago. They now produce exclusive TV content for their streaming service, Amazon Prime Video. Shows include Emmy-winners like Transparent and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.