Amazon.com opened in July 1995. Jeff Bezos had recently left his role as vice president of an investment fund in New York, and a promising career, to head West with his wife, and start an internet-based business.
The book market is well suited to online sales: they are not heavy items to ship, nor are they bulky, and they are all more or less the same size. An online bookstore can offer a complete and unlimited selection for its customers, and technology also makes it possible to analyse consumer behaviour and create personalised experiences for each user.
Three small rooms in Seattle, with make-shift desks, put together from old doors, and a space of just thirty-five square meters as the first sorting centre: this is how it all began for Amazon.com.
Jeff Bezos immediately makes it clear to his employees that he will accept nothing less than perfection. Embracing these standards means working 60 hours a week, and doing everything possible to satisfy their customers.
Their customer base continued to grow until they realised that they had something very special on their hands; Amazon transferred to a new building because they needed more space.
In the early years, Jeff Bezos was involved in every decision and personally made sure his principles were applied to every step his small team took: customer obsession, innovation, frugality, individual responsibility, willingness to actand high standards.
By the end of the nineties, from a few dozen at the beginning, the number of employees at Amazon had increased to more than five hundred. To maintain high quality standards, everyone had to put the company mission first: customer obsession and creating long-term value.