20 Things You Didn’t Know About Jeff Bezos

Here’s a guy you do business with all the time, but you probably know little to nothing about him. While tech CEOs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg became almost as famous as their companies, Jeff Bezos never let his own persona get in the way of Amazon. While Bezos doesn’t court publicity for himself, he isn’t a recluse, either. He’s constantly busy trying out new ideas and encouraging others to do so, too. And his past is full of interesting stories.  

2. As a child, Bezos was insatiably curious — he was always trying to figure out how things worked and why they did what they did. He also created his own inventions for fun and also for functionality, especially ones with a scientific and technological bent. As an example, he once created an alarm that was designed to keep his younger siblings from entering his room. He also created a science laboratory in his parents’ garage so he could conduct his experiments in a safer space. This inclination toward tinkering and experimenting would serve him very well, first as the founder of an internet startup company and then as the CEO of the retail giant that startup grew to become.

7. Some startup CEOs require lots of time and space to come up with a plan for their new business, but not Bezos. He wrote the entire business plan for Amazon.com while on a car trip from New York to Seattle. It wasn’t the best of conditions to write a business plan, but it was an idea that he had to get out. Initially, Bezos wanted to call the new company “Cadabra,” as in “abra cadabra,” but upon hearing it, his lawyer thought it sounded too much like “cadaver,” an association that Bezos absolutely did not want. He then changed the name to his second choice — Amazon, after the longest river in the world, since he wanted to make the new online shop into the biggest retailer in the world. Talk about auspicious beginnings.

Learn lots more about Jeff Bezos at Money Inc.

(Image credit: Flickr user ali asaria)

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