A closer look at one the most influential technology companies in the world.
Amazon. There are a lot of different ideas that may come to mind when you hear the name of this multinational technology company. Maybe you immediately think of the fast and free delivery of all of your favorite products. Or perhaps you associate the brand with the many TV shows, games or books that are accessible through its streaming and downloadable content services. Or maybe you think of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and the second richest man in the world, and all of the controversies that surround him and his employees. Whatever you think you know about Amazon, get ready to learn a lot more as we explore the history and future of one of the world's most valuable companies.
Founded in 1994, Amazon originally launched as an online bookstore and was run out of Jeff Bezos’ garage. But even from its humble beginnings, Bezos knew that the company would one day become much more. Just three years after its inception, Amazon went public in May 1997. Shortly after, Amazon started to expand its products beyond literature and by 1999, the company began allowing third-party sellers to move merchandise on the platform. However, the hundreds of billions of dollars that Amazon now rakes in every year did not happen overnight. According to history.com, Amazon did not see its first year of profit until 2003.
In the 2000s Amazon continued to expand its offerings and services, ultimately leading it to become one of the most influential and profitable businesses ever. In 2002, it launched its cloud platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS); in 2005, Amazon Prime was created as a loyalty program; and in 2007, it launched its ebook, Kindle. Amazon released its virtual assistant device, Echo, in 2015 and two years later, the company acquired Whole Foods.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, Amazon’s profit soared by 220% as people stuck at home became more dependent on its fast and reliable delivery services. But since then, its sales have slowed and its stock has fallen. Today, Amazon has a market capitalization of above $1 trillion and it employs 1.5 million people around the world. Though there is no telling what the future holds for this ever-changing technology industry, we’re fairly certain that Amazon and all of its subsidiaries will be around for a long time to come.