“There’s no guarantee that Amazon.com can be a successful company. What we’re trying to do is very complicated,” said Jeff Bezos in 1999, just five years after launching the online firm. That the firm’s founder was so uncertain of its future seems surprising.
1995: Amazon launches with online book sales
“When we first started selling books four years ago, everybody said, ‘Look, you’re just computer guys and you don’t know anything about selling books.’ And that was true,” said a young Jeff Bezos in 1999.
However, the huge stockpiling space that the company had at the time in the US helped Amazon become a leader in the sector and enabled them to offer a wider selection of books than its bricks-and-mortar rivals.
Then ebooks arrived and Amazon was smart enough to become a key player in that market too.
Today the future of Amazon looks a bit more complicated than just selling products on the internet.
The second half of 2018 was difficult for the company and its market valuation has fallen back below the $1tn mark.
Having successfully dominated online retail, the firm has now set its sights on expanding its services – and perhaps surprisingly, into physical stores – to create a new way of shopping.
What will Amazon be in another 25 years? We’ll have to wait and see.