Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

by Daniel Alef

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates writes: "Genuine pioneers don't stop after just one discovery or innovation. They are driven to build on their accomplishments and to follow them into new frontiers." He was speaking about Jeff Bezos, the founder of which ushered in the brave new world of internet commerce; and the mind behind Kindle, the ebook platform that blazed the road for what has become the eBook Reformation or eBook Revolution, affecting, even transforming, publishers, authors and readers. As if that's not enough, Jeff has also ventured into a new frontier--space--forming Blue Origin, a company developing vehicles to transport mankind to into man's last frontier. So Bill Gates is right, Jeff is "one of those insatiable pioneers of business and technology." Award-winning author Daniel Alef tells Jeff Bezos's amazing story, from his childhood years on his grandfather's ranch to the executive suites he now so well occupies. Jeff's story is not only informative and interesting, it is inspiring and thought provoking. [7,455-word Titans of Fortune biographical profile]

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608043101
Publisher: Titans of Fortune Publishing
Publication date: 09/24/2010
Series: Titans of Fortune
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Daniel Alef, is an award-winning author of "Pale Truth," an American historical novel (named Book-of-the-Year in general fiction by Foreword Magazine at BEA in 2000) , and a former lawyer, corporate CEO, and syndicated columnist whose works have appeared in several newspapers owned by Lee Enterprises, Knight Ridder and the Santa Barbara News Press. He is also an author of articles ranging from the Journal of Taxation to American Biography, one law book, one historical anthology, more than 300 biographical profiles of America's great titans of fortune and a contributor to Sage Publishing's recently released "Gender & Women's Leadership: A Reference Handbook." Mr. Alef is a "best-selling author" in the Apple iBookstore and his titles are best-sellers on Amazon's Kindle. Mr. Alef received his B.S. from UCLA; J.D. from UCLA Law School; LL.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and did post-graduate work at Cambridge University (Queen's College). He is also a black belt in judo and one of the head instructors (senseis) at the University of California at Santa Barbara Judo Club. He lives with his family in Santa Barbara, California where he enjoys flying, sailing, hiking and running barefoot on the beach.

Read an Excerpt

Jeff Bezos looks more like a college professor than one of the world's greatest moguls. He is of unprepossessing height, bald, with a Kirk Douglas-like cleft chin, warm eyes and self-deprecating humor. His contagious passion is punctuated by a startling laugh that one writer likened to a braying donkey and another to "a rapid honk that sounds like a flock of Canadian geese on nitrous oxide." However, looks-and the unusual laugh-are deceiving, for Jeff is blessed with a brilliant analytical mind, an uncanny knack for thinking outside the box, and the ability to carry his dreams-world-changing dreams-to fruition.

Years from now historians and economists will debate which of Jeff Bezos's achievements has had the greatest impact on commerce and culture: the founding of Amazon-the organization that ushered in the world of e-commerce; the creation of the Kindle-the first successful and utilitarian ebook reading platform that ushered in a new paradigm for books and publishing; or developing vehicles to carry mankind into space.

Bill Gates sides with the Kindle. Writing in Time magazine in 2009, Microsoft's founder noted that Jeff's "biggest legacy of all might be more down to earth - a modest-looking white-and-silver digital device called the Kindle. This electronic book is Jeff's brainchild and may well revolutionize not only how we acquire books and periodicals but also how bookworms like me actually read them." Amazon employees will openly acknowledge the Kindle as "Jeff's baby." Others might argue that marks Jeff's greatest achievement. After all, he is the pioneer who blazed the trail for internet commerce, a sector that has been growing at a rocket-like trajectory since its inception in the mid 1990s.

Jeff Bezos heralded the age of internet commerce in 1994 by launching a company he considered naming "Cadabra," as in "abracadabra," but when his lawyer mistook it for "cadaver," Jeff quickly changed it to "Amazon." If the name, a reference to the greatest river in the world carrying the greatest volume of water (not a reference to Greek mythology's tribe of warlike women), seemed a bit pretentious at the time, the company bearing the name has certainly grown into its mantle. Today Amazon maintains the greatest flow of goods and books on Earth emanating from a single company through the internet. And the numbers for internet commerce are nothing less than staggering. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 e-commerce, that is all commerce transacted in the U.S. solely through the internet, was $3.70 trillion, or 16.55% of total commercial transactions. Amazon's revenue of $7.13 billion for the first quarter of 2010 reflects the exponential growth of internet commerce.

Joshua Quittner, writing in Time Magazine in December 1999, regarded Jeff's life as"-so fantastic as to verge on the unbelievable." Little did he know how much further Jeff would travel in the next decade on his voyage with Amazon or the Kindle, then probably just a gleam in Jeff's eye.

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