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Wowed, I explored the site, found a telephone number, called it up, and arranged to interview Jeff Bezos, the company founder. I walked down to Amazon’s offices, which were in a crumbling light-industrial zone south of the Kingdome, directly across from the mammoth old Sears Roebuck store—an old-economy landmark that had been closed, sold, and converted into Starbucks’ corporate headquarters.

It was not easy to find Amazon, which was on the second floor above a store selling tile. The door opening onto the staircase leading to Amazon was crooked, warped, and adorned with the company name in stick-on letters. The staircase was narrow, the stairs themselves worn nearly all the way through. Making my way up, I felt like a junkie calling on a dealer.

Amazon occupied a warren of small offices that looked across at the Sears/Starbucks building. The furniture was second-hand—the only new touches in the place were a few desktop personal computers and a cluster of programmers and Sun Microsystem servers off in one corner. Bezos emerged from a tiny office and greeted me with tremendous enthusiasm. He was a small, unprepossessing man, only 31 years old, with the happiest facial expression I’ve ever seen, and he had a disconcerting habit of punctuating his stories with a booming laugh that left me feeling uneasy at first, then increasingly nervous—I kept steeling myself for the next explosion, and found it harder and harder to concentrate on my questions.

“It was clear a couple of years ago that interactive retailing was coming,” Bezos said. “I mean, people have been predicting that for 10 or 12 years. But only now, and only for some types of products, are there enough people on line for interactive retailing to make some business sense. And even at that, looking at it now, I decided that books was the only feasible product to sell this way. You look at the demographics of people on line, and the demographics of people who buy books, and the demographics line up very nicely.”

After getting his computer science degree from Princeton, Bezos had gone to work first for Bankers Trust, then D.E. Shaw, building and maintaining computer networks for investors. In 1993, “always interested in the juxtaposition of computers and anything,” he spent a few months researching the Internet, put together a business plan, rounded up investors, moved to Seattle and set up his business in the summer of 1994, officially opening on line in July 1995. Bezos built his store by acquiring connections with the electronic inventories of the nation’s seven largest book wholesalers, all the formats of which are incompatible with all the others. He then wrote translation software that made all the databases readable by his computer system, and wrote more software to make the resulting “inventory” accessible by his customers.

The business was at once ingenious and simple: A customer found the book he or she wanted on Amazon’s site and ordered it. Amazon in turn ordered it from the wholesaler who had it in stock, having it shipped overnight to the company’s Seattle address, where it would be unpacked, combined with other books from other wholesalers in the same customer’s order, repackaged, and shipped that day to wherever the customer wanted.

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
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Source:  OpenStax, Seattle and the demons of ambition. OpenStax CNX. Oct 26, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10504/1.4
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