1994 was a hallmark year. Stephen Spielberg won his first directing Oscar for Schindler’s List. Friends aired for the first of ten seasons. Baseball went on strike.
Nothing compared to the bald computer guy from Wall Street who quit his job and launched Amazon from his garage.
The world would never be the same.
“Help,” Fern called me from California. “There’s a box of vinegar and laundry detergent on my doorstep that I didn’t order. What should I do? Do you think it’s dangerous?”
“That’s my cleaning supplies!” I cried from New York. “Amazon sent it to the wrong coast.”
Jeff Bezos, the second richest man in the world (as of this writing, behind #1 Elon Musk), took Amazon to Seattle along with a meteoric rise in celebrity, money, and success.
He brought some great stuff with him. Check out Amazon products like Canned Unicorn Meat, Dehydrated Water (just add water!), and Bacon-Scented Air Freshener. While Amazon started with books (within a month Bezos sold books to people in all fifty states), the Ecommerce company swelled into hundreds of millions of items, from Fig Newmans (spelling is correct) to a pet Dinosaur-in-a-jar complete with Adoption Certificate.
Consider Amazon’s $87.66 UFO Detector complete with magnetometer). One reviewer wrote:
I don’t know if this is a scam or mine was broken, but it doesn’t work and I’m still getting abducted by UFOs on a regular basis.
Then there’s the cactus story. I ordered a pink cactus for Valentine’s Day. My husband loved it.
Then the babies came. The next day another one arrived. For nearly a week my husband received a daily “I love you cactus.” That’s a lot of prickly hearts.
I finally spent an hour searching how to contact Amazon (spoiler alert: customer service is 1-888-280-4331 and you can call 24/7). I told them to stop sending cactuses.
Amazon politely credited my account.
Another Amazon reviewer who purchased the Blue Amazon Kindle Waterproof Pouch was not as satisfied.
I got this for my mother-in-law for bath times, hoping it would be crap, her kindle would slip out, and electrocute her. So far, this bloody thing is staying in place. Great for waterproofing kindles, crap for murder.
Amazon carries more than 353 million products, books, media, wine, and services. Jeff Bezos lives in a modest 29,000 square foot home, complete with a main house and a boat house, estimated at $70 million dollars. He owns houses in every climate, from New York City and Washington D.C. to Texas and Beverly Hills. His ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, settled for a paltry $36 billion divorce package, making her one of the richest women in the world.
I’m sure she doesn’t own one of Amazon’s coffee mugs that reads “Of all my mistakes YOU were the mistakiest.”
I glance at the Amazon Electronic Yodeling Pickle in a Hickoryville Velour Drawstring Bag ($18.99) sitting next to a box of Authentic Flying Reindeer Droppings ($9.50) and wonder how much money Amazon really makes.
According to World Population Review, Amazon’s revenue would make it the world’s 51st richest country on the planet. Digital Commerce 360 reports that Amazon employs 1.2 million people around the world and has a net corporate annual income between one and four billion dollars. The big sales day has moved from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Days, with 74% of online shoppers each spending up to $250. It costs $119 a year to become a prime member.
Sadly, when all is said and done, I couldn’t live without Amazon. Where can I get a sticker book of notes designed for parking lots that reads WARNING: YOU PARK LIKE A MORON or a Leonardo da Vinci Catapult Kit?