Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 out of his garage in his Bellevue, Washington. A businessman by the name of Nick Hanauer believed in Bezos idea and decided to invest $40,000 in the venture. When Amazon first decided to go online, its layout looked very plain and unattractive to most visitors, causing the business to start out on shaky ground. A man by the name of Tom Alburg decided to invest $100,000 in Amazon in 1995, which helped the company fund a better looking website and hosting capabilities. When people began purchasing books from Amazon, Bezos was in awe that he had customers from all over the country, not just Washington State, purchasing books.
Bezos decided that he had to create more than just a bookstore if he wanted people to come back as customers. He added the option of buyers to write their own book reviews, which is a huge credit to Amazon.coms success. People began to look at Amazon as more of an online community and not just a place to purchase things. By 1997, Amazon.com had generated $15.7 million in revenue and went public the same year. In 1998, Amazon added some new items to the roster: software, electronics, video games, toys, and home improvement items.
At the end of 1999, Amazon had raked in over a billion dollars in sales. It seemed as though the profit would never cease. However, in 2001, Amazon reported a fiscal loss of $1.4 billion, and had laid off over 1000. Instead of giving up, Bezos had an idea: recruit other companies to sell their products online through Amazon as well. The idea worked. Companies such as Target, Toys R Us, Old Navy, and many others have agreed to sell their items through Amazon. Since the inception of the idea, Amazon is now back on its feet and remains one of the most popular online vendors in the world today.