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Amazon began as an online bookstore and has since expanded into other e-commerce products such as toys, jewellery, furniture, food, electronics etc. Furthermore, it has expanded to cloud computing, video and audio streaming and artificial intelligence with the creation of Alexa. Here is a little story about its beginning years and the first employment ad Jeff Bezos put out for Amazon.

Amazon started as a big break for Jeff after he resigned from his job at the bank. It was the start of something he believed in especially at the early stage of his marriage. In August 1994, Jeff Bezos posted a job listing to Usenet, a pre-web message board looking for “extremely talented” software developers to “help pioneer commerce on the internet.”

At the time, Jeff Bezos was taking his first steps toward building what Amazon currently is today. Amazon went through different name changes “,” “,” or even “” and “Cadabra.Inc” which all link back to Amazon’s website but today it has grown into such a dominant force that the Federal Trade Commission has started questioning its rivals about whether they feel crushed by the company.

BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman dug up the vintage job Bezos placed on the net. Keep reading to see it. Here’s the ad:

Well-capitalized start-up seeks extremely talented C/C++/Unix developers to help pioneer commerce on the Internet. You must have experience designing and building large and complex (yet maintainable) systems, and you should be able to do so in about one-third the time that most competent people think possible. You should have a BS, MS, or PhD in Computer Science or the equivalent. Top-notch communication skills are essential. Familiarity with web servers and HTML would be helpful but is not necessary.

Expect talented, motivated, intense, and interesting co-workers. Must be willing to relocate to the Seattle area (we will help cover moving costs).

Your compensation will include meaningful equity ownership.

Send resume and cover letter to Jeff Bezos: mail: be… fax: 206/828-0951 US mail: Cadabra, Inc. 10704 N.E. 28th St. Bellevue, WA 98004

We are an equal opportunity employer.

“It’s easier to invent the future than to predict it.” — Alan Kay

In the job listing, Bezos said he was looking for an engineer who could build complicated systems in “about one-third the time that most competent people think possible.” In exchange, the person would get “meaningful equity ownership”. It is hard to trace back who eventually got the job offer but the company’s first employee was Shel Kaphan who still works in the company and is currently the Vice President, Research and Development at Amazon and the company’s CTO and Amazon’s co-founder.

Today, Amazon’s stock is worth more than $100 billion.

What seemed like an ordinary idea, with years of building and tenacity has become the world’s largest online sales company and one of the top three largest internet company by revenue. Ideas really do change the world.


Business Insider

Featured image source: Amazon

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This article was first published on 17th July 2019


Aanuoluwapo Olajide is a freelance writer who believes that words are fundamental blocks and are the force of life and death. She is a tech enthusiast, fashion designer and a lover of words.

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