Mini-Case Study: AmazonAmazon was founded in 1994, spurred by what Bezos called "regret minimization framework", his effort to fend off regret for not staking a claim in the Internet gold rush. Company lore says Bezos wrote the business plan while he and his wife drove from New York to Seattle, although that account appears to be apocryphal.The company began as an online bookstore; while the largest brick-and-mortar bookstores and mail-order catalogs for books might offer 200,000 titles, an online bookstore could offer more. Bezos named the company "Amazon" after the world's largest river. Since 2000, Amazon's logotype is an arrow leading from A to Z, representing customer satisfaction (as it forms a smile); a goal was to have every product in the alphabet.Amazon was incorporated in 1994, in the state of Washington. In July 1995, the company began service and sold its first book on amazon.com - Douglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. In 1996, it was reincorporated in Delaware. Amazon issued its initial public offering of stock on May 15, 1997, trading under the NASDAQ stock exchange symbol AMZN, at an IPO price of US$18.00 per share ($1.50 after three stock splits in the late 1990s).Amazon's initial business plan was unusual: the company did not expect a profit for four to five years. Its "slow" growth provoked stockholder complaints that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough. When the dot-com bubble burst, and many e-companies went out of business, Amazon persevered, and finally turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million or 1¢ per share, on revenues of more than $1 billion, but the modest profit was important in demonstrating the business model could be profitable. In 1999, Time magazine named Bezos Person of the Year, recognizing the company's success in popularizing online shopping.Acquisitions1998: Internet Movie Database (IMDb).; Cambridge, Massachusetts-based PlanetAll, a reminder service; Sunnyvale-based Junglee.com, an XML-based data mining startup1999: Alexa Internet, Accept.com, and Exchange.com2003: online music retailer CD Now.2004: Joyo.com, a Chinese e-commerce website.2005: BookSurge, a print on demand company, and Mobipocket.com, an eBook software company.; CreateSpace.com (formerly CustomFlix), a Scotts Valley, California-based distributor of on-demand DVDs. CreateSpace has since expanded to include on-demand books, CDs, and video. 2006: Shopbop, a Madison, Wisconsin-based retailer of designer clothing and accessories for women.2007: dpreview.com, a London-based digital photography review website; Brilliance Audio, the largest independent publisher of audiobooks in the United States.2008: Audible.com; Fabric.com; Box Office Mojo; AbeBooks; Shelfari (including a 40% stake in LibraryThing and whole ownership of Bookfinder.com, Gojaba.com, and FillZ); Reflexive Entertainment, a casual video game development company. 2009: Zappos, an online shoe and apparel retailer2010: Touchco., Woot ...Note strategy of growth through sales *and* acquisitions. More history and business data here: Amazon - Wiki
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