On Sep. 4, 2018, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) became only the second-ever company to join the $1 trillion market capitalization club, when its share price crossed the much-eyed $2050.27 threshold. This comes just over a month after Apple (AAPL) hit the $1 trillion mark on Aug. 2.
Amazon had its Initial Public Offering on May 15, 1997, trading at $18. A $1000 worth of Amazon purchased at its IPO price would on Sep. 4 be worth over $1.1 million.
Although most people know what Amazon does, they may not know some of these fun facts:
- In the early stages of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, his wife MacKenzie Bezos, and Amazon's first employee Shel Kaphan, held their meetings inside their local Barnes and Noble. Before CEO and founder Jeff Bezos landed on "Amazon" as the name of the e-commerce giant, he had other names in his bag, such as "Cadabra" (as in "Abracadabra") and "Relentless." However, his lawyer convinced him that "Cadabra" did not sound magical at all. Rather, "Cadabra" sounded too similar to "cadaver." Although "Relentless" did not make the cut to be the name of the company, Jeff Bezos liked the name enough to buy the domain name and now the website; relentless.com redirects to the Amazon.com homepage.
- In Amazon's early stages as a public company, it launched an auction site to compete with its competitors in the e-commerce space. The day Amazon launched the auction site in 1999, its shares soared almost 8%. (Read: Amazon's Latest Disruption: Prime Rx Deliveries)
- Before powerhouse search engine company Google had its "Street View" on its map application, Amazon launched a search engine in 2004, A9.com, which started a project called Block View. Block view was a visual yellow pages that allowed its users to see the street view of addresses and directions to their destinations.
- AmazonSmile allows its users to support charities of their choice when they shop at smile.amazon.com. The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of products eligible for AmazonSmile purchases.
- Amazon Flow, an augmented reality app, can identify millions of products from tissue boxes to book covers. With Amazon Flow, users do not have to memorize their shopping lists as the app allows them to take pictures on their phone. When integrated with Amazon's application, users can find products on Amazon and purchase them without the need to type or scan the bar code.
- Amazon Go, a high tech supermarket, allows shoppers to buy groceries without ever having to wait on line for a cashier. Amazon Go stores are equipped with hundreds of cameras that utilize a similar type of technology that self-driving cars use. This technology keeps a virtual shopping cart which allows customers just to walk out when they are done shopping. A bill is automatically sent to their Amazon account.
- The first book ever sold on Amazon was "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies," by Douglas Hofstadter.
- Amazon is developing a futuristic delivery system, Prime Air, which would let Amazon deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes using small drones.
- When Amazon first started, they rang a bell every time a customer made a purchase.
- Amazon employs over 563,000 people across the globe, more than Google, Facebook, and Alibaba combined.