Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is the largest e-commerce company in the world. As of July 5, 2018, Amazon has a market capitalization of $825 billion and  as of a December 31, 2017, 10-K filing, Amazon has a revenue of  $177.86 billion.

Although most people know what Amazon does, they may not know the background of the company and the plethora of other services it offers.

  1. In the early stages of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, his wife, and 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.
  2. 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 1991, its shares soared almost 8%.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Amazon Flow, an augmented reality app, can identify millions of products such as a box of tissues ot book covers. With Amazon Flow, users do not have to memorize their shopping lists as it allows them to take pictures on their phone, and when integrated with Amazon's application, users could find products on Amazon and purchase them without the need to type or scan the bar code.
  6. Amazon Go, a high tech super market, 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 to just walk out when they are done shopping. A bill is automatically sent to their Amazon account. 
  7. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies by Douglas Hofstadte was the first book ever sold on Amazon. 
  8. Amazon is developing a futuristic delivery system, Prime Air, which would let Amazon deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes using small drones. 
  9. When Amazon first started, they rang a bell every time a customer made a purchase. 
  10. Amazon employs over 566,000 people across the globe. Google has 62,000 employees, Facebook has a mere 25,000 employees, and Alibaba has 66,000 employees. The number of employees working at Amazon dwarfs the number of employees working at Google, Facebook and Alibaba combined.

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