(CNN) – As online retail giant amazon turns 25, the groundbreaking company is dealing with a host of controversy and problems.
In 25 years, Amazon has gone from a niche online bookseller to one of the most valuable, and powerful companies in the world.
In 1994, which was a time before everyone had a computer or a smartphone, and most people didn’t have internet access… Jeff Bezos began selling books over the internet out of his Seattle garage.
The story is at the beginning a bell would ring every time an order came in. Clearly, they don’t still do that today.
Amazon is now not only the western world’s largest e-commerce company – it’s a cloud business, a logistics giant, a real player in entertainment, and Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world with a billion dollars a year to spend on his side project: space travel.
His vision for the company has always been to take a long-term view.
Here’s what he told this network in 2000.
“If you look at stock prices over a three-month period, you’re just a short-term investor. And Amazon has never been a good investment for short-term investors, and I don’t think it ever will be.”
How right he was. If you’d invested $1,000 in Amazon stock at its IPO in 1997, you’d now have more than $1.3 million. But at 25 years old – Amazon’s size may now be its biggest Achilles heel.
Regulators are starting to scrutinize the company’s market dominance — and here in the U.S., it’s facing criticism from politicians on both sides of the aisle for everything from its treatment of workers, to its non-existent federal tax bill. There are even calls for the company to be broken up.
How Amazon navigates this regulatory landscape, how it manages the extraordinary power that it’s amassed over the last quarter century may define the next 25 years in this company’s life.
(This story was originally published on July 5, 2019)