Whether his net worth is $125 billion or $126 billion may be up for debate, but there’s no denying the fact that Jeff Bezos is the richest man on the face of the planet today. And because people care so much about money, the most widely-known facts about the Amazon founder and CEO involve his wealth. For instance, most people know that what he makes per second is more than two times of a median US worker’s weekly salary. People also know that his net worth is greater than the combined GDP of Iceland, Afghanistan, and Costa Rica. However, below you’ll find a list of 10 interesting facts about Jeff Bezos that say more about him than his riches.
Jeff Bezos Facts
1. Jeff Bezos was born as Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen
Jeff Bezos had a different last name in the early years of his life. On January 12, 1965, he was born to Jacklyn and Ted Jorgensen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hence, he was named Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen. However, the marriage of his biological parents fell apart shortly afterwards, with his mother tying the knot with a Cuban immigrant named Mike Bezos when her son was four years old. Mike adopted the kid, whose name was then changed to Jeffrey Preston Bezos.
2. Bezos has zero memory of his biological father
Ted was still a teen unicyclist at the time of Bezos’s birth. He and Jacklyn parted ways when their son was still in diapers. With Jacklyn asking him not to interfere, Ted stayed away from the only child he ever had. Hence, unsurprisingly, Bezos doesn’t have any memory of his biological father. He once said in an interview that he considers Mike his “natural father,” and that the only time he has to genuinely think about it is when he’s been asked by a doctor to fill out a form.
An interesting fact about Jeff Bezos is that it wasn’t until a reporter approached Ted at his small bike repair shop in Glendale, Arizona in 2012 that he learned that his son was none other than the founder and CEO of Amazon. He even didn’t know whether his son was alive or dead before that. Ted passed away in 2015, without ever meeting his adult son.
3. A 3-year-old Jeff Bezos made an attempt to dismantle his own crib
At an age when most other kids would learn to hold a pencil properly or to cut with scissors, Bezos was demonstrating far superior mechanical aptitude. He was only three when he was found trying his hand at dismantling his own crib with a screwdriver. Why would he do that? Well, apparently, his goal was to rebuild the crib as a much bigger bed.
4. In his childhood, Bezos also built an electric alarm to keep his siblings out of his room
A few years after trying to make a real bed out of his crib, Bezos turned his parent’s garage into a science laboratory. There, he succeeded in rigging an electric alarm with parts purchased from RadioShack, an interesting fact about Jeff Bezos. This device would work as a security system for his room, keeping unwanted trespassers like his half siblings, Christina and Mark Bezos, out of it. He made a number of other things at the garage-turned-lab, including cooking contraptions from an umbrella.
5. He has been named both the world’s worst boss and its No. 1 CEO
In 2014, Bezos topped the World’s Worst Bosses poll conducted by the International Trade Union Confederation (IUTC). He and eight other bosses were the candidates, with the total number of votes casted exceeding 20,000. However, in 2013, this very guy was named the world’s number one living CEO by Harvard Business Review, based on what they would call “hard data.”
6. He is funding the construction of 10,000-year clock
A giant clock designed to run for no less than 10,000 years is under construction, thanks to the $42 million funding that the project received from Jeff Bezos. Conceived by Danny Hills in 1986, the 10,000-year clock will move only once each year, with its century hand moving forward once in every hundred years. It is going to be a 500-foot-tall mechanism placed in a mountain owned by Bezos in close proximity to Van Horn, Texas.
7. Bezos originally wanted Amazon to be called Cadabra
Although Amazon is an online “everything” store today, it was nothing more than an online bookstore in its infancy. And its name, had Bezos stuck to his original plan, would have been Cadabra, as in “abracadabra.” However, after his lawyer misheard the word as “Cadaver,” meaning corpse, he lost his interest in that name.
Bezos eventually went with Amazon for two key reasons. Firstly, it begins with the very first letter of the alphabet. Secondly, it represents the world’s largest river by volume.
8. He came up with Two Pizza Rule to maximize meeting effectiveness at Amazon
Meetings are integral to any company, with an estimated 11 million meetings taking place daily in the United States alone. However, Bezos is skeptical about the benefits of a meeting, especially that of the more populated ones. Right from the early days of Amazon, he has been using what he calls Two Pizza Rule for meetings, an interesting Jeff Bezos fact. This means that a meeting should never involve any more people than what two pizzas can feed.
9. Jeff Bezos drew up the Amazon business plan in its entirety on a cross-country road trip
One would imagine that it took Bezos months, if not years, to devise the ingenious business plan for Amazon. The truth, however, is that it didn’t take him longer than a cross-country road trip to get it done. With his then-wife Mackenzie Bezos on the driver’s seat, he started writing down the business plan as they were heading from New York City to Seattle. By the time they reached Seattle, he had already completed it.
10. Jeff Bezos has banned PowerPoint presentations at Amazon
Bezos is not a fan of PowerPoint presentations, or for that matter, any list of bullet points in word. Such presentations are banned at Amazon, an interesting fact about Jeff Bezos. Instead, employees are asked to structure their pitch in the form a memo that consists of four to six pages, widely known as a “narrative” at the company. He believes that such a memo calls for better thought and better understanding of relative importance and interconnectedness of things.
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