Entrepreneurship refers to the process by which an individual comes up with, organizes and manages a business venture successfully despite of the numerous challenges and risks that are likely to be faced. Entrepreneurship is the process of generating a viable business idea and turning it into a profitable business venture. People who come up with businesses are called entrepreneurs. An example of a prominent entrepreneur in the United States is Jeff Preston Bezos. I have chosen Jeff Bezos as my preferred entrepreneur because of his invaluable contribution to the growth and development of electronic commerce in the world.
Jeff Preston Bezos
Jeff Bezos is an American entrepreneur who founded Amazon.com Incorporation in July 1994. Amazon.com Incorporation is an international company that specializes in online sale of goods. Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. He is the current chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Amazon.com Incorporation. Amazon.com is an online merchant that sells books and other products such as DVDs, apparel, furniture, food and children’s toys. Although Amazon.com was primarily started to sell books, the company has expanded and diversified its merchandize to include other products such as furniture, apparel and software. According to Sherman (2009), Amazon.com has become the largest online retailer in the world under the leadership of Jeff Bezos. In addition, the company also acts as a model to other online retailers and e-commerce merchants.
Personal Characteristics that have made Jeff Bezos a Successful Entrepreneur
Some of the personal characteristics that have made Jeff Bezos a successful entrepreneur include eagerness to learn, focus, determination, good leadership, creativity and innovation, risk-taking abilities, future orientation, optimism and self-motivation. Byers and Robinson (2007) assert that Jeff had shown intense interest in science since his childhood. For example, at the age of nine years, Jeff converted his parent’s garage into a laboratory for science projects while he was still a student at Miami Palmetto Senior High School (Byers & Robinson, 2007). He was also awarded the Silver Knight Award in 1982 by the University of Florida for showing great interest in scientific techniques during a student science training program at Miami School. Jeff is also a highly focused individual. This has been proved by his love for computers which made him relinquish his plans to study physics at Princeton University.
Jeff is also a very determined individual who pursues what he wants. For example, after graduating from Princeton University, Jeff worked as a network administrator and programmer. He was involved in development of networks for international trade for Fitel Corporation. He also worked as a computer scientist for D. E Shaw & Company Limited. Despite being in a well-paying employment, Jeff opted to resign and pursue his personal interests. He was determined to start his own business.
I would also argue that Jeff Bezos is an opportunist who never allows an opportunity to slip away. According to Scally (2012), Jeff started Amazon.com after realizing that there was a rapid growth in internet use. In my view, the rapid growth of internet use presented a good opportunity for developing an e-commerce business. In addition, Jeff also took advantage of a new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which stated that online retailers did not have to collect sales taxes in states where the businesses do not have physical presence. Jeff Bezos is also a very creative and innovative person. He used his skills and knowledge in computing to come up with Amazon.com. Jeff also utilized his experiences in building networks to create an e-commerce platform (Amazon.com) where consumers would buys goods through the internet. Scally (2012) also affirms that Jeff Bezos was given an Innovation Award in 2011 by The Economist for inventing the Amazon Kindle.
Jeff Bezos also has excellent leadership skills. He was named one of the best leaders in America by the U.S. News & World Report in 2008. The Harvard Business Review also ranked Jeff Bezos as the second Best Chief Executive Officer in the United States of America. Jeff is also a risk taker because he opted to leave a well-paying job to start a unique business that has not being practiced by many people. Scally (2012) also asserts that Jeff’s willingness to take risks has made him one of the richest persons and successful entrepreneurs in the world. Jeff is also a future oriented person. According to Nixen, Jeff named his newly created company as Amazon.com because he believed that the company would grow and become the largest online retailer in the world just as Amazon is the one of the largest rivers in the world. This also indicates that Jeff Bezos was optimistic about the growth and development of his new company. Although Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, Jeff expanded the company in order to provide diversified products such as DVDs, software, video games, consumer electronics and jewelry. The company also manufactures tablet computers. Amazon.com Incorporation also provides cloud computing services to major companies in the U.S.
Lessons learnt from Jeff Bezos’ Entrepreneurship
One of the major lessons I have learned from Jeff Bezos is that for an individual to become a successful entrepreneur, he must be creative and innovate, willing to take risks, ready to face challenges of the highly competitive business environment and be determined to succeed. I have also learnt that successful entrepreneurs usually possess similar characteristics, and often aim at changing the world. For instance, although Jeff did not invent online shopping, he was able to revolutionize the entire electronic commerce industry.