Jeff Bezos leaves Bill Gates eating dust as his net wealth passes one hundred billion dollars.
Where Jeff Bezos scores over Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co-founders of Google, is that there is just one of him. Between them, Page and Brin are worth roughly the same as Bezos, maybe a tad less, despite Alphabet/Google being bigger than Amazon by market cap.
He also scores over Bill Gates, because Gates’ stake in Microsoft is smaller than the Bezos stake in Amazon.
In fact, Mr Bezos owns around 17 per cent if Amazon, plus he has stock in other companies, owning The Washington Post and Blue Origin, although compared to Amazon they are chicken feed.
At the time of writing, Amazon is valued at $576 billion, and Bezos is worth a tad over $100 billion.
Bill Gates is a pauper by comparison, worth a mere $89 billion. Not that the likes of Gates, Brin, Page and Zuckerberg expect too much sympathy or are even crying into their soup. They probably don’t care.
Besides, we don’t really know that Mr Bezos is the richest man in the world, in fact for all we know that accolade may belong to Vladimir Putin.
Amazon’s share price has rocketed this year, up from $766, 12 months ago to $1,195 (6am 28th November).
Not that shares in Alphabet, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have done badly either.
This begs two questions. Why and what next?
Bezos has put Amazon’s success down to three key priorities. Customer obsession, thinking long-term and innovating/pioneering.
But what next?
Here is one way of looking at it. Google knows what you search, Facebook knows what you like, but Amazon knows what you buy.
So, is Amazon unbeatable?
Graham Cooke at Qubit sees opportunity for other retailers. He says that Amazon is not so good at inspiring or discovery and it follows a template.
We are in the age of the customer orientated company, but also personalisation, maybe specialist retailers, applying AI, will be better at personalising their service than Amazon.