15 fascinating facts you probably didn't know about Amazon
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
When Amazon first launched in 1995 as a website that only sold books, founder Jeff Bezos had a vision for the company's explosive growth and e-commerce domination.
He knew from the very beginning, he wanted Amazon to be "an everything store."
In author Brad Stone's 2013 book on the origins of Amazon, he paints a picture of the early days of the company and how it grew into the behemoth that it is today.
Jillian D'Onfro contributed to an earlier version of this story.
"Amazon" wasn't the company's original name.
In the early days of Amazon, a bell would ring in the office every time someone made a purchase, and everyone would gather around to see if they knew the customer.
An obscure book about lichens saved Amazon from going bankrupt.
In the early days, Bezos held meetings at Barnes & Noble
Jeff Bezos expected employees to work 60 hour weeks, at least. The idea of work-life balance didn't exist.
Amazon's first crazy Christmas season came in 1998.
When eBay launched onto the scene, Amazon tried to build its own auction site to compete.
Bezos liked to move incredibly fast, which often created chaos, especially in Amazon's distribution centers.
In early 2002, Bezos introduced the concept of "two-pizza teams" to Amazon.
Dissatisfied customers can email Jeff Bezos directly and he'll forward the message along to the right person — with one dreaded addition: "?"
Before Google had "Street View," Amazon had "Block View."
Amazon employees were encouraged to use "primal screams" as therapeutic release during the high-tension holiday season.
Working conditions in Amazon's fulfillment centers have long been notoriously bad and there are some hilarious stories about unhappy workers "rebelling."
"Fiona" was the original code-name for Amazon's Kindle.
Jeff Bezos was a demanding boss and could explode at employees. Rumor has it, he hired a leadership coach to help him tone it down.