As the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos defined—and continues to reinvent—electronic commerce. In 1995, Bezos launched Amazon as an online bookseller from his garage. Today, it is the world’s largest online retailer that sells everything from digital music downloads to groceries. The site accounts for six percent of all Web commerce in the U.S.
Amazon continues to evolve under Bezos, by becoming not just a retailer but also a service provider, with a new program aimed at selling processing power and computer databases to businesses. He has also entered the space-tourism market with a company called Blue Origin, whose goal is to conduct weekly tourist flights by 2010. And last November, Bezos returned to the industry that started it all when Amazon launched the Kindle: a digital reading device with wireless access to more than 100,000 books. Just before entering the Cube, Bezos talked about his hope that the Kindle can begin to reverse the tech-inspired trend toward shorter and shorter attention spans. Behavior follows technology, he said, and the Kindle might be the first device that encourages people to lavish more time on the life of the mind.