Daniel Shinar

@danielshinar

Amazon — a view from 1999

(or: the origin of the term “getting Amazoned”)

Back to the future

I wish I had a time machine to go and find out how crazy things will be in the future. But until Elon Musk builds that machine, Google is the closest thing to a machine which goes back in time.

I would first go back to 1999 and let people know that nothing’s going to happen on 1.1.2000, no Millennium bug. I’d go and look for 1999 me.

2017 me: “young me, you’re hot! look at your abbs!”

1999 me: “Old me, what do you want? It’s only 1100 am , let me go back to sleep”

2017 me: “Ok young me, just remember when you wake up — take all your savings, and mom and dad’s and buy Apple shares. OK? The ticker is NASDAQ: AAPL. OK??”

1999 me: “why are you still here? Zzzzzzzz”

I guess 1999 me, being barely eighteen years old and free as a bird, couldn’t care less.

But for the Amazon and e-commerce historians out there, jump into my time machine and check out Nina Munk’s Fortune article from June 1999, first time I could find the term “getting Amazoned” used. The full article can be accessed here:

http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1999/06/21/261689/index.htm

My favorite part:

Suzanne Zak, head of a money management group Zak Capital, then a large Barnes & Noble shareholder, remembers the very day she began to take Bezos seriously. On July 24, 1998, she attended a meeting hosted by Amazon.com for analysts and money managers. “Initially, like a lot of people, we were skeptical of Amazon,” she explains. “But at that meeting, listening to Bezos, a light bulb went off. I said, ‘We’re going to have a problem here.’

So severely has Barnes & Noble’s foundation been damaged that there’s a new expression making the rounds — “getting Amazoned”.

So severely has Barnes & Noble’s foundation been damaged that there’s a new expression making the rounds — “getting Amazoned,”

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