10 Things You probably don't know about Amazon

Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology company which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. It has been referred to as "one of the most influential economic and cultural forces in the world", and the world's most valuable brand.

1. Amazon was almost given a completely different name.

The company was originally called Cadabra, like the magic term "abracadabra." But Jeff Bezos' lawyer told him that the magic reference was too obscure, and when you say it out loud, "cadabra" could be mistaken for "cadaver." Eventually, they came up with the name Amazon, a reference to the river in South America. The idea was that their selection of books would be vast and wide, just like the world's largest river. They did have many other names in mind and still own one of the domains. If you type in Relentless.com in your browser, you will be redirected to Amazon.com.

2. The company started out selling books.

When Jeff Bezos first started the company in 1995, it was just a bookstore run out of his home garage. So when Amazon opened their first physical bookstore in 2015, it was staying true to the roots of the company.

3. Amazon hasn't paid federal taxes in two years.

Amazon's profits nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018, but the company hasn't paid federal taxes in two years. This is completely legal. The US government allows companies certain tax breaks and deductions. One policy, called the R&D tax credit, encourages companies to spend its profits on research and development. From 2005 to 2014, Amazon received over $600 million in tax breaks to build warehouses in certain states. It received another $147 million in tax breaks for building data centers around the country.

4. What you can't buy on Amazon

Since you can buy pretty much anything on Amazon, it's worth mentioning the items you can't buy directly on the website. Full-size homes, cars, cigarettes, and live animals are some things you might have to leave your house to purchase.

5. Amazon owns 41 subsidiaries and brands.

When you shop for shoes on Zappos.com or search your favorite actor on IMDb, you're making Amazon money. Other brands they own include Goodreads, Whole Foods, Audible, and Souq.com, an eCommerce site for Middle Eastern countries. In total, Amazon owns 41 subsidiaries and brands.

6. Amazon is a pet-friendly environment.

Amazon's employees love having their furry friends around the office. There are about 6,000 dogs that work at Amazon's campus in Seattle. It has always been a pet-friendly environment. There is even a doggy deck in one of the buildings with a fake fire hydrant.

7. The Company Is Working on Drone Delivery

Amazon is developing a futuristic delivery system, Prime Air, which would let Amazon deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes using small drones. The service is being developed for the U.S. and other countries.

8. A Bell Used to Ring

When Amazon first started, they rang a bell every time a customer made a purchase. “We had, at the time, a little bell that would ring every time a book was ordered, so we’d all be working and the bell would ring, and it would go Ding! and we’d go, ‘Yay! We sold a book!’” says former Amazon employee Jonathan Kochmer.

9. Over One and a Quarter Million Employees

Amazon employed 1.271 million people as of the end of 2020 across the globe, more than Google, Facebook (now Meta), and Alibaba combined. It managed to grow employee count by 51% year-over-year at the end of the second quarter.

10. It Was Also an Early Competitor of Yahoo! and Google

Before powerhouse search engine company Google (GOOG) had its "Street View" on its map application, Amazon launched a search engine in 2004, A9.com, which started a project called Block View.

Block View was a visual Yellow Pages that allowed its users to see the street view of addresses and directions to their destinations.