*Happy 10th birthday, Amazon.com!*
Tonight I went to the anniversary concert at Amazon. Wow. It’s not so much that the concert was awesome - as concerts go, it was about halfway lame and halfway cool. Norah Jones rocked, Bob Dylan frankly sucked, and the rest were just average. Although Bill Maher is funny. It’s just that it made me really aware of just how much a part of history I am. I feel like Amazon has been with me for a long time. When Bezos sold his first book in 1995, I was going into eighth grade. I graduated in 1996, started at Loyola, went to Uchicago, and became a recently promoted developer at Amazon. It’s no longer a startup, that’s for sure, but I still feel like I’m part of something massive, something cool, and it sure feels like Amazon is about to break into new areas, do new things, and I can be part of that. During high school, I witnessed the four years of the dot-com boom, and then in college I saw the bust. I remember hearing about Clinton and Lewinsky, about interest rates, and discounting that as all more or less boring crap. But the internet! That was truly something cool.
In eighth grade, shortly after Amazon was launched, I remember getting the entrepreneurial bug. A bunch of us decided to launch “Mobius Operations”: it was a service-based web company. We would build you a website, for a fee, and make money doing it. We had a business plan (sort of). We had an investor (my dad). We bought some books.. I remember “CGI programming in 60 minutes” and “Instant Java”. But this didn’t pan out, despite my dad’s hopes… I mean, we were only freshmen in high school. But we did learn some valuable web-building skills, and we built a really cool website, complete with graphics, an image map, and even frames! (those were brand new and cool at the time).
Now, ten years later, I’m a full blown SDE at Amazon. Who knows what the next ten years will make, but it’s bound to be fun, both for Amazon and for me.