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Part 1: gen e > dollars and amazonians

Chapter 5. dollars and amazonians

Consider this. On the morning of 28 September 1999, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com let it be known that on the following morning he would be making an announcement about the future direction of his business. It was, he said, "an announcement significantly affecting the world of e-commerce". Such pronouncements are not unusual. CEOs routinely claim their businesses are making earth-shattering moves in their markets. Usually, they aren't. But when Bezos talks, the business world listens.

The American business press dropped everything to rush to the hotel where Bezos was speaking. It is not uncommon for the stock of a company to rise or fall when news is imminent. But on this occasion in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street there was a frenzy of speculation. By the end of the day, with no news other than the announcement of the announcement, the market valuation of Amazon.com had jumped by $1.5 billion.[] This, remember, was before Bezos even opened his mouth.


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