When I graduated my undergraduate business program in 1997, our capstone course included a case study on this interesting company started by a guy named Jeff Bezos. We highly intelligent business students weighed in on the viability of a little web site called Amazon.com.
Granted, I was in the accounting department, so maybe those marketing or IT guys knew better, but I had my doubts. I was joined in wariness my first year consulting at a big accounting firm. That fall the office was split about evenly over who was doing their Christmas shopping ‘online’. Woo-woo. My fellow conservatives (mostly accounting majors) kept our credit card numbers to ourselves while those free wheeling econ and finance majors snatched up deals without wasting a single lunch hour (Christmas Eve for the guys) in line at a crowded department store.
The next year I ventured out, purchasing a few things online. But I hadn’t followed the progress of Amazon.com. That is, until I learned that the purple haired and tattooed girl who cleaned my tiny condo (and pulled a few shifts at Amazon’s Seattle warehouse) started looking at houses in neighborhoods I could only ever hope to jog through.
"But how," I asked.
"Stock options. Cool huh?"
That’s about the time I started looking for my real business education. And a new housekeeper.