Amazon is the world's largest internet company. It started out as an online bookstore in the middle of the 1990s and grew gradually over the years. Today Amazon sells almost everything from CDs and DVDs to sportswear and electrical appliances. The company also produces its own tablets and e-readers and lets users upload their own photos and other files to the Amazon-based cloud.
Amazon offers its services all over the world. It operates its own websites in the UK, Germany, China, , as well as many South American and Asian countries.
Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. It first operated out of a small garage in Washington state. Within a year Amazon offered hundreds of thousands of books. People could not only order books from an online catalogue but also write their own reviews. In 1997 Amazon started trading shares on the NASDAQ stock exchange. By 2000 it made over a billion dollars in sales.
As time went on Amazon grew gradually. It bought many of its rivals and today cooperates with other companies and lets them sell their products via the Amazon website.
In 2007 Amazon went a step further. It surprised the electronics world with a revolutionary eBook reader, the Kindle, which today dominates the market. In 2011 a tablet computer followed, the Amazon Fire. In the following years the company started selling music downloads and videos on demand. Amazon customers can store everything they buy on their private cloud and download it anytime they want.
Today, Amazon serves 20 million customers every day. Its annual income is over 34 billion dollars.
although = while
Amazon-based = here: something that only works with Amazon and its own computers
ambitious = hard-working, very motivated
annual = yearly
appliance = machine that you use for doing something at home
billion = a thousand million
cloud = when you work on your own computer but use software or store files on other computers on the Internet
cooperate = work together with
customer = a person who buys a product
dominate = control, lead
downturn = here: sales go down
empire = here: very large company or group of companies
employee = worker
experience = event, something that happens
found – founded = start something new
gradually = slowly
income = the money you get from selling products
monopoly = a large company that controls all or most of the business
operate = work
personalize = to organize something so that it fits the habits of a certain person
point out = want to show
retailer = person that sells products to customers
review = an opinion about a book, movie etc..
revolutionary = something new or not done before
rival = other company that wants to sell the same products
sales = selling products
serve = sell products to
services = what a company offers its customers
share = part of a company
sportswear = clothes you need for doing sports
stock exchange = a place where you can buy and sell parts of a company
store = save something in order to use it later
tablet = small computer with a touch screen, but without a keyboard and mouse
video on demand = you can download a video to watch on your computer or TV whenever you want to
visionary = someone who has clear ideas and strong feelings about the future