Jeff Bezos is worth a staggering US$115.6 billion (AU$169 billion) - all thanks to the online bookstore he launched back in 1995, which turned into Amazon as we know it today.
But Bezos, who worked at a New York hedge fund until Amazon came along, didn’t expect the company to become the juggernaut that it is - so much so, that he had a backup plan in place.
“I would be an extremely happy software programmer somewhere,” Bezos said at the Amazon India event on Wednesday.
But alas, the world’s richest man had other plans.
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“I came across the fact that the world wide web was growing very quickly,” he said. “And I came up with this - initially very simple idea - to sell books online, and I went to my boss, who I liked a lot, and I said I have this idea to start a company and sell books online.”
“What’s actually happened over the last 25 years [at Amazon] is way beyond my expectations. I was hoping to build a company, but not a company like what you see today.”
Should you really have a Plan B?
While Bezos may have had a fall-back option if Amazon didn’t succeed, others believe you shouldn’t settle for less than Plan A.
Buddy Holly actor Scot Robin told Yahoo Finance his dream of pursuing a music career wasn’t exactly his parents’ idea of success.
“[At first] it was more looked upon as a hobby and it was sort of like, ‘Yeah, you need to have something to fall back on’,” he said.
“And I thought if you have something to fall back on, you won't make it.”
“If you’ve got a safety net, you'll always say, ‘Oh, if I don't make it, it's okay.’”
“But if you have to keep the lights on and the rent paid and sit on the table from what, the only thing that you know how to do, then you'll succeed, is my view.”
17-year-old self-made millionaire Jack Bloomfield also told New Investors: My Story host Sarah O’Carroll that he knew he never wanted to work a part-time gig at Target or KFC, and chose to pursue his own business ventures instead.
“I knew successful people ran businesses, and that's how it started at eight because I always wanted to just do something more.”
Amazon’s latest venture
Amazon has taken on Uber Eats with its new delivery service, Amazon Flex, which launched in Sydney and Melbourne today.
The new app will guide independent contractors to delivery destinations for the global tech giant.
"It's a really great way for Australians to be their own boss, and earn some extra money, and they can do it around their own lifestyle," Amazon Australia director of operations Craig Fuller told AAP.
"They can choose when they work. They can choose once a week if they wanted to, or they could do five times a week. It's very flexible.
"It's easy to use and easy to be involved in," Fuller said.
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