Many people dream of going back to the future and buying bitcoins in their early days. Others remember that they did find out about the cryptocurrency when it was worth a fraction of a penny and let the opportunity pass. In this situation, many engineers Y programmers that they passed over a job offer from a small newly founded start-up that would later become a digital giant, offering shares as part of the salary.
Ad, published in 1994 by Jeff Bezoswent viral these days on social networks due to the contrast between the offer and the enormous future prospects that no one imagined.
“Well Capitalized Seattle Company Seeks Unix Developers”, headlines the announcement, dated August 22, 1994, 28 years ago.
“A well-capitalized start-up seeks highly talented C/C++/Unix developers to help pioneer Internet commerce”, detailed a thirty-something Bezos, a month and a half after founding the company, initially called cadaver. A year later it would be called Amazon.
The announcement marked a challenge: required experience “designing and building large and complex (but maintainable) systems”, as well as the ability to do it “in about a third of the time that most competent people think possible.”
Among the minimum qualifications, it asked for a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate in computer science or its equivalent. But more emphasis he placed on “top-notch” communication skills, which he described as “essential” to the position. Less important, but valuable, was familiarity with HTML and web servers.
The key detail of the announcement, impossible to foresee at the time, is that “a significant participation in the capital” was offered as part of the compensation, when Amazon’s stock value was still far from skyrocketing.
Bezos promised that the work environment would be with colleagues “talented, motivated, intense and interesting”and clarified that those interested should be available to move to Seattle.
“We are an Equal Opportunity Employer”, he added, ending the ad with a quote from computer pioneer Alan Kay: “It is easier to invent the future than to predict it”.
Three months after that job search, Bezos started selling books. Later, it expanded to the sale of video games and music. For the new century, he focused on consumer products and in the mid-2000s he founded what is now his flagship product, Amazon Web Services, cloud services.
Amazon currently has a market capitalization of 1.37 trillion dollars, ranking as the fifth most valuable company in the world, behind Manzanathe oil company Saudi aramco, microsoft Y Alphabet (Google). For his part, Bezos is in third place in the Forbes ranking among the richest in the world, surpassed by Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX) and Bernard Arnault (LVMH), with an estimated wealth of 159 billion dollars.