Amazon breached the $1 trillion mark. Photo: Reuters
Amazon breached the $1 trillion mark. Photo: Reuters
Amazon breached the $1 trillion mark. Photo: Reuters
Amazon breached the $1 trillion mark. Photo: Reuters

INTERNATIONAL – When Apple’s market value crossed a $1 trillion (about R15trln) last month, the reason was simple: It makes devices that a lot of people are willing to spend a lot of money on.

Now Amazon has become the second US company to cross that once-unimaginable line. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is worth nearly as much as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett put together.

This time, the explanation is more complicated.

Amazon captures 49 US cents of every e-commerce dollar in the US. It employs more than 550 000 people and generates $178 billion in annual revenue. It sells everything from computing space to peanut butter to appointments with plumbers.

But the thing it has always sold the most – to investors, customers, the media – is excitement.

In the beginning, Amazon was an exciting new way to shop for books: online. Then it was an exciting new way to read (Kindle e-books), an exciting new way to publish (CreateSpace), an exciting new way to power the internet (Amazon Web Services), an exciting new way to get deliveries (Amazon Prime), an exciting new way to make your house a high-tech outpost (Alexa).

– THE NEW YORK TIMES