Everyone was right
This is a great preview of Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos in 1999. It captures the skepticism about the company and the huge losses it was sustaining as it tried to stake its place as the world's online bookstore. That eventually expanded into the world's store for everything.
The company was only 5 years old at the time and it was the height of the tech boom. Shares of AMZN were trading at $150. The would fall to $10 two years later and it would take more than 12 years to regain the lofty heights of the dot-com boom.
But you can see from the start that Bezos had a vision (and a hearty laugh). On Friday, he became the world's only person worth $100 billion but when you consider that he was worth $10 billion when this was shot, it somehow seems less impressive. After all, it's only a 13.7% annualized return.
What's also fascinating was that just about everyone was right, to some extent. Of course, Bezos was right about the future, but the critics of the stock price and valuations were also right. Or at least they were for a long time. And the analyst who warned that Wal-Mart should wake up was definitely right.