- Drew Angerer/Getty Images
- Jeff Bezos posted a job ad looking for a computer programmer 24 years ago on Wednesday.
- The salary for the job included significant equity, but the company wasn’t even called Amazon yet.
- Read the entire job listing below.
Twenty-four years ago, a little-known entrepreneur posted a job listing to Usenet, a pre-internet message board.
He was looking for “extremely talented” software developers to “help pioneer commerce on the internet.”
That entrepreneur? Jeff Bezos, who built that startup into Amazon, the tech giant that dominates online commerce.
Amazon now has a $908 billion market cap, and Bezos is one of the wealthiest people in modern history.
We first saw the 24-year-old job listing via BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman. It’s reproduced below in its entirety:
Here’s the text:
Well-capitalized start-up seeks extremely talented C/C++/Unix developers to help pioneer commerce on the Internet. You must have experience designing and building large and complex (yet maintainable) systems, and you should be able to do so in about one-third the time that most competent people think possible. You should have a BS, MS, or PhD in Computer Science or the equivalent. Top-notch communication skills are essential. Familiarity with web servers and HTML would be helpful but is not necessary.
Expect talented, motivated, intense, and interesting co-workers. Must be willing to relocate to the Seattle area (we will help cover moving costs).
Your compensation will include meaningful equity ownership.
Send resume and cover letter to Jeff Bezos:
mail: be…@netcom.com fax: 206/828-0951 US mail: Cadabra, Inc. 10704 N.E. 28th St. Bellevue, WA 98004
We are an equal opportunity employer.
“It’s easier to invent the future than to predict it.” — Alan Kay
At this time, Bezos had not even settled on the name “Amazon” for his startup, according to Brad Stone’s biography of Bezos, “The Everything Store.”
Whoever replied to that post was applying to “Cadabra,” as mentioned in the ad. “Awake.com,” “Browse.com,” or even “Relentless.com” were also names Bezos was considering at the time, according to the book.
It may be lost to time who eventually got the job listed in the Usenet post, though Bezos soon hired Shel Kaphan as the company’s first employee and CTO in charge of building the company’s technical infrastructure. After that, the company hired Paul Davis, a British-born programmer, according to Stone’s book.
In the job listing, Bezos was looking for an engineer who could build complicated systems in “about one-third the time that most competent people think possible.” In exchange, they would get “meaningful equity ownership.”
How much would that Amazon stock be worth today?