Amazon Office Desk

Amazon Office Desk

4. Amazon.com’s “Door Desks” One of the reasons that Amazon.com managed to survive was that it didn’t go for the dotcom excesses to which other startups of the time succumbed. In fact, Amazon.com’s offices boasted cheap “door desks,” described by former Amazon.com employee (and creator of the site’s recommendation engine) Greg Linden as “the quintessential example of Amazon’s frugality.” “Buy a wooden door, preferably a hollow core wooden door with no holes predrilled. Saw a couple 4″ x 4″ x 6′ pillars in half. Bolt them to the door with a couple of scary looking angle brackets. Put it in front of a programmer. Door desk,” explains Linden. Some of the desks are still around today. The example in the photo above was caught on camera at Amazon.com’s PAC-MED offices in Seattle.
amazon office desk 1

Amazon Office Desk

One of the reasons that Amazon.com managed to survive was that it didn’t go for the dotcom excesses to which other startups of the time succumbed. In fact, Amazon.com’s offices boasted cheap “door desks,” described by former Amazon.com employee (and creator of the site’s recommendation engine) Greg Linden as “the quintessential example of Amazon’s frugality.” “Buy a wooden door, preferably a hollow core wooden door with no holes predrilled. Saw a couple 4″ x 4″ x 6′ pillars in half. Bolt them to the door with a couple of scary looking angle brackets. Put it in front of a programmer. Door desk,” explains Linden. Some of the desks are still around today. The example in the photo above was caught on camera at Amazon.com’s PAC-MED offices in Seattle.
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Amazon Office Desk

Amazon has its own set of stories from the early days. One of the most frequently repeated is the origination of the “door desk”. Back in the mid-90s, when Amazon employed about a dozen people, team members would gather on the floor in the 400 square foot warehouse to pack shipments. As sales started to accelerate and these packing sessions extended into the late hours, working on the floor became uncomfortable. Jeff’s first idea (kneepads!) was quickly scuttled for a better one: packing tables. After a quick trip to Home Depot, tables were assembled from solid-core doors, four-by-fours and metal brackets. These packing tables became door desks and are standard Amazon office furniture today.
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Amazon Office Desk

5. The Meaning Behind the Amazon.com Logo As you can see in slide two, the Amazon.com logo began as an abstract river design. After a few design changes, in 2000 the logo was re-imagined as the Turner Duckworth design we see today. In the words of the brand design agency, the smile and arrow say “we’re happy to deliver anything, anywhere.” In an Amazon.com press release from the time, the retailer stated “a smile now begins under the a and ends with a dimple under the z, emphasizing that Amazon.com offers anything, from A to Z, that customers may be looking to buy online.” When introduced in the early ’00s, the logo was sometimes animated with the arrow moving under the letters, but it was nixed after some suggested the arrow looked a little, er, phallic.
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Amazon Office Desk

In fact, Amazon.com’s offices boasted cheap “door desks,” described by former Amazon.com employee (and creator of the site’s recommendation engine) Greg Linden as “the quintessential example of Amazon’s frugality.”
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Amazon Office Desk

1. How Amazon.com Got Its Name Amazon.com was very nearly called “Cadabra,” as in “abracadabra.” Founder Jeff Bezos rapidly re-conceptualized the name when his lawyer misheard the word as “cadaver.” Bezos instead named the business after the river reportedly for two reasons. One, to suggest scale (Amazon.com launched with the tagline “Earth’s biggest book store”) and two, back then website listings were often alphabetical.

Amazon Office Desk

As you can see in slide two, the Amazon.com logo began as an abstract river design. After a few design changes, in 2000 the logo was re-imagined as the Turner Duckworth design we see today. In the words of the brand design agency, the smile and arrow say “we’re happy to deliver anything, anywhere.” In an Amazon.com press release from the time, the retailer stated “a smile now begins under the a and ends with a dimple under the z, emphasizing that Amazon.com offers anything, from A to Z, that customers may be looking to buy online.” When introduced in the early ’00s, the logo was sometimes animated with the arrow moving under the letters, but it was nixed after some suggested the arrow looked a little, er, phallic.

Amazon Office Desk

10. Amazon’s Own Brands As well as AmazonBasics and the Kindle brand, Amazon.com has three more “house” or “private” labels. The “Pike Street” and “Pinzon” ranges are made up of kitchen and household goods while “Strathwood” covers garden furniture. As far as the names go, speculation suggests “Pinzon” is named after Vicente Yanez Pinzon, a Spanish explorer who discovered an estuary of the Amazon River. We guess “Pike Street” is named after the Seattle location, but aren’t sure where “Strathwood” comes in. If you have an idea then shout it out in the comments below.
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However, an essay in today’s Wall Street Journal called “Jeff Bezos of Amazon: Birth of a Salesman,” compels me to comment on one aspect of the pervading myth of Amazon’s creation and early years. You can read elsewhere about the truth behind other parts of the creation myth, especially in Robert Spector’s fine and exhaustive look at Amazon’s early years, Get Big Fast.
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6. Call the Service Desk and You Might Get the CEO To help understand the customer service process, every Amazon.com employee spends two days every two years on the service desk handling calls — even the CEO. “It’s both fun and useful,” Jeff Bezos told Bloomberg Business Week. “One call I took many years ago was from a customer who had bought 11 things from 11 sellers — and typed in the wrong shipping address.”
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I recently hired an assistant and needed to set up a quick workspace for her (and for me, too) so, of course, I immediately turned to Amazon Prime and was excited to stumble upon this inexpensive white Parsons desk. I ordered two with the idea of pushing them together so that I have a larger workspace when I’m alone. It will also give us enough room for laptops when the two of us are working alongside one another. Today, I’m sharing three different ways to style this versatile piece in your own office!
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I had lunch with Jeff in October 1996 when I was a bit in the doldrums about what I was going to do next with the business. He invited me to join Amazon, which I did. But what I remember most was, after lunch, walking into his office in the Columbia Building, and seeing a rack of blue colored shirts, his trademark at the time, and the door-as-desk. I laughed. I looked at the threadbare carpet and spartan furnishings, and said, “Investors must love this.” He gave me his patented laugh.
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With the Smart Office Desk Drawer, that situation will never happen again. Each item is monitored with its own sensor, and when the item is running low, the product is automatically ordered via the Amazon Dash Replenishment Service. If the item isn’t mission critical and can wait to be purchased the next time you go into town, the Smart Drawer will simply remind the user via email.
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As I recently shared, my husband and I just bought our first house and with it came a huge, new office for me. I fell in love with the office in my last house (see the tour here), but what my new office lacks in natural light and wood floors, it makes up for in sheer space. I can’t wait to get it organized and to decorate. In the meantime, I needed a desk because my old one is being used in our kitchen right now.
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In an Amazon.com press release from the time, the retailer stated “a smile now begins under the a and ends with a dimple under the z, emphasizing that Amazon.com offers anything, from A to Z, that customers may be looking to buy online.”
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Amazon.com was very nearly called “Cadabra,” as in “abracadabra.” Founder Jeff Bezos rapidly re-conceptualized the name when his lawyer misheard the word as “cadaver.” Bezos instead named the business after the river reportedly for two reasons. One, to suggest scale (Amazon.com launched with the tagline “Earth’s biggest book store”) and two, back then website listings were often alphabetical.
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As well as AmazonBasics and the Kindle brand, Amazon.com has three more “house” or “private” labels. The “Pike Street” and “Pinzon” ranges are made up of kitchen and household goods while “Strathwood” covers garden furniture. As far as the names go, speculation suggests “Pinzon” is named after Vicente Yanez Pinzon, a Spanish explorer who discovered an estuary of the Amazon River. We guess “Pike Street” is named after the Seattle location, but aren’t sure where “Strathwood” comes in. If you have an idea then shout it out in the comments below.