A different world just a quarter-century ago

Twenty-five years ago today Amazon was incorporated. And since July 5, 1994, huge technological changes have occurred that many have forgotten—or may not have ever known or heard of in the first place.

Founded by Jeff Bezos and his former wife, MacKenzie, after Bezos left his job at a New York hedge fund and drove cross country, Amazon initially sold just books and at first was called “Cadabra.” But even then, Bezos was quoted as saying he envisioned Amazon as “an everything store.”

Amazon has indeed become an everything store—including now having physical stores—with a dominant position in the U.S. and much of the world. But as author Bill Murphy, Jr. noted in a posting on Inc.com, Amazon isn’t the only thing to have changed—and changed drastically—since the summer of 1994 (its first website would go live in 1995).

Stanford FCU in Palo Alto, Calif. would become the first CU in the world to offer rudimentary online banking in 1993—well ahead of just about all banks, as well. And the credit union community itself has during Amazon’s lifetime experienced the same revolutionary change as the company itself, with the Internet and online banking transforming from something few had any real knowledge of into the primary channel through which many members now interact with their credit unions.


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