First Amazon Customer Spent $27.95 And Got A Building Named After Him

Not the first customer, but a satisfied one, nonetheless. (tehchix0r)

Not the first customer, but a satisfied one, nonetheless. (tehchix0r)

Being the first to try something new cost one guy just $27.95 and got him not only the book he ordered but his name on a building. The first non-company customer spent less than $30 on April 3, 1995 on Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of Thought by Douglas Hofstadter, and now his moniker is splashed on the edifice of one of the company’s buildings in Seattle.

MarketWatch has an extensive interview with John Wainwright, an Australian software engineer based in Sunnyvale, CA, who made the first purchase on the site that wasn’t placed by one of the company employees.

As it turns out, he was friends with the founding engineers of Amazon, who’d left his day job to work on this “crazy idea” of an online bookstore.

“He sent me an email and said, ‘Create an account and order some books.’ I thought I was going to get some free books out of it,” he told MarketWatch, saying he used a T1 link at his office to order it. “But they took my credit card and charged it!”

He says he still has the book — “a work on artificial intelligence and human cognition modeling” — on his bookshelf, and is waiting for Jeff Bezos to offer him “a large amount of money for it.”

Big payout or no, not everyone can say they’ve got building with their name on it. Not too shabby for that price, not too shabby at all.

Meet Amazon’s first customer [MarketWatch]

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