Why Oliver Daemen told Jeff Bezos he never bought from Amazon – .

Why Oliver Daemen told Jeff Bezos he never bought from Amazon – .

When Jeff Bezos thanked Amazon customers for essentially paying for his first trip to space, he was apparently not speaking to Oliver Daemen, the Dutch teenager who joined the billionaire on Blue Origin’s first passenger space flight. .
That’s because 18-year-old Daemen says he’s never ordered anything from Amazon before.

Daemen, who became the youngest person to ever reach space with the trip, even told Bezos he had never used the website, according to Reuters.

“I told Jeff I had never bought anything from Amazon,” Daemen told Reuters in an interview last week after the teenager returned to the Netherlands after his historic space flight.

“And he said to me, ‘Oh, wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone say that.’ ”

Of course, Amazon did very well without Daemen’s support. The company Bezos founded in 1994 has 2020 sales of $ 386 billion, is currently valued at $ 1.8 trillion, and ships a few million packages per day.

However, the fact that Daemen did not buy from Amazon is less surprising when you consider that the world’s largest e-commerce company has only recently increased its presence in the Netherlands, where Daemen resides. , underlines a representative of Daemen.

While Amazon started selling e-books only in the Netherlands in 2014, and Dutch customers have been able to get 24-hour delivery from Amazon through the company’s German website since 2016, Amazon no. has not fully launched a Dutch-language website (Amazon.nl, which sells 100 million products and includes “thousands” of Dutch retailers) until March 2020. As such, the company still faces strong competition from other Dutch e-commerce sites that have established a foothold in the country, such as Bol.com and Coolblue.
It’s still unclear if Daemen will start shopping on Amazon now that he has shared a space capsule with the company’s billionaire founder. A spokesperson for Daemen told CNBC Make It that the teenager was currently on vacation and unavailable for interviews, while Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At the very least, it seems Daemen and Bezos are getting along well, even though the Dutch teenager was not an Amazon customer.

“Jeff Bezos turned out to be super sociable and kind in real life too,” Daemen said in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad a few days after the Blue Origin flight. Daemen added that he found Bezos’ knowledge of Blue Origin rockets “truly impressive”, and said he felt space technology was more than a “side project” for the richest man. of the world.

“You might think this is a side project for him because he’s primarily involved with Amazon, but that’s not true,” Daemen said of Bezos, who stepped down as CEO of ‘Amazon in early July to also focus on Blue Origin. like initiatives like the Bezos Earth Fund, the Washington Post, and the Amazon Day 1 Fund (Bezos remains executive chairman of the Amazon board).

In the days leading up to the July 20 Blue Origin flight, Daemen said he trained with the rest of the crew, which included Bezos and his brother, Mark Bezos, as well as the aerospace pioneer. 82 year old Wally Funk (oldest person to reach space).

Blue Origin’s (LR) New Shepard crew Oliver Daemen, Jeff Bezos, Wally Funk and Mark Bezos pose for a photo near the booster after flying into space in the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket on July 20, 2021 at Van Horn , Texas. Mr. Bezos and the crew were the company’s first manned space flight.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

“In two days, we practiced maybe 20 times the whole flight… with all kinds of scenarios, in case something went wrong. Under the simulator were huge speakers that mimicked the [sound of the] rocket, ”Daemen told the Dutch newspaper.

Daemen, who said reaching space was his “ultimate and ultimate goal,” even left open the possibility that he might end up with Blue Origin in the future, perhaps even as an intern. The teenager, who is expected to start studying physics at Utrecht University in the fall, told Algemeen Dagblad “if it were up to me, it sure wouldn’t be the last time I go. in the space “.

“At Blue Origin, they have already said that I can always come back, for example for an internship,” he added. “Maybe I will too. “

Daemen landed his seat on the Blue Origin space flight after the still anonymous winner of a $ 28 million seat auction gave up due to a scheduling conflict. Blue Origin did not disclose the cost of the Daemen seat, but the company did confirm that the teenager’s father, private equity CEO Joes Daemen, paid for his son’s seat.

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