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How Dori Monson just missed being billionaire Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Dori Monson came real close to a billion dollar idea once when he owned a bookstore. (Image KIRO/AP)

After hearing of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ drone delivery method, KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson said it would definitely boost his Amazon purchases. He also shared a story of how he just missed beating Amazon to the punch.

In a “60 Minutes” interview this weekend, Bezos said delivery methods were much more humble in the early days.

“If you go back in time 18 years, I was driving the packages to the post office myself. We were very primitive,” said Bezos.

But what you might not know is another Seattle book purveyor was offering a very similar service even before this.

“When I owned a bookstore, one of my big business plans, one of my brainstorms was we’re going to super serve customers. So if somebody is coming in and looking for a book, we’ll find it for them,” said Dori. “I told all my employees and my partners in the bookstore, I said, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do set us apart. When the book arrives to us, we’re going to bring it to their house,’ and we did that. I wanted us to be different.”

This was in the 1990s before giants like Barnes & Noble and Borders, and before Amazon, Dori explained.

“Amazon didn’t exist,” said Monson. “That was my thing though [book delivery]. I could have been Bezos.”

But Amazon’s delivery business obviously grew a bit faster than Monson’s, and he recognized a big thing coming.

“I started to get wind of Amazon and I said, ‘We’ve got to sell. We’ve got to get out of this business,'” said Dori, who is nothing but impressed with Amazon’s latest proposed delivery method.

“I’m watching this and I’m thinking, I would buy so much crap from Amazon just so I could sit on my porch and watch the drone flying in.”

While his dog would go berserk, Dori is eager to welcome the technology.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.


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