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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)
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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.

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