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Jeff Bezos to Apply Amazon Principles to Nonprofit Preschools

Jeff Bezos

Jeff BezosWhat if you took the principles of running an ecommerce marketplace and applied them to a nonprofit educational operation, with the child as “customer”?

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and his wife MacKenzie, launched a philanthropic initiative called the Day One Fund with a focus on helping impoverished families with food, shelter – and education.

The Day 1 Families Fund will help existing non-profits that are doing work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.

But it’s the Day 1 Academies Fund where Bezos will put his stamp on things. That fund will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities. Here’s what he had to say about it:

“We will build an organization to directly operate these preschools. I’m excited about that because it will give us the opportunity to learn, invent, and improve.

“We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon.

“Most important among those will be the genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer.

“”Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” And lighting that fire early is a giant leg up for any child.”

Amazon the company is obsessed with the customer (the buyer), but it has at times been criticized for how it treats third-party sellers. And it has been widely criticized for how it treats employees. That leads to the obvious question, how will the Day 1 Academies Fund see teachers and childcare workers in Bezos’s analogy?

Some additional excerpts from Bezos’s message, delivered via a 4-part tweet:

“It was a Day 1 outlook that made me reach out to ask for suggestions on approaches to philanthropy last year. By so many important measures the world keeps getting better, and it’s one of the fantastic aspects of human nature that we humans never stop looking for (and finding!) ways to improve things.”

“In addition to Amazon, my areas of focus so far have included investment in the future of our planet and civilization through the development of foundational space infrastructure, support of American democracy through stewardship of the Washington Post, and financial contributions to the dedicated and innovative champions of a variety of causes,…”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

6 thoughts on “Jeff Bezos to Apply Amazon Principles to Nonprofit Preschools”

  1. No thanks. I dont want that traitor anywhere near education. Not to mention the pain and suffering the teachers would face if its anything like sellers.

  2. “Stewardship’ of the Washington Post?


    Which is what it is.

  3. My other comment didn’t go through i think so i’ll paraphrase…

    Jeff Bezos is just a front man for the Money Men behind the scenes.

    Destroying small/medium business in order to form a monopoly and control politicians for their own interests, promoting Chinese business and helping it destroy American business, treating 3rd party sellers as slaves, treating employees like slaves, outsourcing and destroying jobs in the US, using the USPS as their personal delivery service subsidized by the US taxpayer.

    They even bought Jeff a newspaper so he could turn it into propaganda and promote their business interests as “news.”

    Of course, this education thing will be preying on the poor and disenfranchised and extorting the taxpayer (too often the poor as the wealthy do what Jeff does, offshore the money) to pay for it all.

    Another scam, and now expect the Washington Post to push it.

    The sooner that the Amazon monster is dismantled and treated like the illegal monopoly it is, the better.

    Is it too late? Do they already own all the politicians who will stop this?

    How long until Amazon is the ‘provider’ for everything and everyone gives everything they have to Big Daddy Amazon, who makes all the decisions?

    1. Very true. Too bad many are not smart enough to see it and with the way education is being dismantled in this country many more never will be

    2. To “Carol is Here” –

      You Rock!

      Nice to see there are others out there that recognize that Jeff Bezos is a real piece of garbage! Don’t let this slime bucket fool you with his new found benevolence and love of child education. Everything Bezos does has an ulterior motive behind it!

      Just exactly what does Bezos mean by “”Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” And lighting that fire early is a giant leg up for any child.” Is he now some sort of Zen philosopher?

      I won’t even comment on the Bezos owned “Washington Post” – a propaganda laden tabloid masquerading as a legitimate news source. Heck, I give more credibility to publications like the National Enquirer than I do the “Post”.

      Amazon just opened a 1 million square foot fulfillment center where I live in Shelby Township, MI. I’m upset that my local leaders would ever allow a company that treats it workers so badly to do business in my community.

      Personally I refuse to buy anything from Amazon and my life is more than fine without them. I refuse to support anything that has the Bezos named attached to it! I used to use Amazon as a search tool to determine a competitive price level for certain products and then I’d go buy elsewhere. I stopped using Amazon all together when I found out that they don’t necessarily show you the lowest price for an item. Instead, they show you the price they want you to see, even if it’s not the low cost option. It’s clear the sellers that are willing to “pay to play” get the top search visibility regardless of their price. That’s what corporate greed does for you! What a crock of crap! Too bad not enough other Americans feel the same way.

      Parents of America, be forewarned – That last thing that any mom and dad needs is the involvement of Jeff Bezos in shaping the lives of their pure, innocent and very naïve children!

      Jeff Bezos only has a real passion and true love for but a few things in life – Greed, Money and Jeff Bezos!

  4. If these are B.O.C.E.S. type schools, it could be economic Gold for America. Getting young people acquainted with theory, method and production would be exactly what’s been missing from the education landscape. I remember taking courses and asking, “How would I use this in real life ? “. To make that connection is the motivator to learning. I had to make that connection myself, and it took years. I would have been way ahead of it if it happened early in my education.
    If Bezos starts on a small scale and shows us the results, we can judge whether to let him continue.

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