Proud Parents

Jackie and Mike Bezos with their son Jeff.

If your adult child asks you to invest in his or her startup, what would you say? If the answer is “yes,” you better be prepared to lose every cent. That was how Jackie and Mike Bezos felt when they invested $245,573 in their son’s new firm in 1995. I don’t know how they came up with that exact figure, but that’s the check they wrote.

The company they invested in was Amazon. The decision turned out to be a good one. The investment was one of the best ever. Financial folks estimate that Jeff Bezos’ parents are now worth around $30 billion, thanks to one IPO and three stock splits.

If the financial experts are correct, Jackie and Mike are richer than Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. I wonder what they were thinking when Jeff asked if they wanted to put money into his new business?

They have been quoted over the years saying that Jeff was more nervous than they were. He was worried they would be angry with him if they lost their money.

Maybe that’s the reason why Jeff worked so diligently to build one of the most successful companies ever. He wanted his parents to be proud.