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By now, you are probably bored to the point of tears reading about other successful Amazon entrepreneurs (or maybe even just a teeny bit envious). After all, they seem to have largely the same stories.

What you need is a fresh take on how Amazon FBA can help you and your fledgling business. To do this, we have turned to history for inspiration. We’ve taken some of the most famous inventors of the last 2,500 years to illustrate how they might have leveraged Amazon FBA to improve their fortunes. From Plato in ancient Greece to Leonardo da Vinci in Renaissance Italy to Thomas Edison in 1900th-century U.S.

So, without further ado, let’s look at four famous entrepreneurs who should have used Amazon FBA and how they might have done it.


There is no arguing with the credentials of Plato. He is widely regarded to be one of the greatest philosophers of all time as well as being the father of western philosophy. His thoughts on almost everything from politics to science to mathematics have shaped much of our understanding of these important topics until today. His revolutionary credentials speak for themselves in the fact that he founded the first Western institute of higher learning.

However, living in ancient Greece around 420-350 BC, spreading his thoughts and literary work couldn’t have been easy. Nevermind all his other technological inventions.

How Amazon FBA could’ve helped

Old books

Plato is one figure from ancient history that could have definitely leveraged Amazon and Amazon FBA to spread his teaching and turn a profit. In fact, books are one of the best products to start out selling on Amazon and to have shipped via Amazon FBA. That’s because:

  • Books are usually in a good price range of between $10 and $50.
  • There is always someone who is reading or looking to buy a book.
  • They are easy and efficient to ship.

Amazon itself started out as nothing more than an online bookstore, and just look where it is today!

On top of this, Plato could’ve used Amazon’s Advantage program. Amazon Advantage is a self-consignment program meant for those who plan to sell large quantities of media on the Amazon platform. Here’s how it works:

  1. You need to be the publisher or author of the work and have the legal rights to sell the media.
  2. You can then register your products on Amazon.
  3. They will order a set number of items from you per week based on their own market research.

This makes things even easier for you as you don’t have to read the market and manage inventory as closely.

Plato would have been able to use this reliable base of income to start funding the expansion of his university or his inventions. He might have even been able to make more of them a reality or been able to improve his existing ones, like his water alarm clock.

Nikola Tesla

Nowadays, almost anyone would recognize this name. Nikola Tesla was what some today might call the “archetypal mad scientist” or at least an inventor who was “born before his time.” However, for almost a hundred years, his name fell almost completely out of the minds of the general public.

Nikola made many important contributions to our knowledge surrounding electrical currents and devices. And while there is no denying his genius, he spent the latter part of his life all but bankrupt. He lived in one hotel after another and left without paying.

There are two main reasons that Nikola Tesla couldn’t scale his earlier achievements and make them successful. The first is that he was slightly aloof and overly ambitious. As a result, he tried to tackle too many projects at once before perfecting and monetizing his current one. Secondly, he operated with high overhead (see reason number one), which meant he couldn’t keep up with his debts.

How Amazon FBA could’ve helped

Imagine if Nikola Tesla had had access to Amazon and Amazon FBA during his lifetime! Not only would he have been able to make more money off of his projects, but he could’ve kept his businesses scaling efficiently.

Tesla came up with many, many inventions during his lifetime that had varying degrees of success. Through the Amazon marketplace, he would’ve been able to reach a much wider audience than was otherwise possible at that time. This would’ve allowed him to make more money from his smaller and less useful inventions.

Another factor that has sunk many small businesses before is that the geniuses behind them don’t have the time or patience for day-to-day menial tasks. For example, like handling shipping and customer service. Amazon FBA is the perfect choice for these kinds of people.

When using Amazon FBA, you only need to get your products to the Amazon warehouse. From there, they handle all shipping, customer service, returns, and warehousing. All at relatively little cost to you through their fees structure.

For someone like Tesla, this would’ve freed him up to do what he did best. He could’ve kept on inventing, while not getting bogged down by the details involved in running a lucrative enterprise.

Leonardo da Vinci

This man needs no introduction. Most famous for being the creator of the Mona Lisa, the most widely known and recognized painting in the world, Leonardo might just be the poster child for inventors born before their time. Even more so than Tesla. Among some of his more ambitious ideas (that unfortunately never saw the light of day) was a helicopter, flying machine, armored car, and even a robotic knight!

However, Leonardo da Vinci was also credited with many more practical inventions. So many in fact, that it’s hard to actually know which were his or not.

One thing that sets Leonardo da Vinci apart from many of his peers throughout the years is the fact that he achieved success and held on to it for most of his life. However, even Leonardo himself could have benefited from Amazon FBA in his day.

How Amazon FBA could’ve helped

We can only imagine what would’ve been possible had he been able to supply more of the world with some of his incredible inventions. Not only would he have been ready to sell and ship them to a wider audience, but he would’ve had more funding available. This might have made some of his more fantastical ideas a little more plausible.

He could have even spread his creativity all around the globe by selling his fine art on Amazon! Amazon has extensive rules and processes in place for the sales of fine art on the Amazon marketplace. There are many special considerations to make when selling or buying art. Anyone forking out a lot of cash for a piece of art wants assurance of its authenticity, for example.

Fragile package

On the other hand, sellers or creators of the work of art want to feel secure that their work won’t be duplicated or that others will profit from their creative genius. Lastly, fine art is something that deserves to be preserved and protected for generations to come.

To try and ensure all of these, sellers of fine art need to apply for permission to sell these kinds of items on Amazon. Information that will help to establish the authenticity and to record the item will then be needed whenever it’s listed.

Thomas Edison

Another name that should definitely ring some bells is that of Thomas Edison. Many would consider Edison one of the greatest inventors of all time. He was able, and fortunate enough, to live in a time when he could bring most of his inventions to life and see them mass manufactured for popular use.

The fact that most of his inventions were a lot more practical, such as the phonograph, the light bulb, and the motion picture camera, also led to his huge financial success. In total, Edison has 1093 patents to his name. Although Edison certainly did not need any financial aid, even he would be able to benefit greatly from Amazon and Amazon FBA.

How Amazon FBA could’ve helped

Many of Edison’s inventions would’ve been popular options for people to buy. Sound recorders, video camera’s, light bulbs, car batteries, etc. are all things we still shop for online today! Most of these also fall within our guidelines for ideal products to sell on Amazon and to be shipped through Amazon FBA:

  • They’re within a good price range.
  • There is a huge demand for them.

However, most of these inventions are fairly fragile and would have needed extreme care when shipping. Luckily, Amazon FBA users have the option to indicate to Amazon that the relevant products are fragile and Amazon will then handle them accordingly. Amazon will also provide sellers of these items with additional pre-packaging instructions that they should follow.

In this case, the biggest benefit Amazon would’ve been able to provide someone like Edison, is to give them access to a much larger customer base. This would’ve been a plus for Edison himself as well as the rest of the world who would now have access to luxuries we take for granted today.

Lessons to be learned

‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’ -George Santayana

History always has a lesson for us, if you look hard enough. So, what can we learn from the “what-if” historical accounts just presented?

Amazon and Amazon FBA has options for anyone

Almost the only type of products or items that aren’t suitable for Amazon and Amazon FBA is large-scale industrial equipment. For anyone else that wants to sell, it doesn’t matter what product they have. Whether it’s fine art, personal technology or books, Amazon can handle it. However, there might be different fees involved with selling and fulfilling different types of items. Special items, such as fine arts, also have considerations made especially for them in the interest of their buyers and sellers.

Amazon can help free you to focus on your products or business

As was the case with Tesla, he simply couldn’t balance running a profitable business with his passion for inventing and pursuing new ideas. Offloading a lot of your logistics to Amazon and Amazon FBA frees you up to focus on more important things, such as improving your products and services.

Amazon FBA scales with your business

One of the greatest things about Amazon FBA that makes it such a profitable enterprise for Amazon and such a handy investment for others is that the fulfillment network is already in place. Amazon has developed this infrastructure and grown it alongside their business over the years. That means that new businesses who want to expand their fulfillment can leverage this extensive network of warehousing and shipping infrastructure.

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The famous entrepreneurs who would’ve been

We hope that seeing the benefits of Amazon and Amazon FBA in a historical context has given you a different perspective on how these systems can help you. Who can say where we would’ve been if we were given Amazon FBA sooner? Or where our famous entrepreneurs of the past could have gone?

Make history

It’s not too late to join Amazon FBA right now and start leveraging it to help you improve and scale your small business. Don’t be left behind. Instead, start writing your own place in history using Amazon. Read some of the informative articles on our blog or watch out for a Seller’s Playbook event near you.

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