Interests in Design/Engineering, Architecture, & History
I love Amazon. Seriously. Amazon has improved my life. As a parent of young children, I spend no time driving to stores for diapers, I can shop late at night, I can get things cheap.
Little did I know the "price of cheap." In order for Amazon to deliver the best prices, they've seemingly done almost everything on such a slim margin, you almost feel guilty as a customer for what is happening for their employees. From the Fulfillment Centers to the executive offices, everything is about being cheap and frugal to the point it's a bit disturbing how little I was aware of it : No air conditioning in a hot summer warehouse (although they would have an ambulance on hand for employees who suffer heat stroke) - Execs traveling in economy - sawhorse door desks - no free parking for employees - a boss that expects you to have no work/life balance - no unions... it goes on...
I do appreciate how Jeff Bezos behaves as an agent of the consumer, fighting for the benefit of the consumer, but all the cheap stories made me feel like asking Jeff to not fight so hard, to just lay off and get his employees some air conditioning. It's like you call the police to arrest a guy who's stolen your car, only to have the police come and proceed to bludgeon the burglar to within inches of his life in front of your eyes. That's how it felt at times.
This book does do a good job presenting the most successful .com retail company and charting the roots of its success, it serves as a role model for anybody seeking to understand the world of internet retailing through the lens of the biggest, baddest, internet retailer out there right now.
Janis Ian is leading a remarkable life. She stormed into the public eye with the brilliant and socially controversial “Society’s Child” single in 1967 at the tender age of 13. A tremendously talented song writer and performer she continues to deliver wonderful music to this day. But what a life, it took a while to build on her meteoric start but she did. She leaves little untold from tilted sexuality to enduring a rocky heterosexual marriage to becoming secure in herself as a gay woman. She enjoyed major financial success then near ruin at the hands of a crooked manager and cruel IRS. Janis was an early embracer of the digital/internet world and the artistic freedom it offered. And all along the way are many, many lyrical, lovely songs. I really enjoyed this book and Janis tells her own story so very well. One thing that does not come through in the book though is what a great performer she is, and how witty and fun she is as a performer.