The definitive story of Amazon.com, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos.
Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn't content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that's never been cracked. Until now.
Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, giving listeners the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon. Compared to tech's other elite innovators - Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg - Bezos is a private man. But he stands out for his restless pursuit of new markets, leading Amazon into risky new ventures like the Kindle and cloud computing, and transforming retail in the same way Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing.
The Everything Store will be the revealing, definitive biography of the company that placed one of the first and largest bets on the Internet and forever changed the way we shop and read.
©2013 Brad Stone (P)2013 Hachette Audio
So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.
I was very eager to get my hands on this book, and it definitely did not disappoint. It was only 18 years ago that Amazon began selling books online, at a time when there were so many doubters. Jeff Bezos was unfazed by the skepticism he faced, as many execs of other companies told him the limitations of selling exclusively online would drammatically limit their potential. I know they weren't the first company to sell online, but Amazon definitely represents one of the pioneers in this industry. I remember Amazon's huge run-up in their early stock prices, and marvelling at the insane amounts of money being bet on a company that had not even been close to making a profit. Then in 2001, when the bottom fell out of all the tech-stock speculation, it looked like they would never survive, but they did, and went on to amazing heights. This book thoroughly covers Amazon's journey from their inception to the present day.
The Everything Store was incredibly well researched, with over 300 interviews conducted. The story is a great one, of how they broke into online sales with books, and wouldn't stop pushing the limits until they were the online sales leaders in every market possible. Stone does a perfect job of telling the story from start to finish. It never slows down or gets boring. I can't recommend this book strongly enough.
This is a great book. I did enjoy it and will listen to it more than once. It's nice to see the inner workings of a giant machine such as Amazon and what makes it tick. This book gives you the perspective of more than just the high level execs and more insight and the driving power of one of the most accomplished business men in our generation.
Overall great book. I have already recommended it to multiple people.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I must admit that over the years I find myself shopping at Amazon more and more. At first it was just to find a hard to find book. The first time I used Amazon was in the early 1990s I was mad because I had been to a number of books store, chain and independent, and was treated rudely as if it was too much trouble to try to find what I wanted. I contacted Amazon after not finding what I was looking for on their list and what a surprise the person was so polite and helpful and in two days called me back after finding the book and shipped it to me right away. That customer experience made me an Amazon fan. I read this book to discover more about Amazon’s founder. I had recently read biographies on Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and Steve Jobs. I did note in reading these books all of them had things in common such as total focus on their goal, not afraid to fail, ruthless with competitors and workers as well as problems with dealing with people. The beginning of the book Brad Stone covers the early life of Jeff Bezos and was complimentary but as the book progressed stone seem to concentrate on the negative factors. I found the fact that Bezos thought in the long term and worked for long term goals for the company refreshing, I have found too many companies planning does not go past the next quarter. I can attest to the fact the company is customer oriented. I noted that Bezos only had a one hour visit with the author about the book but did give him access to Amazon staff. I thought it interesting that Bezos asked Stone how he was going to deal with the “narrative fallacy” in writing the book. This theory was first proposed in 2007 by epistemologist Namin Nicholas Taleb in his book “The Black Swan”. The theory says humans use narrative to turn complex realities into soothing but oversimplified stories. In other words people have to find a rational explanation for something that appears inexplicable rather than trying to accept that things happen for an entirely random reason. Stone goes step by step showing how Amazon grew from a low margin book retailer into a technology company that provides basic computer infrastructure such as storage, and computing power to other companies, a book publisher and e-book reader manufacturer, reseller of many items and to streaming videos. I was surprised to learn that Amazon also owns Zappos and Goodreads. I knew they owned a company I use a lot, Audible. It will be interesting to read another book about Bezos in about 20 years or so. Peter Larkin did a good job narrating the story.
julie and the kids
certainly i would, it was well researched
perhaps it is because Mr. Bezos prefers to remain an enigma, but it would have been a more enjoyable book if we learned more about Mr. Bezos.
very well paced
it needs a follow up book, based on Jeff Bezos, and not so much the company itself.
The early television ads set forth by Amazon.com, came at a time when many of us could not grasp what this company would become, and come to offer us. Mr. Bezos' ideas were a decade ahead of what anyone else could envision, and after reading this book, you'll come to understand how a visionary thinks and how their accomplishments can bring the rest of us up to their speed. Truly an interesting read, just to see how the company faced it struggles, and persevered with true grit to become king of the hill. It takes you through more of an understanding of the organizational behavioral strategies it faced and how it continued to reinvent itself. A very good read for someone interested in this uniquely positioned tech/ consumer goods company.
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.
An amazing chronicle of high tech history of the last 20 years.
I work in advertising and at one time had worked on the Amazon account for a short while while I was at FCB. I found it very interesting to read about the period I was involved and also found it to be very accurate to what I experienced firsthand.
Easy voice to listen to.
No, too long, too much detail.
If you want a better understanding of what has happened in the last twenty years in the world of online consumerism, this is priceless.
No I can't sit that long in one spot.
Interesting to learn more about Amazon and Jeff Bezos.
I realize that Jeff Bezos is a uniquely talented individual with unmatched list of accomplishments. I also realize that Jeff Bezos is very private person and does not reveal his struggles to outside world.
Problem with the book is that Jeff Bezos is presented as a comics superman character. Even Ayn Rand's hypothetical business titans had more emotions and struggles than Jeff Bezos in this book.
It seems there only 3 emotional states for him:
- cold calculating machine, who can school math PhD's on why their algorithms would not work
- wrath expressed in a vein on a forehead, which happens the moment an employee said something less than a genius. Usually happens right before he "bites his head off" or makes someone a "second asshole".
- diabolical laugh.
I would love to see Marvell's take on it.
I'm also concerned about the way story describes early days of amazon. It seems that all it took is some code to build a first version of a web site.
As long as you have a website and you can send a link to a few friends, you "purchase announcement" bell will start ringing.
Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.
This is a fascinating story of Jeff Bezos and Amazon - well written and well narrated.
Thought it would be more interesting.Could not get through it. Jeff Bezos story must be much more fascinating than portrayed in this book.
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