Audie Award Finalist, Business/Educational, 2014
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.
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.
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.
Yes - tells the story behind a great American company in the context of the past 20 years. Seems to portray Bezos' strengths and weaknesses without exaggeration. Inspiring and frightening.
Pete disappears in the telling. An easy voice to listen to.
No - but enjoyed it piece by piece!
Great story. Starts well and ends well. Comprenhensive!
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.
It was fascinating to travel back in time and see how Amazon made the decisions they did and how Jeff Bezos' personality has directly impacted Amazon's success.
Helps visualize the scenes vividly.
In-depth look at the psychological make-up and motivation of Bezos. Also great look at the founding and growth of Amazon.com. Takes you through so many of their successes and failures through acquisitions and innovations. Realistic view of the culture that Bezos has created and the type of person who excels at Amazon. At times, a little too technical for non-engineers like me, but still worth the read.
Really too bad that this book didn't get into depth on the characters and the essential plot. It's more of business journalist's compilation of anecdotes and Wall St commentary. The genius of the service and the leaders aren't really captured.
Thin and superficial more journalist style
Yes well read
Scenes where he recants some negative analyst reports and reactions. I don't think the Steve Jobs book contained such a Wall St viewpoint.
Someone should take another stab at the Bezos story.
Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.
Like most people interested in business, I have followed Bezos and Amazon somewhat with a good level of curiosity. Having lived in Seattle, I heard stories about how it is like to work in the company. I did not have high expectations for this book.
And yet, the story is captivating, well narrated and full of insights. At the end of the book I find myself admiring Bezos and Amazon, in spite of their defects or limitations. There is a lot to learn from this book from a business strategy perspective : his focus on long-term thinking and customer experience, for example.
This is one of the few books that I plan to listen to again in a few years
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