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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Paul
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 01-29-14

Loved the honesty!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

What does Pete Larkin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Pete disappears in the telling. An easy voice to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No - but enjoyed it piece by piece!

Any additional comments?

Great story. Starts well and ends well. Comprenhensive!

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Liked the information in the book

What did you love best about The Everything Store?

I liked this book, didn't love it, but should be expected since it's an overview of the company and actual events. Author did a good job of stringing everything together to explain what happened in real time.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it got a little boring toward the end so I had to listen in spurts to get done with it.

Any additional comments?

Good book that should be read for anyone working in tech or for a large company. Much of the way Amazon is being run and the attitudes are being integrated into other companies so it's a good explanation of why things seem to be shifting in the way people run their businesses.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • K.
  • 11-15-13

Jeff Bezos is a superman

Would you try another book from Brad Stone and/or Pete Larkin?

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. <br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>It seems there only 3 emotional states for him:<br/>- cold calculating machine, who can school math PhD's on why their algorithms would not work<br/>- 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".<br/>- diabolical laugh.<br/>I would love to see Marvell's take on it.<br/><br/>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.<br/>As long as you have a website and you can send a link to a few friends, you "purchase announcement" bell will start ringing.<br/><br/>

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 12-19-13

Bezos a man with a vision

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.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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an insiders view of the evolution of amazon

Would you try another book from Brad Stone and/or Pete Larkin?

certainly i would, it was well researched

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

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.

What three words best describe Pete Larkin’s voice?

very well paced

Do you think The Everything Store needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

it needs a follow up book, based on Jeff Bezos, and not so much the company itself.

Any additional comments?

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • South Gate, CA, United States
  • 10-20-13

Amazon? More like amazing

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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One of my favorite books - you should read it...

I loved The Everything Store... I learned so much about Amazon and Jeff Bezos that was interesting... I loved the research that Mr Stone put in talking to the people around Jeff Bezos, yet it wasn't an autobiography so you got the "warts and all" version... It was just a well-told story on all fronts...

Going in, I had no idea of the warrior mentality at Amazon caused by Mr. Bezos. Jeff Bezos was one of the jerkiest people around, but damned if he weren't one of the smartest and ambitious people ever to walk the planet. I still don't know if I love or hate the guy, but I have complete respect for him... He is up there with Steve Jobs as a person who changed the world...

While I was doing the audiobook version on my commute into work, I would be telling people around me what cool or arrogant thing Jeff did during my commute time reading... And more than one person picked up the book afterwards.

Great book - you should read it

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Very inspiring!

Great book. Very inspiring. The only thing that was a bit challenging was the author kept going back-and-forth through time as he weaved the story. Other than that, excellent book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Z
  • 10-19-16

Cancel Prime membership?

Jeff's actions of strong-arming the little guys makes him hard to respect. His frugality and abuse toward his staff is repulsive as well. Elon Musk is notches above in the respect and admiration category.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Brock
  • DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain
  • 10-16-13

An amazing company with an amazing story!

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.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful