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Publisher's Summary

In Jeff Bezos' own words, the core principles and philosophy that have guided him in creating, building, and leading Amazon and Blue Origin. 

In this collection of Jeff Bezos' writings - his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas - you'll gain an insider's view of the why and how of his success. Spanning a range of topics across business and public policy, from innovation and customer obsession to climate change and outer space, this book provides a rare glimpse into how Bezos thinks about the world and where the future might take us. 

Written in a direct, down-to-earth style, Invent and Wander offers listeners a master class in business values, strategy, and execution. 

Each insight offers new ways of thinking through today's challenges - and more importantly, tomorrow's - and the never-ending urgency of striving ahead, never resting on one's laurels. Everyone from CEOs of the Fortune 100 to entrepreneurs just setting up shop to the millions who use Amazon's products and services in their homes or businesses will come to understand the principles that have driven the success of one of the most important innovators of our time.

©2021 Jeffrey P. Bezos; introduction copyright 2021 by Walter Isaacson (P)2020 Gildan Media

What listeners say about Invent and Wander

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Do the right thing.

With Amazon at 1.6 trillion dollars and Bezos the richest man on earth there is no disputing that Jeff Bezos wins many prizes. He has helped create something that most everyone with an internet account has used to conveniently enjoy the wonders of ecommerce and web services (he even owns Goodreads here, kudos). For pioneering he deserves our thanks and applause, his humility as the son of a high-school mom and immigrant dad shine through. Thank you, Jeff. Winning, however, is not the goal: a better world is.

John D Rockefeller also won and his relative wealth in his day was three times that of Bezos's today. Rockefeller won by a strategy of horizontal domination, selling below cost in many cases to beat competitors and consolidating his winnings in adjacent markets. An interesting game that few have the money or market dominance to execute.

In 1911 it took the US Supreme Court to intervene and ultimately break up Standard Oil into 34 smaller companies. Many of these are companies that have thrived for a century now and ones we still know like Chevron, Exxon, Texaco, Marathon Oil, and BP among others.

At 1.6 trillion in market value and 1.1 million employees Amazon has no equal. Here is where the games can diverge: Jeff Bezos can, and should, decide to again Invent & Wander. Instead of waiting for the US Court, executives or legislators, or the EU, or India, or other world powers to one-day intervene, just do it. Jeff should boldy act to unlock value for customers, shareholders, and employees: split the pie and everybody wins.

Bezos and his teams could choose to break Amazon into 10 (or 34) smaller companies. He could do it on his own terms before regulators one day inevitably force his hand: that would begin day two. And in so splitting and multiplying this would enable more innovation and competition in multiple industry verticals and geographies.

Unlock the captive value of Whole Foods by thinking how to help spawn a focused lower cost healthy grocery options to offer more people more affordable organic foods. Spur on the innovation in green power and alternative vehicles, not just by buying 100,000 Rivian vehicles for Amazon: boldly go further and help the world by spinning out a focused entity to deliver 1,000,000 electric vehicles a year to consumers and other businesses.

In web services, clean energy, and so many other spaces Amazon and Bezos hold the potential to help more by controlling less and empowering others with more competitive multiple points of focus the world needs.

To date, Jeff Bezos you are my hero, you have delivered so much for me and for our world. If you read this, please don't read in criticism where none is intended. Instead this only ask is that you long ponder the thought.

What you now hold most is the chance to help decentralize and distribute the magic of human invention by passing this one baton to create so many more that can take your spark and again Invent and Wander on profound new and multiple dimensions.

Thing about it, please. In every other game, you have all but one. And there can be no "one" in truly winning.

10 people found this helpful

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Nothing new. Not even a real book.

Nothing new. The “book” contains only the public available bezos letters (letters sent every year to the stock investors) and extracts of speeches of bezos that could be also found on YouTube (and would be better to listen them from the original speech I YouTube than from the reader of this book).

7 people found this helpful

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Very disappointing

What a complete disappointment. Part one was merely a reading of every years annual shareholder letter. Part two was filled with a dozen stories that were told two and three times over. It was a complete waste of time.

4 people found this helpful

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Terrible....

If you just want to hear an annual report, Listen to Warren Buffett's. Much more interesting and entertaining. For a company whose number one priority is suppose to be the consumer this is a terrible product.

3 people found this helpful

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Narration of Shareholer letters?

Even though this is a "collection of writings", It appears to be just a reading of shareholder letters all of which you can read for yourself in the annual statements. The author should have cited in the audio where the information came from. Sorry but, in my opinion, not worth the price of admission.

3 people found this helpful

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Majority of this book is word by word repetition

I felt that this book was broken at times after hearing the same sentences (word by word) time and time again. Quite frustrating and mediocre really.
For example Jeff’s long walk with his (former) boss, in Central Park was narrated at least five times. So much I can quote it “it’s a good idea Jeff but it would be a better idea for someone who didn’t already have a good job”

3 people found this helpful

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Worst book ever read.

1. Keep repeating the same points
2. Content written doesn’t match with the subtopic and/or shallow discussed

Overall I can only learn 1/10 new things from this book.

Good thing: Introduction is written fantastically.

2 people found this helpful

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Good

Good info but there are several sections that are repeated which was annoying however the sources of info is excellent.

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Redundant experts of annual shareholder letters

This is a series of snippets from shareholder letters over the last 20 years.
Interesting content but the copy and paste makes it very redundant and not particularly well organized.

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SKIP! Why was half of the book something I can read on Amazon’s website?

This book was WAY too repetitive. Also, this book had nothing to do with Harvard Review or Harvard. Just published by them.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James K
  • 11-19-20

The introduction is great.

The introduction is great. The rest of the book is simply someone narrating, Bezos shareholder letters and other talks. You can get all that stuff for free and on YouTube actually watch Jeff say it himself. Lazy author and the book is a bit of a con.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 06-16-21

A Great Listen

So many great nuggets and insights. Some repetition in the second half of the audio but overall a great listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • D. Panchal
  • 05-18-21

Invent and bore - on repeat!Monotonous and boring

A thoroughly monotonous delivery of writings that are incredibly repetitive. This could have been edited better, but was full of repetition and boring information about how amazons products are amazing and how they've done so well. Not really much information other than if you were to do a case study nfor the Amazon business.

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  • userbiz143
  • 12-28-20

Not A Convincing Book!

The entire book is on a narrative that Amazon has done and accomplished great things and they're obsessed with customers, but anyone who ever ordered or tried to sell something with them knows that Amazon lacks customer centric approach, my personal experience with them is that most of my orders had never reached me, and selling anything on it is a miracle, but those guys who wish to learn about secrets and success strategies of amazon will learn nothing at all, as the entire book is about their success, achievements and accomplishments stories, a little radical overview or tip of an iceberg perspective on their vision, mission and leadership, and a childish Star Wars fantasy world approach of founder Jeff Bezos. I do think that you should get, read and listen this book for getting rid of the amazon itch for your entrepreneurial journey, you may realize that fantasizing, dreaming or big talk may also work for you and aid in success, especially in ever growing e-commerce world, if it worked for Jeff Bezos or Amazon Brand. Good Luck

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-18-20

Repetitive

Lots of great insights and background about Amazon but lots of chapters repeat a large amount of content from previous chapters.

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  • Maree
  • 03-06-21

not what I was looking for

I was looking for a biography on Jeff b, and thought the title read that this book was by Jeff, but it's just a compilation of his public talks. you might like, but not what I was hoping

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gregory Southey
  • 08-25-21

Questionable

This is more a collection of writings than insight in Jeff. The narrator drones on too which war challenging when all the letters are read out. I'm going to try another audio book about Jeff.