The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

The Everything Store

Summary:

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 readers 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.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

“The Everything Store” is incredibly interesting tracing the history of Amazon from a barely functioning start-up to one of the most recognizable shopping companies.  I shop a lot on Amazon.com and I knew their fulfillment centers are terrifyingly efficient so I was curious to learn a little about the company’s background.

I didn’t realize the company started out as such a start-up and that it still tries to encourage many aspects of that culture.  The book had the effect of causing me to alternate between being impressed with the strategy and vision and being slightly disgusted by the strategy and culture.  It is clear that Stone is not one of Bezos’ biggest fans, but I think there are a lot of insights to the man’s approach in running his company – for better or for worse.  It seems to me that Bezos is a rare breed, much like Steve Jobs and I’d highly recommend giving this one a read.  I can’t deny there is a very clear vision and will definitely be interested to see what is next for Amazon.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of Amazon, tech start-ups and company development.