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The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (2013)

by Brad Stone

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7743319,945 (3.8)16
This book is 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 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. - Publisher.The first fly-on-the-wall narrative account of the world's largest online retailer and its genius creator, Jeff Bezos.… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
I found this book to be fascinating. I read it slowly to savor it. It was truly delicious. I'm fascinated by the inner workings of Amazon and this book just fed my fascination. I've long been a customer. I interviewed for a job there before they were even on the air (mutual decline there). And for many many years I could see their world headquarters from my living room. I'm sure this book is chalk full of errors and important omissions but I don't care. It was a truly great read. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
Hey goodpals. Been on goodreads for a while now (over a decade!), but I'm trying to completely expunge Amazon from my life. Haven't bought anything on there in a couple years, but they own so much stuff now it can still be difficult to avoid. Luckily in the case of goodreads, it's actually extremely easy, especially because there is a much better option now freely available to all! I'm moving over to LibraryThing . It's lighter on the social media aspect, but you can still see and engage with what friends are reading. It lets you actually find, catalog and organize books with an intuitive interface and it doesn't make me feel like I'm browsing the Home Shopping Network's website. It doesn't constantly try to trick you into accidentally signing up for Facebook or Prime or track you around the internet. You don't even need to give them an email, if you don't want. And, it doesn't help line the pockets of the worlds richest and increasingly cartoonishly evil man.

Anyways, I'll leave this up for a little while before I delete my account, but if you switch over too, my name on there is Jetztzeit. Hit me up and add me as a friend!

  Jetztzeit | May 15, 2020 |
Enjoyed this founding story of Amazon.com. Very fascinating how Amazon could turn itself from a simple retailer to a full-fledged technology company. Loved to learn more about Jeff Bezos, a highly intelligent and driven entrepreneur. If you like founding stories, you will like this book. ( )
  remouherek | Feb 24, 2020 |
Fascinating story and good look into Bezos and Amazon. Let down by poor writing and the author seemed only able to scratch the surface of many parts of the real story behind Amazon. ( )
  Nick5a1 | Dec 7, 2019 |
This book, published in 2013, is both a history of Amazon as a company in its first nearly two decades and a biography of its remarkable founder, who has imprinted his philosophy probably more deeply than any other CEO of a major company, arguably even more so than Steve Jobs did with Apple. Indeed, the author, a technology journalist claims that: "In a way, the entire company is scaffolding built around his brain—an amplification machine meant to disseminate his ingenuity and drive across the greatest possible radius". The company is often stated to be based around certain key concepts: putting the interests of the customer at the centre of everything it does, especially in terms of low prices and excellent customer service, and ahead of the interests of employees and the potential threat from competitors; a capacity for reinventing the rules of retail, as the most successful company whose rise coincided with that of the internet in the mid to late 1990s, surviving the dot com crash; and a determination to take a long term view of the company's prospects, eschewing immediately profitable lines for long term future growth areas across an ever great wider range of goods: witness, Amazon Fresh. This is powered by a virtuous cycle, or flywheel, described thus: "Lower prices led to more customer visits. More customers increased the volume of sales and attracted more commission-paying third-party sellers to the site. That allowed Amazon to get more out of fixed costs like the fulfillment centers and the servers needed to run the website. This greater efficiency then enabled it to lower prices further. Feed any part of this flywheel, they reasoned, and it should accelerate the loop".

Clearly in all the above, Amazon has been massively successful. Yet it has faced criticism over tax and some of its employee policies, and as Brad Stone, and many past employees point out, Amazon has no culture of work-life balance and different teams working together: Bezos appears to believe that creative tension creates progress and drives up standards. There is a powerful feeling across the political divide in the US that Amazon has got too big and is exercising a distorting effect on many markets (though some of this is caused by political jealousy, for example Trump's dislike of the liberal Washington Post newspaper, also owned by Bezos). Brad Stone is apparently writing an updated version of this book, which should be an interesting read. Certainly, barring some unforeseen catastrophe, Amazon's capacity for forward-looking thinking and not resting on its laurels seems set to ensure it continues to evolve and play a key role in online retail for many years to come. ( )
  john257hopper | Sep 16, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brad Stoneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hillman, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Quand vous avez atteint l’âge de 80 ans et que vous retracez pour vous-même les grandes lignes de votre existence afin d’en comprendre le sens, le plus parlant restera assurément les choix que vous avez faits dans votre vie. Ce sont eux qui, à l’arrivée, modèlent chacun de nous.

Jeff Bezos,
discours à l’université de Princeton,
30 mai 2010
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À Isabella et Calista Stone
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Au début des années 1970, à Houston, au Texas, une publicitaire, Julie Ray, s’est fortement passionnée pour un programme de l’école publique destiné aux enfants surdoués. [...]

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Tout a commencé avec une idée. Et cette idée flottait dans l’air de la société Desco (D. E. Shaw & Co.), sise à New York…
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