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Amazon.Com: Get Big Fast - Inside the Revolutionary Business Model That Changed the World Paperback – 19 Mar 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (19 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712669671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712669672
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 14.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,520,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

It could all have been so different. In the summer of 1994, as Jeff Bezos drove towards Seattle with just the bare bones of a business idea, he made a call to attorney Todd Tarbert about incorporating his planned venture in the state of Washington. Naturally, Tarbert wanted to know the new company's name.

"Cadabra, Inc.," Bezos said over the cell phone. "Like Abracadabra."

To which Tarbert replied "Did you say Cadaver?"

Six years on and is alive and well, buoyed by a business model which has made it e-commerce's foremost player and every Internet pundit's favourite case study. Still, with only the initial landrush over, it seems a strange time for a business history.'s forward strategy is no secret. "Our US books business was profitable in the month of December [1998]", Bezos explained at the annual shareholders meeting in May 1999. "I believe that if we had been better able to organise ourselves, we shouldn't have had that business be profitable...A rational set of shareholders would penalise the management team of a company for being unable to better figure out how to allocate the capital in order to invest more aggressively in this critical category formation time". Not surprisingly, then, The Big Fast is no official study but whatever its status, Spector's enthusiastic narration and genuine, but not uncritical, passion for his subject makes it work. He writes with a journalistic zip on Bezos's personal history, his company's inception and early growth through IPO and expansion from books into other retail categories to becoming the e-commerce leader of today. Well-chosen anecdotes add to the romance, such as Bezos instructing his Manhattan removal firm to "head west" until he could call them with a decision on where he would be moving to set up his business. Spector assesses's relationship with traditional retailers and publishers ("The publishing industry, in the midst of a two-year downturn in sales and an avalanche of returned books, began noticing that was becoming one of their largest customers, and possibly the solution to their doldrums".). He tries to get inside company culture and casts an appraising eye over the business plan as well as outlining the challenges which the business has faced and overcome in its short history.

The Big Fast is that rare thing, a business book and a page-turner. Though by no means the first or last word on the subject, Spector's account has all the drama of the business revolution it describes. Now, whatever did happen to --Iain Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘A generally engrossing study of the company’ Financial Times -- Financial Times

‘This inspirational rags-to-riches tale will spur on even more entrepeneurs to make their virtual millions’ -- Mirror

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 April 2000
Format: Hardcover
The fascinating story about and founder Jeff Bezos is convincingly told in this book. But apart from the final chapters, the book lacks substance. It seems that the main focus of the book is simply to retell the story about's raise to glory. It's a fascinating tale, but alas, it has been told before in numerous magazines, newspaper articles etc. When you reach the final chapters of the book it (finally) starts to get interesting. This is where Robert Spector gets to the point. He starts to discuss's business model, it's stock valuation and the potentiel problems might face on the privacy policy issues in the future. This is the most interesting part of the book, and should have been treated in more detail.
If you want to learn something new about this isn't the book. On the other hand if you haven't read the amazon-story before then don't hesitate to buy the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 July 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an unauthorized account of an e-commerce leviathan's rise from obscurity. So, if one is looking for a detailed business module or a blue print of its technology, look elsewhere, as this is not the book for you. What this book offers is a very interesting, well-organized narrative on the early, heady days of when it was just an upstart internet bookseller looking to make its mark big time, as well as a look at its founder, Jeff Bezos, painting a flattering and intriguing portrait of this now multi-billionaire.
For its founder, Jeff Bezos, it was not, however, just about the money. If that were the case, he would never have left his seven figure Wall Street job. For him, it was about the opportunity to be on the ground floor of a business that would change the retailing community forever. Jeff Bezos, a true visionary, chose to take that challenge, and in doing so, he would forever change the world and the retailing community. The author, a business reporter for various publications, delineates just how it was that Jeff Bezos did so.
This book offers up an interesting summary on how Jeff Bezos was able to take the online community by storm and upset the status quo. The author provides a biographical narrative on who Jeff Bezos is. It is grounded in the context of where he grew up, his schooling, as well as his early interests. It segues from his Ivy League educational underpinnings to his foray into the upper echelons of Wall Street, deriving the experience that he needed in order to take on the risky proposition of starting up his own company. It is clearly the story of a visionary and decision maker with heart.
The book succinctly details the rise of as an e-commerce force with which to be reckoned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 April 2000
Format: Hardcover
It is fast.By reading,get big fast,we can understand more how a E-merchandiser can get big fast from a garage to become a world leader in E-commerce.As it has written in the book,emplyoing the smartest people to the company is the main factor to determine the success.Beside that ,you will be fascinated by the way in creating a loyal costumer network which is not only practical in E-tailer but as well as in normal business.To understand deeper into the competition of E-commece?It is an essential book to be read!
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