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The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon [Paperback]

Brad Stone
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Hardcover £12.91  
Mass Market Paperback £4.98  
Paperback, 12 Aug 2014 --  
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Book Description

12 Aug 2014

**Winner of the 2013 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award**

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 achieve that end, 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 is 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.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Product details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (12 Aug 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316219282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316219280
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A masterclass in deeply researched investigative financial journalism ... riveting" (Tim Waterstone The Times)

"Stone has done a remarkable job in a way that Bezos would appreciate - by working very hard." (John Gapper Financial Times)

"Engrossing... Stone's long tenure covering both Bezos and Amazon... gives his retelling a sureness that keeps the story moving swiftly" (New York Times)

"The definitive biography of the company that changed the way we shop and read... A masterclass in investigative journalism" (Mail on Sunday)

"Scrupulously researched... If only all business books were as readable as this one" (Ian King The Times Books of the Year)

"I highly recommend this book. Amazon is one of the most important companies in the 21st-century economy, and anyone whose business has been or will be touched by Amazon should be sure to read it." (Tim O'Reilly)

"Jeff Bezos is one of the most visionary, focused, and tenacious innovators of our era, and like Steve Jobs he transforms and invents industries. Brad Stone captures his passion and brilliance in this well-reported and compelling narrative." (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs: the Exclusive Biography)

"The meticulously reported book has plenty of gems for anyone who cares about Amazon, Jeff Bezos, entrepreneurship, leadership just the lunacy it took to build a company in less than two decades that now employs almost 90,000 people and sold $61 billion worth of, well, almost everything last year." (Washington Post)

"The Everything Store is a revelatory read for everyone - those selling and those sold to - who wants to understand the dynamics of the new digital economy. If you've ever one-clicked a purchase, you must read this book." (Steven Levy, author of Hackers and In the Plex)

"Stone's tale of the birth, near-death, and impressive revival of an iconic American company is well worth your time." (Matthew Yglesias Slate) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

The definitive story of Amazon.com, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought from amazon pretty much since its inception and became a loyal customer. That's why I enjoyed reading this book (on my kindle, of course) to reconstruct the company's history that I knew from a customer's perspective: the vast book offering at first, then the additions such as "search inside this book", customer reviews, amazon marketplace, the increasing addition of categories such as music, the e-reader, etc. This book elaborates quite a lot about the behind-the-scene discussions and compromises the company made when launching these and other features and expanding into new markets (Amazon Web Services).

My only criticisms are that the book is a) very US-centric, and b) a bit weak when describing Bezos' initial motivations to launch an online bookstore. (It seems at first that Bezos' decision to tap into the book-market was primarily simply prudent as the market's distribution systems were of benefit for online retail; but increasingly, the reader learns that Bezos also has a true passion for books.)

I was frankly shocked about some internal policies at amazon: not only how they treat their own staff (something that got some press-coverage recently as well), but also how they systematically bully publishers and smaller retailers who don't necessarily want to abide to their terms. Though probably a libertarian by heart, I did not like how a multi-billion-turnover company seeks to systematically avoid paying taxes and manipulate local authorities/politicians.

In fact, reading this book made me research more ethical alternatives - the "ethical consumer" seems a trustworthy source - to avoid amazon whereever possible. So yes, in that way this book was very inspiring.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, entertaining, incomplete 31 Oct 2013
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book is the story of Jeff Bezos and Amazon, from the perspective of a journalist who had plenty of access to employees and ex-employees as well as Jeff Bezos himself. The author makes clear both the faults and the successes of Bezos and Amazon, but limits the book's scope in some ways. While hinting at the devastation caused to traditional shopping (by Apple's iPod as well as Amazon's Kindle and other products), there isn't a lot of discussion here. Fair enough, as there will surely be other books about how Apple, Amazon and others have devastated local communities.

The author also says very little about Amazon's operations outside the USA, although I found it interesting that the reason Amazon haven't yet set up in Russia (the biggest economy still without an Amazon website) is because the infrastructure is inadequate just now. Perhaps that means South Korea will be next, though it doesn't get a mention.

Even within the main story of Amazon.com, a lot is omitted, one effect of which is the simplistic assertion that Amazon serves customers superbly while squeezing suppliers ruthlessly and expecting employees to devote themselves to Amazon without any regard for a work / family life balance. I have heard bits and pieces over the years about the way Amazon treat their employees, all of it reinforced by this book and then some. As for the author's distinction between customers and suppliers, that overlooks the fact that some customers have voluntarily contributed content to Amazon's website in the form of reviews, Listmanias, "So you'd like to ...." guides, tags, customer images and other stuff. The author occasionally mentions reviews in passing (listed in the index under customer reviews), but very few other software features are mentioned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it. Great Read 29 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a user of Amazon I was a bit horrified to read about Jeff Bezos's shallow philosophy and his motivation to make a lot of money so he can spend it on developing space travel. Personally I think this is a sad way to use great power and wealth. But putting aside my opinions of his world-view, the story of Amazon is a great story and one that affects us all. Brad Stone's book is really well written and keeps you vigorously turning the pages. The energetic lives of such relentlessly driven, clever people as Bezos are always interesting. Certainly anyone in the retail business should read it, because he is, or will be, your competitor and if he is not thinking about how to replace you, he is wondering how to disintermediate you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars brutally honest 18 July 2014
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not exactly an authorised version of Amazon's history but all the better for it. If you're at all interested in how internet business works, what makes Amazon tick or to peek behind the curtains at the mind and personality of Jeff Bezos, this is the book.
Although dry in places and with a tendency, from time to time, to feel like nothing more than a list of events, overall this is a fascinating account of a remarkable journey. It's the story of how, as with Apple and, to an extent, Microsoft, a global company can be propelled to break the mould by the genius, strength and personality of one person. I wouldn't want to work there, though...
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A must read for people believing e-commerce is the future. It's full of details about how Amazon started up , the encountered difficulties and challenges and how it reached today's size and success , driven by its founder and his strong believe in innovating the way to interact and taking care of consumers. Through the book comes up clearly even the singolar personality of Jeff Bezos and how he continuosly investigated new ideas and modus operandi with a clear and strong long term view in all the decisions taken, how differentiate his company from others and how to be recognised by the consumers as best in class in customer service.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly interesting
I found this book fairly interesting but not great. It has quite a few boring bits, mainly about various employees who joined the company, stayed for a year or two then left. Read more
Published 8 days ago by PauloMunich
4.0 out of 5 stars no pandering and quite informative.
See above. Despite a heavyweight subject, the author largely keeps a journalistic approach to the narrative. Right level of depth.
Published 9 days ago by utk
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book written about Amazon up until now
The best book written about Amazon up until now. Brad Stone presents a great narrative that provides a clear understanding of how Amazon developed and where it is heading. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Amitpal S. Aujla
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 1 month ago by Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good
Published 1 month ago by Peter Young
5.0 out of 5 stars The not-quite everything store
I really enjoyed reading this book, and the amount of detail provided by Brad Stone was exceptional. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert H. B. Samet
4.0 out of 5 stars Respected, not liked
I loved the story about when he screamed and shouted at the team, got up but just before leaving he stopped, paused for a moment and then remembered his coaching... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jack macgowan
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly compelling story, very well told
An addictive and insightful look into one of the world's most interesting companies and its CEO. It succeeds in being both an excellent business book and a captivating personal... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matt Aitken
4.0 out of 5 stars extremely interesting read
Great insight into the mammoth company that I've come to rely so much on. Fascinating to see the rise of the company in parallel to google and Apple too.
Published 1 month ago by Tim
5.0 out of 5 stars great book well written
loved this book and well presented and written give a great insight into the world of Amazon and it's founder.
Published 1 month ago by Simplywebstores
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