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

Brad Stone
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 12.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Oct 2013

**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.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (17 Oct 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 059307047X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593070475
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,629 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)

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really well-written story 14 Nov 2013
By D.Sun
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic read and great insights into Bezos' management philosophy and style. Some really cool personal stories about Bezos as well.
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19 of 22 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 10 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 24 Dec 2013
By MRM
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this more than One Click as the business history or Amazon.

It's easy to ready, with a smooth narrative style. Whether or not all of the facts are accurate (as contested by Mrs Bezos), it provides a fascinating insight into Amazon's corporate history, management style and the personalities who built and managed one of the most fascinating online business yet to be created.

Amazon's innovation and corporate development is set in the rich context of the time, the 'go go' 1990s, the dot com crash, then the opportunity of the 2000s and the hyper digital growth since 2010.

Whether you're interested in reading this from the perspective of;

- management
- Internet history
- business profiles
- personal profiles
- tech investing
- entrepreneurship
- startups
- competition

You,ll find at you're looking for!

Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is Amazon evil? 27 Dec 2013
By Jippu
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am writing this review for Amazon and I am a longtime user of Amazon as a bookstore. I scarcely buy books from other sources. Before, I was regular user of the best bookstore in my city, but now I go there seldom and don't buy much. In addition, I am a fan of the new Kindle fire which for me is the best way to read books and acquire them. So, for me Amazon has changed everything as a book buyer. I should be thankful for Jeff Bezos. Still I am very divided. I am glad that there are physical bookstores and I am very sorry to see them disappear. When I was young, there was a large and lively bookstore in our neighbourhood, but now there are perhaps two or three real bookstores in the whole city.
Brad Stone tells the story of Amazon's development from the meagre beginnings to the present situation where it is the Everything store giant growing irresistibly. He is quite open about the negative side of this development, both for the employees and for the competitors. He is less good in presenting the life and personality of Jeff Bezos who seems to belong in the category of somewhat pathological but driven and creative capitalists who has created a completely different enterprise. The paradox of Amazon that its share price does not seem the react at all to the normal indicators and that it has a licence to do things which would be fatal for most other firms does not, however, find a satisfactory explanation. Also the fact that Amazon survived the first IT-crash is interesting bot not really treated by Stone. Still the book is highly readable and gives good background for understanding what is happening with Amazon. The story of Amazon is still quite short and we cannot say how it will end. Especially when Bezos leaves the controls. My bet is that Amazon is only one stage in the development towards a more decentralized system. The worst part about Amazon is surely its treatment of the warehouse workers (as long as people are cheaper than machines, they are being exploited...)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read - excellent insights into what makes Amazon (and Jeff...
I'd wanted to read this book for a while and having finally got around to it I was very pleased.

A great insight into how Jeff Bezos buily Amazon and how he continues to... Read more
Published 23 hours ago by textlad
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and genuinely readable
Newfound admiration for Jeff Bezos, having only encountered the post 2009
model previously. Polymath doesn't begin to do the man justice.
Published 2 days ago by xembers
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon the greatest retailer of all time?
This book was a really great read for those interested in the online revolution that we are living through and business books that explain how successful businesses operate. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Marcus Selmon
5.0 out of 5 stars The everything company
A brilliant and the most entertaining book that I have read for a long time. I like the predictive text!
Certainly JB must be one of the most demanding people to work for. Read more
Published 26 days ago by solcio
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Full of details. Reveals the true Amazon-Bezos at least the...
The book is full of details. It is impossible like some reviewers have said to learn about Amazon and Bezos through newspapers/magazines articles. Read more
Published 1 month ago by RobV
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!!!
Incredibly inspirational and entertaining read. Jeff Bezos deserves to be successful since he and his team have created a wonderful recipe for retailing, especially for those of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by CM
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Fascinating to learn about the growth of the behemoth. Bezos is a fascinating character but there's something disquieting about the way he runs his business.
Published 1 month ago by D Hewitson
4.0 out of 5 stars ‘Missionary or Mercenary?’
I’ve bought a lot of books from Amazon over the past sixteen years – many of the other lines of stock aren’t available for purchase from Australia, which has occasionally dismayed... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jennifer Cameron-Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Amazon milestones
There has been heaps of information in the media about Amazon over the past two decades. I have been remiss in not reading much of it at all. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Laurence Dann
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights into the amazing story of Amazon
Reads like a thriller at times and full of interesting bits about how Amazon became the behemoth it is today. Must read for anyone interested in the digital world!
Published 2 months ago by Stephane Groud
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