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Everything Store Paperback – 15 Jul 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Hachette Book Group USA (15 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316377554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316377553
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 765,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 Oct. 2013
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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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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