- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Corgi (31 July 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552167835
- ISBN-13: 978-0552167833
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 174 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon Paperback – 31 Jul 2014
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"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)
The definitive story of Amazon.com, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos.See all Product description
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The author, Brad Stone, is a well respected US journalist with a strong pedigree in this arena, and with The Everything Store he really delivers. The book appears well researched with lots of rich history, from the amusing to the serious technical details, and introduces the reader to a lot of the key players in the business.
As a longtime Amazon user I thought I knew a lot about it, but it turns out that Amazon is like an iceberg and we only see a small percentage of the real company on the surface, the rest of the behemoth is under the surface, away from view.
This book is very readable, Stone has turned what could have been a quite dry subject into a fascinating read that keeps you turning the page. Some books in this genre are heavy going, but this one has just enough story-telling weaved through the cold facts to keep you interested to the end.
If you're interested in Amazon or the way that billion dollar businesses are built and run this will make for a great read which I highly recommend.
Yet one of the most memorable stories in Brad Stone's account of how Jeff Bezos made such a success of Amazon is just such an encounter with a senior manager. They were giving answers that Bezos did not believe about the speed with which the phones were being answered by the customer service team. So in the middle of a meeting with senior managers, Bezos put a phone on loudspeaker, dialed Amazon's customer service number and started ostentatiously timing how long it took to be answered. He'd been told that calls were being answered in less than a minute, but the meeting had to sit in excruciating silence as the minutes ticked up before finally the phone was answered.
A devastatingly effective way of making a point, true. But how do you combine such a brutish attitude at times with an ability to recruit, retain and motivate the sort of brilliant staff you need, especially when Amazon wasn't paying high wages? The mystery is deepened by the grimly humorous collection of stories of other technology CEOs and their abrasive behaviour that Brad Stone presents in the book.
As with Steve Jobs, reading about Jeff Bezos and all his quirks in dealing with other human beings (not to mention Amazon's huge sums spent on failed takeovers) leaves you wondering for much of the time if you're reading an account of a brilliant success or a tragic failure. Clearly the path Amazon has taken shows he - like Jobs - is the former.
But whilst Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs does answer the question of how Jobs and Apple ended up so successful despite his manner, in the case of Bezos and Amazon, Brad Stone leaves that question only partly answered. Early on in the book Amazon is but one amongst many online book selling startups. Stone explains well why traditional bookselling firms found it difficult to move into the online business, constrained as they were by their heavy investment in offline stores. Why, though, did Amazon triumph from all those different online startups? That Stone doesn't tell us.
The more successful Amazon gets, the better Stone's book does explain its gathering momentum, especially thanks to Bezos's insistence on using Amazon's scale to drive prices as low as possible. There are two types of company, Bezos says. Those that looks to charge as high a price as possible (think Apple) and those that look to charge as low a price as possible (think Amazon). Amazon's low prices may have kept its profits down, but they have hugely boosted its size and, while Apple's high margins have attracted big competitors eating into its market, Amazon's low margins have kept competitors out of the market, leaving more space for it to grow even further.
It's a shame though that the initial crucial breakthrough remains unexplained even by the end of an enjoyable book.
It talks about the beginning of the small internet bookstore and how it became the biggest internet ecommerce company in the world, its leadership, philosophy of its founder. You can learn a lot how to setup up and run a successful business. It explains why Amazon was destined for success.
It is a must read if you want to understand how Amazon became the biggest company and Jeff B one of the most powerful men on the planet.
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I recomend this book to anyone who is interested in business and jeff bezos