Top critical review
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Not a business book
on 30 December 2013
Well this book is not a taxing read, and covers a lot of the history of Amazon and the biographical story of Jeff Bezos. But it's hardly very enlightening. It does not really explain why Amazon has been so successful. Indeed Jeff's management style seems to be more damaging than helpful. The only message seems to be that you just have to raise more capital than others and then put your competition out of business by any means you can think of. So it's more a popular history of our times and the influence of the internet than a book that will educate you about how to manage a business or launch a revolution.
For example, there is no financial analysis of the company or it's return on capital. Unlike other world beating businesses, the profits are miniscule. Revenue is there but do the customers love it so much that they will become loyal? Reading this book tends to tell you that they just love the low prices and to my mind that's not a sensible business strategy for the long term.
Having previously read the biography of Steve Jobs by Isaacson, it seems the leaders of US commerce are set in the mould of tyrants. At least Mr Bezos seems to have better personal hygiene habits. In summary I gained nothing from this book other than a disdain for Amazon and its leader. As it's only moderately interesting, I have only given it two stars. But suppliers and partners to Amazon may find it helpful to warn them to keep out of the lions' den.