Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Everything Store by Brad Stone

The Everything Store is a biographical description of Jeff Bezos and the progress of Amazon.

Personally, I enjoyed this book. Bezos is one of the unicorns in the business world where he only seems to focus on the long-run and not on the short-term stockholder value. This book did an excellent job at portraying where Bezos developed this ideology from his early days at D.E. Shaw. I have a lot of respect for the man because of his long-term philosophy and stress on improving the customer service and selection at Amazon.

Image gathered from here

Stone did a great job at researching and gathering excellent testimonial from Amazon executives and early employees. I felt that these personal views provided the reader a key insight into how Amazon operated and the mindset behind Bezos.

From Bezos' early days, he looked at big, innovative ideas. The idea that Amazon was created from was the idea of a store with unlimited selection. At this day, it feels like Amazon has in fact achieved this. I really liked how Stone detailed how the Kindle and Amazon Web Services were created and Bezos' personal involvement in those products.

One constant throughout this book is Bezos' philosophy that new employees were expected to be better than the one's before them. Internally, he is known as a hard leader that can quickly get frustrated with employees when they do not meet his expectations. Eventually, Amazon was able to strive to new heights. When Amazon's financials finally were in a right place, the stock price soared.

My one complaint with this book is it felt a little long. The book is ~350 pages long and I started to grow tired around page 275. There were some tangents that confused me at where the book was going as well. I think Stone wanted to make sure the reader had a good idea behind Bezos by discussing his background and his parents'. However, this dragged the book down.

I think this book is a definite read though. As I said, Bezos is one of the leading technology leaders in the industry over the past twenty years, and like Bill Gates, Bezos is a leader worth studying.

Title: The Everything Store
Author: Brad Stone
Twitter: @BradStone
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