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

Brad Stone
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (611 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $8.01 (45%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

"An immersive play-by-play of the company's ascent.... It's hard to imagine a better retelling of the Amazon origin story." -- Laura Bennett, New Republic

Amazon.com's 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 do so, 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, and his book is the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon. The Everything Store is the book that the business world can't stop talking about, 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.


Editorial Reviews

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

About the Author

Brad Stone is an American journalist and writer. Before writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, he was a technology correspondent for the New York Times. He has also worked at Newsweek. He lives in San Francisco.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
696 of 732 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I did like this book November 5, 2013
Format:Hardcover
I wasn't really planning on reviewing this book, because I was mentioned in it several times and it didn't seem appropriate. But several other people who were also mentioned in the book have already posted reviews, and in fact, MacKenzie Bezos, in her well known 1-star review, suggested that other "characters" might "step out of books" and "speak for themselves".

I was at Amazon for the first 5 years of its existence, so I also have firsthand experience of those times at the company, and I have been a fairly close observer since I left. I spent considerably more time in the Amazon work environment during those years than MacKenzie Bezos did. By and large I found Mr. Stone's treatment of that which I know firsthand to be accurate -- at least as accurate as it is possible to be at this great a remove, and with no contemporaneous documentation of the early chaotic days or access to certain of the principals. Relying on people's memories of nearly twenty-year-old events is of necessity somewhat perilous. Of course there are a few minor errors here and there, but I don't have firsthand knowledge of important mistakes much less anything that appears to be intentionally misleading. But there are a few minor glitches. In my case, I can testify that I did not, in fact, have a bushy beard at age 17 when I worked at the Whole Earth Truck Store & Catalog in Menlo Park. It was a publisher and seller of books and other things, not a lending library. It was in a storefront and was no longer a mobile service operating out of a truck by the time I worked there (p. 32). But I do not think this is a reason to disregard the entire book; it's just some not terribly relevant detail the author got a bit wrong in a way that doesn't change the story materially.
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550 of 628 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing stories, incomplete and unbalanced history October 30, 2013
By Rick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brad Stone did a lot of research and the result is a glimpse into the history of one of the world's most exciting companies. More than 300 interviews with current and past employees -- myself included -- netted an intriguing collection of stories. More significantly, his book communicates an important set of business principles and a taste of the difficult decisions Jeff Bezos made along the way.

I'm currently retired, but spent 10 years working alongside Jeff and the incredible team he assembled, so I have first-hand knowledge of much of the period the book covers. While I found it rather interesting, lots of stories are missing or just inaccurate. Brad painted a one-dimensional picture of Jeff as a ruthless capitalist. He completely missed his warmth, his humor, and his empathy -- all qualities abundantly present in the man.

One of my favorite things about Jeff is his laugh. But Brad's quote from me implies exactly the opposite: "You can't misunderstand it," says Rick Dalzell, Amazon's former chief information officer, who says Bezos often wields his laugh when others fail to meet his lofty standards. "It's disarming and punishing. He's punishing you." Nothing could be farther from the truth. In actuality, Jeff's laugh is spontaneous, sincere, warm and endearing. It diffuses stressful situations. Clearly, Brad misunderstood me.

The story of Jeff and Amazon is a fascinating one and deserves to be told in all its complexity. Even with the details this book contains, there's a whole lot more that's been left out, making this an incomplete and somewhat unbalanced telling of Jeff's and Amazon's story.
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3,459 of 4,052 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like this book November 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In the first chapter, the book sets the stage for Bezos’s decision to leave his job and build an Internet bookstore. “At the time Bezos was thinking about what to do next, he had recently finished the novel Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro, about a butler who wistfully recalls his personal and professional choices during a career in service in wartime Great Britain. So looking back on life’s important junctures was on Bezos’s mind when he came up with what he calls ‘the regret-minimization framework’ to decide the next step to take at this juncture in his career.” It’s a good beginning, and it weaves in nicely with what’s to come. But it’s not true. Jeff didn’t read Remains of the Day until a year after he started Amazon.

If this were an isolated example, it might not matter, but it’s not. Everywhere I can fact check from personal knowledge, I find way too many inaccuracies, and unfortunately that casts doubt over every episode in the book. Like two other reviewers here, Jonathan Leblang and Rick Dalzell, I have firsthand knowledge of many of the events. I worked for Jeff at D. E. Shaw, I was there when he wrote the business plan, and I worked with him and many others represented in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centers, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon’s history. Jeff and I have been married for 20 years.

While numerous factual inaccuracies are certainly troubling in a book being promoted to readers as a meticulously researched definitive history, they are not the biggest problem here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you can't find it on Amazon...
If you can't find it on Amazon, there's a good chance it's because the manufacturer is involved in a trade dispute with Amazon and guess which party was employing the strong-arm... Read more
Published 3 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
Great story here
Published 1 day ago by Sidney Chow
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book about the beginnings of a great company that ...
A great book about the beginnings of a great company that has changed how we shop and think in many ways. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Greg Elder
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic in-depth look at Amazon!
We had Brad on our podcast, The Entrepreneurs Library, to give a full run down of The Everything Store. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Wade Danielson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, inspiring book!
Such a great story behind the Amazon brand and the company's success.
Published 3 days ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent, very good book.
Published 4 days ago by MARSHA FOX
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book. Highly recommendable read.
Published 5 days ago by Cacaistle
3.0 out of 5 stars Speed of light
It was alright. I would recommend it, but it also felt rushed, but maybe that was the nature of industry. Read more
Published 5 days ago by tvjames
3.0 out of 5 stars Audible version: Pete Larkin provided a great read
Amazon has an interesting history, and it's amazing some of the innovations that it really has brought into the modern marketplace. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Blaine Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book about the story of the store I use everyday
While not as comprehensive as Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, The Everything Store follows the story of Jeff Bezos and his creation and allowed me to understand how Amazon thinks and... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Evan Hong
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More About the Author

Brad Stone is the author of The Everything Store, a book about the website you are now reading. He is a senior writer at Bloomberg Businessweek and a former reporter for The New York Times and Newsweek.

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