In Amazon.com Jeff Bezos built something the world had never seen. He created the most recognized brand name on the Internet and became one of the richest men in the world. He was recently named Time magazine's Person of the Year and was crowned "the king of cybercommerce."
Yet for all the success and all the media exposure, the inside story of Amazon.com has never really been told. In this revealing, unauthorized account of Amazon's astounding rise, Robert Spector, journalist and bestselling author, gives us the fastpaced, behind-the-scenes true story of the company's creation, its tumultuous present, and its uncertain future.
By talking to friends, confidants, early employees, rivals, publishing executives, stock analysts, and venture capitalists, Spector goes beyond the "official story"-the glib, polished, media-savvy statements that Bezos feeds to the press-and presents in unprecedented detail the real facts of the company's beginnings, innovations, business practices, and strategies, and its vision of the future. Further, he explains what the Amazon story means for conventional business, e-commerce, and ultimately the consumer.
Bezos's first employers tell how the experience he gained at their firms prepared him for creating Amazon.com. Early investors reveal the details of Bezos's initial pitch for money. Former company insiders divulge how painstakingly Amazon.com's internal systems were put together.
And the story becomes more compelling all the time as Amazon finds itself under attack by the formerly Internetchallenged behemoth retailers, by online startups trying to eat Bezos's lunch, and by impatient investors waiting for the company to turn a profit. (Amazon lost an incredible $720 million in 1999.)
Amazon.com's emergence as an e-commerce powerhouse has set off tremors around the world, jolting the "bricks and mortar" retailing giants, and forever changing the way everyone does business. But has Jeff Bezos finally run out of time? Will his great achievement be remembered as a footnote to the opening era of the Internet age? Or will this wily, overachieving self-described nerd triumph once again and surprise fans and foes alike?