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The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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Chosen as a Best Book of 2013 by The Washington Post, Forbes, The New Republic, and Gizmodo, and as one of the Top 10 Investigative Journalism Books of 2013 by Nieman Reports
"Mr. Stone tells this story with authority and verve, and lots of well-informed reporting.... A dynamic portrait of the driven and demanding Mr. Bezos." -- Michiko Kakutani, New York 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 Book Review
"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
"Stone's account moves swiftly and surely." -- New York Times Book Review, "Editor's Choice"
"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
"A deeply reported and deftly written book.... Like Steven Levy's "In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives," and "Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry -- and Made Himself the Richest Man in America" by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews, it is the definitive account of how a tech icon came to life." -- Seattle Times
"Stone's book, at last, gives us a Bezos biography that can fit proudly on a shelf next to the best chronicles of America's other landmark capitalists." -- Forbes
"A rich chronicle of Bezos and his company." -- The New Yorker
"Stone's tale of the birth, near-death, and impressive revival of an iconic American company is well worth your time." -- Matthew Yglesias, Slate
"An engaging and fascinating read.... An excellent chronicle of Amazon's rise.... A gift for entrepreneurs and business builders of the new generation." -- Business Insider
"Outstanding.... An authoritative, deeply reported, scoopalicious, nuanced, and balanced take that pulls absolutely no punches." -- Adam Lashinsky, Fortune
"Fair-minded, virtually up-to-the-minute history of the retail and technology behemoth and the prodigious brain behind it.... Stone's inside knowledge of a company ordinarily stingy with information is evident throughout the book.... Stone presents a nuanced portrait of the entrepreneur, especially as he sketches in Bezos' unusual family history and a surprising turn it took during the writing of the book. His reporting on the Kindle's disruption of traditional publishing makes for riveting reading. A must-add to any business bookshelf." -- Kirkus
"Brad Stone has done a remarkable job in The Everything Store, in a way that Bezos would appreciate...." -- The Financial Times
"An immersive play-by-play of the company's ascent.... It's hard to imagine a better retelling of the Amazon origin story." -- The New Republic
"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
"Stone has broken new ground, demonstrating the massive influence Amazon exercises not only in the retail sector, but also throughout society, including government regulation or the lack of it." -- Neiman Reports
"Offers absorbing management insights... Insiders will get a serious glimpse at an industry behemoth." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"The best business book of the year.... The Everything Store provides extraordinary access to one of the great business stories of this or any other time." -- Michael Levin, The Huffington Post
"A tome that paints a fascinating picture of a remarkable tech entrepreneur." -- The Economist
"Illuminating." -- Salon
"Stone's shoe-leather reporting is what makes the book stand out." -- GeekWire
"As fine a profile of a secretive, fast-growing company as you are likely to encounter." -- Michael Moritz, Chairman, Sequoia Capital, LinkedIn.com
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Top Customer Reviews
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. 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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great biography of Amazon and resourceful Jeffisms to keep in mind for any entrepreneurs.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting look into Amazon. Well researched with angles on all major company initiatives. Written well for easy reading. Read morePublished 14 days ago by glow
No opportunity to vilify Jeff Bezos is wasted, and Amazon's enormous success story is treated as unfortunate. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer