Category Archives: Books

‘The Everything Store’

My first shopping experience at Amazon.com was in the year 1998 when I bought a book (invoice copy below). Infact, I think it was my first online purchase (?) even though I had helped a colleague of mine to put together a small e-commerce site :-) After 15 years, and with billions of sales and operations in many countries, Amazon is a fore runner in e-commerce in many countries, with a recent foray in India as well.

“The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” chronicles the journey of Amazon.com and its founder. It does a good job of balancing both.  Right from the point where Amazon.com was (supposed to be) just an online book store to the gargantuan ‘ Everything Store” that is today, Brad Stone, the author does a commendable job in providing us some valuable ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage

My favorite chapters from the book

  • Chapter 4 (Milliravi), where Jeff Bezos has to take on the Wall Street and its (Indian) detractor.
  • Chapter 7 (A technology company, Not a retailer), where he guides the company’s seemingly impossible transformation into a serious technology player.
  • Chapter 8 (Fiona), where a combination of luck and hard work results in the successful ‘Kindle’
  • Chapter 10 (Expedient Convictions), which provides an excellent example of the founder struggling to re-imagine his company’s popular perception.
  • Appendix (Jeff’s reading list)
My favorite quotes from the book
  • “Communication is a sign of dysfunction. It means people aren’t working together in a close, organic way”
  • “He (Jeff Bezos) had this unbelievable ability to be incredibly intelligent about things he had nothing to do with, and he was totally ruthless about communicating it”
  • “Didn’t want to repeate Steve Job’s mistake”
  • “We are the unstore”

The book is a must read for all the online enthusiasts and professionals alike. Any resemblance of to ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘Rosebud’ is purely coincidental :)

Btw, here’s a must-read excerpt from the book on Livemint

 

 

Brad Stone’s ‘Everything Store’

Excerpts from NYTimes.com article One-Click Wonder: Brad Stone’s ‘Everything Store’

Well, Bezos is the god in Stone’s story, and definitely one of the vengeful and punishing sort, at least when it comes to those who have worked for him, those he has competed against and those who thought, mistakenly, they were in some sort of partnership with him. (That leaves his family, whom we’re told he loves dearly.)

About a quarter of the way into “The Everything Store,” Brad Stone’s engrossing chronicle of the rise of Jeff Bezos and Amazon, he reveals that in the late 1990s, Bezos seriously contemplated trying to collect two copies of every book ever printed and store them in a warehouse in Lexington, Ky. Called the Alexandria Project, a k a Noah’s Ark, the initiative never got out of dry dock. And Lexington had no idea about its near miss with biblical importance.

Project Fargo was even more ambitious: a proposal to fill a warehouse with one of every productever manufactured. “This is the most critical project in Amazon’s history,” Bezos is said to have declared. It wasn’t, but it gives you a sense of the man’s penchant for grandiose ideas.

 

How to manage outrageous talent…

His (Jose Mourinho) skill at handling genius became apparent during his first spell at Chelsea, where he struck up a series of friendships that anchored an array of world-class talent. He arrived at Stamford Bridge aged only 41: a comparatively small age difference from his players. “In terms of mentality, I’m not much older than them – I think I have the ability to put myself at their level. I think it is important to understand. The more you understand them the more you can lead them – there is leadership and leadership, as you know.

I never liked the leadership where the boys say, ‘He’s my leader, I have to respect him.’ I prefer them to say, ‘I respect him and he’s my leader.’ It is a completely different thing. They can say, ‘I do that because he tells me to do that and I have to.’ I prefer them to say, ‘I believe in him so much, and trust him so much that everything he says I want to do!’ I prefer much more this kind of empathy.”

Click here for complete article at Business Standard

 

 Kindle version on Amazon.com available here