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)
- “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