“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
The Everything Store – 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.
Book Review by Kevin
As somebody who has been familiar with Amazon since they began (tech in Seattle is a small world), Amazon has always been in my peripherals so I was already somewhat familiar with Amazon’s stigma, especially in this city, as well as what a lot of people have had to say about Amazon. This book only really scratches the surface of the mindset of Jeff and his executive team throughout the course of Amazon’s history, but if you can take an objective viewpoint and read between the lines of the book you can get a pretty revealing idea of how Amazon operates and their philosophy behind a lot of what they do. There is a lot to get out of this book that other things are severely lacking (looking at you, New York Times).
Like other people have mentioned, this book paints Jeff in a little bit of a strange light, only focusing on his ruthless approach to business and e-commerce and spending little time talking about the fact that he is indeed human and has a wide range of emotions and isn’t actually Darth Vader incarnate.
All in all, I enjoyed the book thoroughly. The pacing is quick, but not thin, and the author spends just enough time explaining situations to provide context without risking crafting a dense editorial. The language is smart, but not aloof, and the progression of the writing makes it easy to continue reading for long stretches of time unlike a lot of other books like this one.
Winner of the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award
Chosen as a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, Forbes, The New Republic, The Economist, Bloomberg,and Gizmodo, and as one of the Top 10 Investigative Journalism Books 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
“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
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About the Author
Brad Stone has covered Amazon and technology in Silicon Valley for more than 15 years, for publications such as Newsweek and the New York Times. He is a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek and lives in San Francisco.
Originally published: 2013
Page count: 384