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Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  708 ratings  ·  109 reviews
In this collection of Jeff Bezos’s writings—his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas—you’ll gain an insider’s view of the why and how of his success. Spanning a range of topics across business and public policy, from innovation and ...more
Kindle Edition
Published November 17th 2020
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Michael Payne
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do the right thing. With Amazon at 1.6 trillion dollars and Bezos the richest man on earth there is no disputing that Jeff Bezos wins many prizes. He has helped create something that most everyone with an internet account has used to conveniently enjoy the wonders of ecommerce and web services (he even owns Goodreads here, kudos). For pioneering he deserves our thanks and applause, his humility as the son of a high-school mom and immigrant dad shine through. Thank you, Jeff. Winning, however, is ...more
Nyamka Ganni
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Walter Isaacson's introduction part. It was concise but very engaging. I wish it was bit longer.
The rest is the collection of letters from Jeff Bezos. After reading, I wanted to read full version of Bezos' biography written by Isaacson.
Donna Hines
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, netgalley
"Big Things Start Small."
Apparently so small that this was not offered on Kindle App version; ironic considering Jeff's ties in creating the platform & the 'modern bookstore' as it was so aptly named; as I sat reading from my desktop.
Upon the completion, I wondered why the employees never became a topic for discussion till near end, even when customer service seemed paramount to the overall and underlying main theme?
As a 'distribution center' former employee of Lord and Taylor I know these 'wor
Sep 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Invent and Wander is separated into 3 sections, the biographical introduction, his letters to shareholders, and some personal writings.

The introduction is excellent. Walter Isaacson is a masterful writer. I was drawn into Bezos' history and story, and it was fascinating to learn more about him beyond Amazon as well as more about Amazon beyond my personal experience with the brand.

But Isaacson goes into such great detail that the rest of the book was mostly redundant and boring to read one after
Alok Kejriwal
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
80% of the book are yearly letters Jeff Bezos has written to Amazon shareholders & some general chapters. (Lots of repetitions throughout).

The Gold inside:

- When Steve Jobs’s ideas or proposals would seem impossible to implement, he would use a trick he learned from a guru in India - he would stare at his colleagues without blinking and say, "Don't worry, you can do it".

- Taunted on a TV show for his early losses, the host asked Bezos if he could spell PROFIT. “Sure,” Bezos replied, “P-R-O-P-H-E
Rishabh Srivastava
I was astounded by the consistency of Jeff Bezos' vision and messaging to shareholders over 25 years. This book was a collection of Bezos' letters to shareholders, as well as speeches that he has given. My main takeaways were:

1. It’s not enough to invent. You must be able to build a vision that a large number of people share, and that gets them to work in a concerted way

2. Have the discipline of writing a detailed plan and understand the key factors that influence an issue. Even though the plan
Dec 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stuff in this book, but far too much redundant information to give it more than three stars.

I think Amazon is an amazing company and the book gives some good insight into what driving forces resulted in their success.

However, the book is a compilation of annual letters and speeches by Bezos, so by its very nature it covers the same ground multiple times. It gets a little old hearing about how successful their market place is on the fourth read. It feels like if the redundancy was removed
Ankit Dhirasaria
Jeff Bezos is truly an inspiration for anyone and sometimes, it is not visible much effort it takes to build a massive global business. In this collection of Jeff Bezos's writings—his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas—you'll gain an insider's view of the why and how of his success. Inspiring, engaging and interesting for those who are fascinated by suc ...more
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
I give it the 2 stars because I am a fan of Bezos as a visionary and as someone that has maniacal execution. I follow his pizza box rule and his humility and sense of urgency on it always being "day 1". That said, the author summarized for a few pages then published all of the letters to shareholders and interviews. It lacked reflection and insights on themes. ...more
Elijah  Huggins
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read

Learned a lot about what makes a company successful and grow. Customer Service has always been wonderful at Amazon every time I use their website and run into an issue. Bezos understood that the customer is very important.
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed reading the shareholder letters, but felt redundant at times. Wish it was a full Isaacson biography on Bezos, or written entirely by Bezos. Good read but felt very statistic heavy at times.
Sebastian Gebski
With all the respect to JB, Amazon, and AWS, this is NOT a good book.

First of all - I have no clue who is it for. Why so?

It consists of 3 parts:
* the intro (by Isaacson) - which 100% repeats the stuff (LITERALLY!) from part 3
* annual letters to shareholders (by Bezos) - which are informative to some degree, present the evolution of Amazon over the years, give a brief glimpse of Amazon's culture and JB's philosophy, BUT ... FFS - these are letters to shareholders - there's a lot of "internal mark
Sathappan Sathappan
It is ok. Wouldn't recommend it.Nothing new in the book.

It is a compilation of annual letters to shareholders. And second part of the book is - what feels like - stuff bezos probably spoke into a voice recorder in one afternoon.
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given how ubiquitous and pervasive Amazon is nowadays, one tends to forget its humble origin - that it has grown into this mammoth enterprise from an online bookstore. I picked this up because it comprises the letters Jeff Bezos wrote to his shareowners from 1997 to 2019. As an English teacher who’s focused on imparting Purpose, Audience & Context in writing communications, I found this an insightful foray into the art of writing. Jeff Bezos sustains reader engagement sincerely by attributing to ...more
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeff Bezos is the riches man on Earth. Every entrepreneur would love to create the new Amazon and every investor would love to invest in the next Amazon.
It was very interesting to see a little bit inside Bezos's mind, how he runs his businesses and what are his goals. Only four starts because he repeated a lot of his points, it would have been far better if he wrote a brand new book.
(view spoiler)
Walter Isaacson's introduction to the book does an excellent job of noting what sets Jeff Bezos apart from the rest of the entrepreneurs of our time, and, according to Issacson, places him in the same categories as Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, and Albert Einstein. The keys are to have an endless and passionate curiosity; to love and to connect the arts and the sciences; to have a reality distortion field (the ability to think different"; and to retain a childlike sense of wo ...more
Rinita Mishra
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. The first part of the book contains the collection of letters to shareholders which documents the history of Amazon under Bezos’ leadership. This introduction part is written by Walter Isaacson. I loved it. It is concise and very engaging. I was fascinated by reading Bezos' history and story and learn more about him beyond Amazon.

The rest two parts of the book are written by Jeff Bezos. These two parts contain the shareholders' letters and the personal life of the f
Kyle Null
Invent & Wander - The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos came out recently so I thought I'd give it a go.

I think Jeff Bezos tends to be portrayed as a villain since he's one of the wealthiest people on the planet, but every time I've ever seen him speak I felt that he was extremely genuine and sincere. What he's accomplished is amazing and I'd give just about anything to have coffee with him and Elon Musk.

It consists of two parts. One is all the shareholder letters he's written since the company w
Anne Janzer
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walter Isaacson has written biographies of many of the world’s great innovators, including Einstein, Da Vinci, and Jobs. This time, he simply makes the introduction and lets the innovator, Jeff Bezos, do the rest. It’s not a biography, but it still illuminates a life and a philosophy.

Part one compiles Bezo’s annual letters to shareholders. To read these all in one sitting is to take a trip down memory lane in the growth of Amazon from its beginnings to its dominance today. But even as the produc
John Onufrak
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprising what is revealed accurately and honestly by the introduction by Walter Isaacson.
Makes you realize how biased our media is when most of what is in this book has not been reported.

Also his biography and development from childhood is real and enlightening how anyone can succeed and do well in this country if surrounded by good people in hard times and how one must fend for themselves. He was blessed to have been educated through the Montessori method and knew how to find his soul through
Brian Sachetta
There’s an inherent problem with publishing a collection of writings, and it’s that those writings usually aren’t all that cohesive. At least not nearly as cohesive as a fully thought-out manuscript would be. That problem is exactly what plagues this one and prevents it from being great.

Don’t get me wrong, Bezos’ insights are awesome and fun to read about. I loved hearing the early stories of creating and growing Amazon and some of the trials and tribulations along the way. What I didn’t love, h
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eco-fin-business
This is a carefully chosen collection of Jeff Bezos letters and speeches.
It can be seen as a complement to the Everything store book.

The author describes 4 characteristics of truly innovative and creative people:

1. Passionately curious
2. Connecting Arts with Science
3. Think differently
4. Never let go your Childlike sense of wonder

Bezos had them all and it appears very obvious after you read the book.
It's a wonderful source of wisdom for businesses, strategists, analysts and in fact every person.
Jens Diederich
Good book but my expectations were too high

Ever since I read “The Everything Store”, I remember how Jeff Bezos told Brad Stone that his book would be released too early and it would still take year until Jeff’s work would be worth a book. The day has come and Amazon’s success has proven that it’s about time to review guiding principles of a company remaining in Day One mode.

Concerning the book: I found the presentation interesting but didn’t gain a lot of new insights (which I had hoped). The b
Jan 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
super repetitive after a while. my recommendation is as follows:

1) skip the introduction, read the 1997 Shareholders letter, then skip to the last section and read that


2) read the introduction then read the 1997 Shareholders letter, put the book down

You will save yourself significant time and effort. A lot of what's found in the book here is pretty interesting but, by nature of what they are, the Shareholders letters get extremely boring and repetitive. I'll also call out that the introduction
Amit Verma
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is book about man who owns the biggest book shop on the face earth and who stared his endeavour with book selling.
It is about Jeff Bezos.
First part is his letters to investors of Amazon. Then second part contains his autobiographical writings.
I liked second part as it is written with sensitive and carefree simple prose. It provides glimpse into the mind of genius.
Initial introduction by Walter issacson is too long and contains summary of almost whole of the book
A very good short read to lea
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of essays as opposed to a book or an autobiography, but it’s really valuable in the way that it’s presented. The introductory foreword by Walter Isaacson (the Steve Jobs biographer) sets a nice tone for the rest of the book. Going through annual shareholder letters starting with the first year of Amazon to 2020, you begin to see the common threads and it’s an homage to Bezos's principled and consistent approach to scaling the company. For all the flack he took in the late 90 ...more
Jay bookworm
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-kindle, netgalley
The first part of the book contains the collection of letters to shareholders which documents the history of Amazon under Bezos’ leadership. The next part contains speeches given by Bezos at various events. Lastly. It closes with various future efforts that Bezos plans to undertake. It was a worthwhile read and Bezos is a visionary not afraid to fail. I would describe it as hopeful. It’s no wonder people get behind a vision of a future that evolves for the better and that’s what he does as well. ...more
Stevo Brock
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was Stevo's Business Book of the Week for the week of 11/22, as selected by Stevo's Book Reviews on the Internet and Stevo's Novel Ideas. In Jeff Bezos's own words, the core principles and philosophy that have guided him in creating, building, and leading Amazon and Blue Origin.

Find more Business Books of the week on my Goodreads Listopia page at, and find many more recommended books on my Amazon Influencer page at
Ömer Ceran
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, the book has two parts.
First part is the letters sent by Bezos to shareholders since 1997.
And the second part is many ofhis speeches.
After reading the book, you clearly understand how Bezos thinks and acts.
Because of the fact that this one hasn't been written as book (it's a collection of letters and speeches) there are so many repetition. And it's kind of boring.
I believe, if I had read just the introduction fo the book (written by Walter Iscaacson), that would have been much more benefi
Tracy Smith
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been wanting Walter Isaacson to do a biography of Jeff Bezos for a long time. Well, this isn't quite that but it's the next best thing, and I'm glad that he wrote the introduction. I found myself engrossed in the stockholder letters written by Jeff Bezos. It was fascinating to learn how Amazon has evolved over the years and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it all from Jeff's own words. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is business-minded or just downright curious about the man and t ...more
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