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Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  497 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Almost ten years ago, Bloomberg journalist Brad Stone captured the rise of Amazon in his bestseller The Everything Store. Since then, Amazon has expanded exponentially, inventing novel products like Alexa and disrupting countless industries, while its workforce has quintupled in size and its valuation has soared to well over a trillion dollars. Jeff Bezos’s empire, once ho ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published May 11th 2021 by Simon & Schuster
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May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Riveting. Enthralling. Difficult to put down. I promised myself that I won’t finish this book within a day and I embarrassingly broke that promise by a couple of hours.

I am a huge admirer of Jeff Bezos. Amazon has been a pioneer in an array of fields, AI, retail, e-commerce, Cloud Computing, a list of fields which is frankly too long to list here. But my key takeaway from this book is that Jeff Bezos has pioneered the culture of invention. He is an innovator at innovating itself.

The book goes i
Gary Lang
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book completely describes the people and the initiatives that were underway or started during my years at Amazon as a VP, and correctly. This is not surprising; Stone's previous book, "The Everything Store" is what influenced me to take the offer Amazon made to me. He is a great writer.

This book also describes why I only regret that I did not go to Amazon earlier in my career, rather than just before retirement.

When, after my first 6 months, Jeff Wilke asked me what I thought of Amazon, I
Praise Boss
When morning Work bells chime,
Praise Boss, for bits of Overtime.
Praise Boss, whose Wars we love to fight,
Praise Boss, the leech and parasite.
- IWW Doxology

Interested to read if Brad Stone just fawns over “the richest and therefore must be the smartest” Bossy boots gazillionaite Bezos or dares look at Amazon’s ‘lies, deception and illegal activities’
(Probably not! Like 2021 Academy award winning film Nomadland skip through the exploitation @Amazon described in the original
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Jeff Bezos is a terrifying dude, and so is Amazon. The absolute drive for efficiency in everything they do is awe-inspiring. This book is a good look into all the various projects and scandals that happened since _The Everything Store_. Even though Amazon is so huge, it seems like they could grow to be 5x as large even still.
Mide S
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My key take away from this book was Jeff. Bezos words, "don't waste too much time on precision, keep trying stuff."

The book is detailed and well narrated. There's a lot to learn from the innovative incentive culture of Jeff.

The world is still in day 1. I'm optimistic that entrepreneurs will invent new models to give power back to small businesses in the nearest future.
Keven Wang
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Brad stone written a masterpiece. I am exited to read his book on Uber
May 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Finished it faster than I thought I would.
Zhou Fang
Jun 11, 2021 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed reading Brad Stone's predecessor book on Amazon, The Everything Store, so I had to pick up the sequel. Amazon Unbound basically picks up where The Everything Store left off, discussing some of the more recent innovations and flops among Amazon's product lines, including Alexa, Amazon Go, Fire Phones, AWS, and Prime Video. It also traces Jeff Bezos' evolution as CEO, transitioning from an obsessive product micromanager to a strategic leader more reliant on his "S-Team." The book ...more
May 29, 2021 rated it it was ok
I had read Brad Stone's other books and had especially enjoyed 'The Everything Store'. In light of the recent news about Bezos and Amazon, etc. it seemed like it might be an enjoyable read to catch up from wherever Stone had left off and the very beginnings of Amazon.

So don't expect a recounting of the very beginnings of Amazon, but more of the recent developments such as the COVID pandemic, the development of Alexa, the acquisition of Whole Foods, etc. It was mildly interesting but at the same
Mahendra Palsule
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Unparalleled inside look at Amazon the company and Bezos the CEO. Discusses wide swathes of Amazon's rise as an e-commerce powerhouse during the past two decades. Must read for anyone interested in tech, startups, innovation, and business.

The only negative thing about the book is Brad does not discuss the acquisitions of IMDB and Goodreads. How do acquisitions perform at Amazon? Are they a success or failures? What happened to the IMDB and Goodreads acquisitions and why are these sites left negl
May 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
Douche chills.

Bezos is a dork. This shitty book pretends to not be directly sanctioned by the beez, but his dorky smell is all over it. The author is right up his ass.

The guy is the richest feller on earth. Congratulations. I've read a few biographies of these ultra-rich ppl - they suck, they're boring. They're essentially ultra-high functioning psychopaths.

Some of this ilk are inspirational, they're creative and interesting, they do interesting things, things that make you go "oh cool, that's a
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Writing this review on an Amazon subsidiary (Goodreads) after buying this e-book from Amazon and having read it on his second Amazon Kindle says it all. You might not want to root for him, but you can't argue this guy's success... ...more
Paul Vogelzang
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great book with so many insights and anecdotes. I loved the story of the 'one cow burger,' and Bezos' fanatical way of leadership on even the most obscure Amazon products. Must read! ...more
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To the ‘Eat the Rich’ crowd, Bezos is the most popular menu item. He's effectively the Big Mac - Big Bezos - of this metaphorical, McDonald's-themed class struggle. I guess famous celebrities would be McNuggets, rich kids would be Happy Meals, and politicians would be the Filet-O-Fish (the least popular McDonald's item). Getting a little off track here (like when McDonald's was trying to convince everyone that it's a healthy choice) - but thanks for entertaining me on this ridiculous comparison. ...more
Jun 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Brad Stone has done a workmanlike job on Amazon Unbound. Here, “workmanlike” means competent, professional. To my ear, the word is generally complimentary, though the description may hint at the pejorative, a sort of damning with faint praise. More in a minute.

Amazon Unbound is comprehensive, extensively researched, well organized, clear, and interesting. Stone tackles many topics from Amazon’s beginnings to the current pandemic; he covers the development of multiple lines of business from onlin
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
How interesting you find the chapters depends on how much you are familiar with stories about Amazon or Jeff Bezos.

Personally, the chapters on the development of Alexa, the venture into India, the work on Amazon Go and the acquisition of Whole Foods are the most interesting. The book shows some of Jeff's genius such as how his ability to think big and push the team to think big led to great achievements, how he developed tried-and-true processes at Blue Origin or Washington Post.

But along the
Jun 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Brad Stone provides a fascinating, worthy followup to his great Amazon origin story, The Everything Store. A lot has changed in the nine years since book 1, and Stone, one of our best business writers, leaves few stones unturned. I'm a big Amazon watcher, and I don't think he missed anything.

The new book covers Amazon's ascendance to the top of commerce, emergence as a groundbreaking technology company, and Jeff Bezos' personal evolution. Key topics include search, Alexa, advertising, the movie
John Dito
May 31, 2021 rated it liked it
Does it take a Dr. Evil like billionaire to get my stuff delivered on-time? Apparently yes. Bezos sounds like somebody I would never want to have dinner with.

I have plenty of good friends working at Amazon (AWS) so im familiar with the awful corporate culture. Have these friends made a lot of money on their stock? absolutely. Is it worth it? not from what I can see.

The place is a heart attack and burnout factory. You really need to be somebody driven by the American virus of goal orientation...
Jun 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good overview of Amazon and Bezos and bolsters support for doing one’s utmost to support anyone-but-Amazon in purchasing options. My favorite anecdotes of the book were: 1) upon requesting Bezos to name his favorite song in an early beta-testing of Alexa he chose the theme song to the original Battlestar Galactica series, 2) in his ‘wild’ days of either pre or post-divorce cavorting with his new paramour they had a joint tattoo session in which Bezos got a ‘black flag’ symbol on his arm/shoulder ...more
May 22, 2021 rated it it was ok
Judging by a few pages, Stone seems to be just another hungry journalist trying to ride the popularity wave.

Amazon? Empire? Because empires usually hire people, pay wages, and deliver what people need. Unlike say a Corporation which kills the people living in the invaded territory, puts the rest of the population into slavery and collects taxes under the threat of prison and death, while at the same time building a police force, an armed force, and weapons of mass destruction. I mean, aren't Ame
Phil horner
May 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deeply fascinating portrayal of one of the most important companies of the 21st century

I am endlessly fascinated with Amazon and Bezos. As a business owner, you can't help but be awed by what they have built under Jeff's leadership. Love them or hate them, this book was a page turner that I was obsessed about reading more and more of. It ends on a high note of Jeff stepping back but you will learn so much by reading it, especially if you loved the everything store. Highly recommended.
Ranny Welton
Jun 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading as it was very complete (as I know it) about the history of Amazon and Jeff Bezos. Lots 0f interesting details about the events covered. My only complaint would be the author appeared to be definitely anti-Bezos. I know this is arguable, but most everything he covered, he covered as Bezos was really a jerk or poor manager (my opinion). There were instances where Bezos deserved the criticism, where there were many others that I thought he was just following good management ...more
Lindy Han
May 27, 2021 rated it it was ok
the first few chapters were good coverage on the developments of amazon beyond ecommerce - aws, echo, groceries, healthcare, logistics, tv streaming. thereafter, it pivoted to become a trash magazine which expounded needlessly on jeff bezo's affair and divorce. it also tried to be a political conspiracy blog by discussing donald trump, the cloud contract that amazon lost to microsoft, minimum wage policies and covid measures. just read the first half. i skimmed and skipped through the second. ...more
Jun 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Much more balanced and substantive than The Everything Store. But, like the previous book, this one is ultimately a reportage on Amazon not a biography on Bezos. Still unputdownable, though. Because it’s not focused on Bezos (unlike the subtitle on the front cover misleadingly suggests), the extensive segments on the S-Team and its various members significantly outshine the parts about the head honcho.
Sanford Chee
May 24, 2021 marked it as to-read
Amazon’s future beyond Jeff Bezos - The Economist 22 May 2021

Jun 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice investigative look into Amazon's rise. I really like how Brad looked at the Employee Head Tax (EHT) and HQ2 campaigns with a thoughtful look at the politics. Ditto Brad looking at product development and the mindset of Jeff Bezos.

I do take away a star because Brad Stone didn't thoroughly cover the development of the Kindle. Which is why I checked out this book.
Jesse Heap
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Still a page turner but not as good as his first book. Second half of the book focused on more salacious details of his divorce and political backlash against Amazon which I was less interested in. First half of the book was on point and had some great stories on product innovations and failures.
Luiz Marques
May 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Quite enjoyable. I have been buying from Amazon since the year they opened, and it was entertaining to read about everything, and particularly about the development of products such as Alexa, AWS, and others.
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Everybody can earn $500 Daily… Yes! you can earn more than you think by working online from home. I have been doing this job for like a ADt few weeks and my last week payment was exactly 2537 dollars. See More Info… ...more
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Personal Notes

Good book but doesn't give me the insight about Amazon I'm looking for. Glosses over the early years and the rest feels like a number of business cases presented one after another. The chapter(s) about the break-up of Bezos' marriage are too sensational.
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I am the senior executive editor for global technology coverage at Bloomberg and the author of "Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire," published in May 2021 by Simon and Schuster.

The book is a sequel to my earlier work, "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon," which won the Book of the Year Award in 2013 from The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs. I'm a

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