Grumpus's Reviews > The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

The Everything Store by Brad Stone
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bookshelves: audiobook, biography

The professional Jeff Bezos (pronounced BAY-zohs not BEE-zohs) is a hard-ass, bad-ass, or a superlative-free just plain ass. I’m not judging, just sayin’. It’s all perspective. If you are an employee or competitor, watch out. If you are a customer, you can count on an advocate with an obsession for customer service and getting the lowest prices anywhere.

Like today’s political environment, my impression of Amazon (no longer Amazon.com) is that it is polarized—people either love or hate the company. I have noticed little middle ground opinions. Count me as an “I ♥ Amazon”-er. I like the low prices and I respect their passion for customer service. I know how difficult customer service can be and with so few companies doing it right these days, I admire those that do it well.

I know that the fanatical degree with which Amazon pursues low prices is controversial but that’s what consumers today demand. This has forced companies to become more efficient and cost conscious. In turn, has resulted in the outsourcing of jobs to countries with lower labor costs. People claim to want to buy American (or local) but nobody wants to pay more for it. As a result, it becomes a vicious cycle with Amazon essentially incorporating the Borg mentality that all (competitors) will be assimilated—two of my favorite companies among them, Audible and Goodreads. Full disclosure: As a former Audible and Amazon investor, I have benefited both financially and from a customer service perspective from these companies.
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Reading Progress

November 11, 2013 – Started Reading
November 11, 2013 – Shelved
November 11, 2013 – Shelved as: audiobook
November 11, 2013 – Shelved as: biography
November 15, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Great review, Grumpus!! Mr. Bezos sounds a bit like Steve Jobs.... perhaps there is a certain 'type' of person who succeeds as these two men did? I have to admit... I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon!! But since I have 2 kids in college, I can't tell you how much I have appreciated being able to find their huge science and math textbooks at 50% off what they cost in the university bookstore!! I have saved hundreds of dollars!! And this past semester, they have been able to download several of their textbooks onto their IPads!!


Grumpus Both are adoptees and the author brought that point up in the book along with another technology giant whose name escapes me. He speculated that the need for these folks to "prove" themselves may account for their drive to succeed.


message 3: by Len (new) - rated it 4 stars

Len Edgerly Good review! I think it takes Bezos-level focus and sharp elbows to succeed in a hyper-competitive economy. I loved Stone's book for the thorough reporting and compelling narrative. Some of the shocking quotes and anecdotes are overplayed IMO, because all those other times Bezos treated employees and maybe even competitors with empathy and respect don't make as newsworthy a yarn. As a customer and a passionate Kindle reader, I appreciated learning in the book how central customer service and reading are to The Bezos Way.


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