Full Book review:
This book is not for everyone! This was the impression I got from the moment I started reading Brad Stones biography of Jeff Bezos. It basically talks about how Jeff Bezos developed Amazon from an Online Book Store to the multi-billion Dollar enterprise as we know it today. The book also describes how Amazon disrupted the retail industry. The most inspiring parts however are those when the author illustrates how Jeff Bezos overcame seemingly impossible obstacles. It is also impressive to see how Jeff Bezos developed a corporate culture and structure that made it possible to radically change the own business model and business strategy in order to survive existence-threatening developments and use them as a chance for exponential growths – an ability so many companies are missing in today’s digital transformation.
To briefly summarize the book of Brad Stone: In 1994 Jeff worked at a hedge fund named “De Show” on Wall Street. This was in the early stages of the internet. Jeff Bezos began to think about how the Internet would change society and the business world. After his “research” he developed the idea of an “Everything Store”. He saw clearly that the new possibilities due to new technology made a store in the internet that holds all thinkable items – not only the few thousand of a physical retail store. He was convinced to bring together vendors and buyers independently of their location or size. As a consequence he knew that he would need to provide a platform on which both parties could pursue their business safely – ideally from the comfort of their home.
For me one of the most revealing findings of the book was, that Bezos strategically chose to start with selling books before aiming other retail areas. He consciously chose an area that seemed easy to tackle in order to prove his concept and then conquer more and more parts of the business world. After realizing this Bezos quit his job and moved to Seattle in order to start his “Everything Store” masked as an online bookstore.
Later on, the Brad Stone illustrates in captivating style the detailed steps how Bezos made an online bookshop from Seattle to the Amazon we all know today. He also argues that without the help of Amazon, popular products like Instagram might have never existed. But I’m not gonna spoil it, you have to read it for yourself 😉.
The book does not only tell the amazing success story of Amazon but it portrays the life of a brilliant young mind who managed against all resistance to transform and revolutionize business and buying in the age of the Internet. The book tracks the footsteps and explains in a beautiful and clear language all the difficulties, successes, failures and trials Jeff Bezos and Amazon had to go through. It’s a book that it’s a must read for all those who need inspiration from a successful real life example. A must read!
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