““When you are in the thick of things, you can get confused by small stuff,” Bezos said a few years later. “I knew when I was eighty that I would never, for example, think about why I walked away from my 1994 Wall Street bonus right in the middle of the year at the worst possible time. That kind of thing just isn’t something you worry about when you’re eighty years old. At the same time, I knew that I might sincerely regret not having participated in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a revolutionizing event. When I thought about it that way… it was incredibly easy to make the decision.””
I had never thought much about Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, before, but after hearing about this book (I always research — i.e. read the Amazon reviews of — interesting-sounding books that I hear about) and reading all the great reviews, I decided to read The Everything Store.
The book is a complete history of our (my) favorite online store (of which I am a Prime member), from Jeff’s upbringing and early education that promoted critical thinking about issues, to Jeff’s start on Wall Street and his critical decision to leave a well-paying position to start a store on (and of) the internet. Google, Walmart and Apple are heavily involved, in the fierce competitions over retail sales in general, books, music, and even engineer employees.
The author did a ton of research for The Everything Store, interviewing several former and current Amazon employees and reading articles and financial reports dating back to the late 90s. Even as someone who’s not big into Jeff Bezos, The Everything Store delivers a bevy of insights into the innovation and creativity necessary to create something new and “disruptive” that has no precursor for people to reference. I learned a lot about Jeff Bezos and how he worked and thought, as he has been at the helm of everything Amazon since the beginning. The Everything Store is just as much an education as it is a story.