The Everything Store – Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Most of us have become dependent on Amazon – I know I sure am! It’s crazy how Amazon has become the everything store, offering limitless selection and almost seductive convenience at low prices. The corporate culture, as most of us know is relentless. This book showcases everything about Amazon from vision to implementation and how it has forever changed the way we shop and read.

Highlights

  1. When you are in the thick of things, you can get confused by the small stuff.
  2. When you Google, relentless.com, you get redirected Amazon.com.
  3. We don’t make money when we sell things but when we help customers make purchase decisions.
  4. You can’t do an intense job on caffeine. You do it on carbs!
  5. Great merchants have never had the opportunity to understand their customers in a truly individualized way. E-commerce is going to make that possible.
  6. When you are small, someone else that big can always come along and take away what you have.
  7. Bezos always had a big appetite. It was just a question of staging opportunities at the right time.
  8. Market leadership can translate directly to higher revenue, profitability, greater capital velocity, and stronger returns on invested capital.
  9. Somewhere out there right now, there’s someone – probably hundreds of thousands of someones – with good enough ideas to go all the way. It will be done again, over and over, providing that someone wants it badly enough to do what it takes to get there. It’s all a matter of attitude and the capacity to constantly study and question the management of the business.
  10. Amazon wanted to be a place for someone to find and discover anything they want to buy.
  11. The either-or mentality that if you are doing something good for customers, then it must be bad for shareholders is an amateur thought.
  12. In business, especially now, we should use new ways of thinking in old areas.
  13. Communication is a sign of dysfunction. It means people aren’t working together in a close, organic way. We should be trying to figure out a way for teams to communicate less with each other, not more.
  14. People closest to problems are usually in the best position to solve them.
  15. You are never forced to express your thoughts completely.
  16. Amazon is not a place you go to retire.
  17. Amazon Prime was an act of faith and the $79 fee per year was something Bezos just came up with based on his gut.
  18. An approach to creating intelligent life is to focus on designing simple computational building blocks, called primitives, and then sit back and watch surprising behaviors emerge.
  19. Developers are alchemists and our job is to do everything we can get to get them to do their alchemy.
  20. Companies that solve the innovator’s dilemma succeeded when they set up autonomous organizations charged with building new and independent businesses around the disruptive technology.
  21. Lab126 (1 stands for a and 26 stands for z) is where Bezos planned his dream to allow customers to buy any book ever published.
  22. Bezos thinks that his exemption from collecting sales tax was a big benefit for customers, and the prospect of losing it triggered his apoplectic reaction to raising prices.
  23. It is not enough to inventive – that pioneering spirit must also come across and be perceivable by the customer base.
  24. Even when it gets uncomfortable or is exhausting, leaders have conviction and are tenacious.
  25. Amazon has the bureaucracy of a big company with the infrastructure and pace of a startup, with lots of duplicate efforts and poor communication can make it difficult to get things done.
  26. If humans think long term, we can accomplish things that we wouldn’t otherwise accomplish.
  27. We are getting awfully sophisticated in technological ways and it has a lot of potential to be very dangerous to ourselves.
  28. Amazon is defined by big ideas and inventions, which are both customer-centric (putting the customer at the center of everything Amazon does).
Let no one cause you to alter your code.
*I take no credit for any of these points.

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