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Summary

Winner of the 2013 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn't content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices.

To achieve that end, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that's never been cracked. Until now...

Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, giving readers the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon.

Compared to tech's other elite innovators - Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg - Bezos is a private man. But he stands out for his restless pursuit of new markets, leading Amazon into risky new ventures like the Kindle and cloud computing, and transforming retail in the same way Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing.

The Everything Store is the revealing, definitive biography of the company that placed one of the first and largest bets on the Internet and forever changed the way we shop and read.

©2013 Brad Stone (P)2013 Hachette Audio, published in the UK by Random House Audiobooks 2013

What listeners say about The Everything Store

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Force for good or for evil?

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Fascinating story about disruptive business innovation. Also a warning to anyone who may want to work for Amazon but does not share the company ethos! to learn the background to Amazon Prime was a real eye opener.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Everything Store?

Hearing of publishers' wrangling the impossible dilemma of price (value) and sales volume. It was also interesting to hear of Jeff Bezos' personal background and management approach. He has some seriously risky gut instinct that he is not afraid to act upon.

What does Pete Larkin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Initially Pete Larkin's narration style reminded me too much of the way movies trailers are are presented. I got used to it after a while but I would probably avoid other books narrated by him unless it involved men in muddy vests crawling into a demilitarized zone being chased by relentless waves of zombies.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, a page turner.

Any additional comments?

This felt thoroughly and carefully researched, the author did a great job and revealed some fascinating facts.

12 people found this helpful

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Not a bar raiser...

The first half of the download really did not get behind the building of Amazon and there was a real lack of depth to the people involved for me. Having just listened to Steve Job's story, this lacked detail on Bezos and the people behind the build up. The second half of the download is much better. Some of the narration with the quotes is really jarring and really irritated me. Worth a listen? - Yes, but the sorry could have been so much better..

6 people found this helpful

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Good book, not enthusiast about the narration

Would you try another book written by Brad Stone or narrated by Pete Larkin?

Written by the author yes, narrated by this narrator possibly not. I found the narration boring.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Everything Store?

Several interesting points. For instance, at the beginning, the three reasons that distinguish Amazon.

3 people found this helpful

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Definitely a story your aren’t expecting!

The story of Amazon is like nothing I could have expected! From the start, it seems like your usual ultra focussed entrepreneur story, but often, those stories take a turn towards profitability very quickly.

Jeff Bezos’ story is unique in a way like no other - his culture of always letting customers profit, even if that includes running losses on promotions or breaking relationships with retailers or suppliers in the process.

His business acumen was to be expected - a ruthless character who makes the pulse of even the strongest who work for him soar, yet what was so impressive is his ability to create new ideas at breakneck speed. This helped the company to innovate much quicker than any other, but also his approach to his monolithic creation to this day remains very micro managed. It is truly incredible how he finds so many hours in the day.

The book tells the story of a company that could have many areas to improve - supplier relations, working conditions for staff - and is often hindered by frugality, yet remains one of the greatest companies ever created.

The book is captivating, and the reader tells the story patiently and brilliantly. An absolute MUST for anyone with an interest to how simple ideas and determination can surpass even your wildest imaginations.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator kept changing location / recording device

I enjoyed the book very much, and he story of Amazon is captivating, but the narrator was slightly difficult to get used to, and at times it seems the narrator changed their recording device, because it can suddenly sound like an entirely different person mid-paragraph. Very odd.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating and slightly Disturbing

An important book about one of the companies that is changing the world. Focusing on its founder Jeff Bezos, it's revealing that the original name he dreamed up for his company was Relentless.com. That one word says something about Bezos that explains his success but also sums up something about his unsettling dark side. The author Brad Stone has done a good job portraying the strength of this character - his unbounded drive and ambition, his unnerving search for truth at whatever expense.

Stone recounts one incident which sums this up and is chilling and compelling. He describes how Bezos publicly humiliated one of his senior execs by calling Amazon’s number during a team meeting, in front of his colleagues, to check the man’s assertion that its phones were being picked up promptly. “Bezos took his watch off and made a deliberate show of tracking the time. A brutal minute passed, then two ... Bezos’s face grew red; the vein in his forehead, a hurricane warning system, popped out”

What I found most poignant about the book was the narrative around his two fathers. His biological father was a circus unicyclist, Ted Jorgensen, who abandoned his mother when he was only one. His stepfather was a Cuban-American Miguel Bezos who was rescued from Cuba by a scheme sponsored by the Catholic Church, 'Operation Pedro Pan,' relocated and educated thousands of Cuban youths who arrived alone in the United States.

When you hear the backstory of his stepfather, meticulously researched by Brad Stone, you get an insight into this relentless drive. But most poignant was the courage it took, the now successful Bezos to track down his father - maybe it is that wound of abandonment that explains his uncompromising search for truth. Amazon has ripped up the retailer's rulebook, and was the first a company to allow hostile reviews of products that it sold. Relentless and truth at any cost.


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1 person found this helpful

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Business hagiography

The thing sounds a bit like gospel written by one of the Jeff's apostles or followers but it is well composed and I learnt several interesting things.

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Dull

There might be a good story here but it’s lost in the gushing superlatives the author bestows upon Bezos.

This also with the dull narration makes me sorry I left it too long to get a refund.

Warning - do not listen to while driving, it will send you to sleep.

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Very insightful and well written

Great lessons both in HOW TO & HOW NOT TO run a great business.

More objective than if it had been written by Bezos himself, I sense.

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Not engaging

A list of well researched facts, but not a very insightful view into Jeff Bezos and not engaging storytelling

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  • Hemali Tanna
  • 24-10-20

Outstanding and entertaining!

Jeff Bezos and Amazon's story is inspiring through and through! The author has done a good volume of research, and presented the story breezily! The narrator is also one of the best I have heard. Easily one of my favorite books, since a long while.

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  • David Dikman
  • 20-09-19

An information packed narration

It's a very good read with incredible insight to the company from a varied list of sources. It's captivating but wasn't for me, a page turner. It's harsh but maybe not unfair. Paints a grim but impressive picture of the company and its ceo.

The narration is very good except that it seems to cut and change every so often, even mid sentences.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-07-19

The Amazon backstory

If you want to know the Amazon story - then this book is for you!

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  • Rajsekhar Gopisetti
  • 06-01-19

really great book!

tells about the hardwork that goes into building an organization, which is world class! awesome

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  • Scott Bales
  • 27-12-16

The Narrative of Amazon

interesting insights into the stroy behind Amazon and it's founder. a company where anything seems possible, and likely

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  • Riaan
  • 21-10-16

Great book

This book gives great insight into the world of Amazon and its creator. Definitely worth the listen.

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  • Ashish
  • 01-09-16

Beautiful insight into Amazon world

Book gives a good account of Amazon practises , culture , circumstances that the company and its founder had to navigate but I think the book is too gung-ho in the praise of bezos.

Nice read otherwise.

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  • Larry Krug
  • 22-01-16

great read

really interesting. well narated story. similar extreme thinking to jobs in some ways. focused on delivering a great product

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  • Timothy
  • 20-11-15

Must-read for anyone in a IT startup

A fascinating story, very well told.

The challenges and battles of Amazon in the early years were interesting. Anyone in a startup will be able to relate and learn from Jeff's example.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-17

example of what business should not be....

eye opener on what a bad irresponsible company Amazon and founder is Not a roll model for the future generation

1 person found this helpful