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Sunday, May 3, 2015

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

The Everything Store, book 25, was a very well written and researched book all about the Amazon founder.

The book is more a history of the company rather than a fully fledged biography, which I guess is why it is the business section. Amazon has been shaped by Jeff Bezos very much in his own image, but you don't really get to know the person like you would in a fully biographical work.

I have read books on these shelves before about big companies like Macdonald's, Tesco and Walmart. They have all been anti-books, and this book is definitely a pro-Amazon book so it makes a change to read something from the other side of the fence. Amazon is not the most ethical company in the world, and it does have an unfair advantage over traditional stores, but it offers great value and choice for the consumer.

Above all Jeff Bezos, like the founders of other big tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple have grand visions which are years ahead of their time. All the founders of these companies were very focused and drove their pet projects on long beyond the point where they had amassed a personal fortune. I admire their drive but like most normal people I suspect I would cash in once I had something worth a few million and I no longer needed to work!

I award this book 9 out of 10. The only minor gripe is there's a lot of office politics in the book, and most of the people he spoke to have left Amazon so you are getting the picture of people who at the end of the day weren't a perfect fit for the culture.

Next up is bookcase 26 and the second book in the Business and Finance section.

The Secret Life of Money claims to reveal what money really is and how it works. Economics is not a strong point of mine I have to confess so I am hoping to learn something here.

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