BOOK BRIEFS

2018-07-18 06:01
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THE EVERYTHING STORE – JEFF BEZOS AND THE AGE OF AMAZON

AUTHOR — BRAD STONE

How do you build a company that directs over half a million employees in dreamy, ultramodern fulfillment centres to meet the increasing demands of online shoppers worldwide, clicking away in peak seasons to the tune of 400-plus orders a second?

That’s the question I found satisfactorily answered in Brad Stone’s The Everything Store – Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.

This being the second book I’ve devoured on the subject, I can now confidently add Bezos to the list of influentials I rarely tire of both learning from and learning about.

In this work, Stone recounts how a young intellectual standout (with a deceivingly gentle front) sensed an oncoming avalanche behind the early 90’s Internet and scrambled to found a store that would someday house and ship the material desires of the entire planet.

He may not be the easiest person to work for, yet the fruits of Bezos’s labour are evident in Amazon becoming not just a retail powerhouse, but gaining the more prestigious title of Silicon Valley tech leader, now mentioned in the same breath as Apple and Google (dare anyone who’s dropped paper books for the Kindle to bet that that’s not the future of reading).

With Amazon’s unrelenting pace of growth, one wonders if there’s room for others on the horizon (Bezos seems to think so).

What’s also impressive is that, in the five years since the book’s release, the company’s brain trust continues to shock and awe with an outpouring of creativity, like the Amazon Key and its cashier-less Amazon Go stores.

If detail and dirt on Amazon’s history isn’t appealing enough, the book also has an unexpected emotional beat at the end (something I’d imagine not easily found in other reads covered by the Financial Times).

So, whether you’re looking for advice, inspiration or simply something fascinating to lay back and get comfortable with, Brad Stone’s The Everything Store is a worthy look into one of the biggest triumphs of our time.

Report by Omar Sayed

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