Key takeaways from “The Everything Store”

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In review today is “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone. The book follows the incredible success of and pursuit of a one man’s dream.


The book left me in clear admiration of Mr. Bezos – he does seem to be on a mission to leave something huge to the world. He is a without a doubt a visionary, who like many other visionaries, achieved so much because he stubbornly stuck with his vision.

And going through the book it sometimes feel that a lot of things were at the expense of his own workforce, which is something that did not resonate with me.

In a way it almost feels like Mr. Bezos is building Amazon like a Pharaohs were building a Pyramids.

I have no doubt that what he created is valuable. If I take a look at Facebook and Amazon today, both similarly valued at around $170 BN, I have no doubt that I would invest my money into Amazon. It’s value clearly comes from serving its users as opposed to exploiting them.

Key Takeaway #1

Not all products and companies can feed on marketing. Sometimes achieving positive ROI from marketing campaigns is simply not possible.

Marketing budget is well spent on enhancing the customer experience instead. Tweaking the website, improving the service or simply reducing the prices!

Key Takeaway #2

One of the main obsessions of Mr. Bezos today seem to be the public’s perception of Amazon. He would like it to be seen as a “cool” company like Apple or Nike.

This is interesting to me, as is everything that very successful people find as a hurdle but can be achieved by us the mere mortals, (see what I mean in 9 things Bill Gates can’t do better than you).

According to mr. Bezos this is the list of “virtues” a company needs to have in order to be considered “cool”. Having just one or two from the list is not enough.

  • Rudeness is not cool.
  • Defeating tiny guys is not cool.
  • Close-following is not cool.
  • Young is cool.
  • Risk taking is cool.
  • Winning is cool.
  • Polite is cool.
  • Defeating bigger, unsympathetic guys is cool.
  • Inventing is cool.
  • Explorers are cool.
  • Conquerors are not cool.
  • Obsessing over competitors is not cool.
  • Empowering others is cool.
  • Capturing all the value only for the company is not cool.
  • Leadership is cool.
  • Conviction is cool.
  • Straightforwardness is cool.
  • Pandering to the crowd is not cool.
  • Hypocrisy is not cool.
  • Authenticity is cool.
  • Thinking big is cool.
  • The unexpected is cool.
  • Missionaries are cool.
  • Mercenaries are not cool.


I am giving this book 75 out of 100 mainly because the language used is not as easy to follow, and stories are not as inspiring because they do not come from the personal experience of the person being described.


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