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

What are some things that we can learn from Jeff Bezos, founder of multi-billion dollar company, Amazon? Ever since Jeff Bezos was a child, he’s had an incredible desire to stay focused, and learn how things work. This curiosity and level of ability to stay laser-like focused has helped Jeff Bezos to build Amazon to what it is today. Points from the book are:


1. As we all go through life, at some point in time or another we’re going to come to a crossroad where we’ll need to make important decision. Some people like to make a pros and cons list of the available options. However, another way of helping you make a decision would be the regret mineralization framework. The decision that you make should be based on what you’ll regret less in the future. For Jeff Bezos, he was at the crossroad of staying at his well paying job or to start Amazon. At the time Bezos was thinking about what to do next, he had recently finished the novel Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro, about a butler who wistfully recalls his personal and professional choices during a career in service in wartime Great Britain. So looking back on life’s important junctures was on Bezos’s mind when he came up with what he calls ‘the regret-minimalization framework’ to decide the next step to take at this juncture in his career.


2. One thing that I’ve pieced together that a lot of top successful people have is the extraordinary ability to visualize big things. They have their minds set on these visions and they become relentless at achieving it. The grand vision needs to come first before you can take the steps needed to get there. Bezos was going to do more than establish an online bookstore; now he was set on building one of the first lasting Internet companies. ‘Jeff was always an expansive thinker, but access to capital was an enabler,’ Doerr says. James Marcus, an editorial employee, saw it too, writing in his 2004 memoir Amazonia that ‘the cash from Kleiner Perkins hit the place like a dose of entrepreneurial steroids, making Jeff more determined than ever.



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3. As you rise up, there are going to be challenges and moments of uncertainty that will come your way. There will be people who will doubt you and will try to convince you to stop. To cancel out that noise and to stay focused and cool under pressure is what will lead you to greater success. In the span of three weeks in June, [the stock price] dropped from $57 to $33, shedding almost half its value. Employees started to get nervous. Bezos scrawled I am not my stock price on the whiteboard in his office and instructed everyone to ignore the mounting pessimism. ‘You don’t feel thirty percent smarter when the stock goes up by thirty percent, so when the stock price goes down you shouldn’t feel thirty percent dumber,’ he said at an all-hands meeting.


4. To become successful, learn to think creatively and outside the box. One of the best sayings that I’ve heard when it comes to solving problems is to “innovate your way out of your problems.” Not sure how to lose that extra 5 pounds? Innovate your way out of it. Not sure how to increase your income? Again, innovate your way out of it.Over the next few years, Dalzell watched Amazon from afar and marvelled at how Bezos turned himself into one of the world’s most admired corporate chiefs. ‘Jeff does a couple of things better than anyone I’ve ever worked for,’ Dalzell says. ‘He embraces the truth. A lot of people talk about the truth, but they don’t engage their decision-making around the best truth at the time. The second thing is that he is not tethered by conventional thinking. What is amazing to me is that he is bound only by the laws of physics. He can’t change those. Everything else he views as open to discussion.


By Ryan Lee


My rating:
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Check out the book here:
Amazon USA
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK


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