Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)
Comments: Amazon Unbound is the follow up to Brad Stone’s excellent first book about Amazon – “The Everything Store.” It chronicles the growth of Amazon from incredible retailer to an all conquering conglomerate. A fascinating read for anyone interested in technology.
Insights that resonated:
(1) “It has always seemed strange to me…The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.” | John Steinbeck
An amazing starting quote.
(2) I was repeatedly blown away by Jeff Bezos’ propensity to invest in new and interesting bets. There are a number of occasions where his best and brightest share conversations with him that led to their deployment into a completely new and unproven bet. These bets went onto become billion dollar companies. But, the intentionality with which Bezos went after these – both in deploying high potential talent and staying close to it in the early days – was telling.
(3) The book drove home how much Amazon culture just resembles Jeff Bezos. The drive and intensity of the company mirrors Jeff’s drive and intensity.
(4) Brad also spent time on how wealth changed Jeff – leading eventually to the failure of his marriage. Extreme wealth and celebrity are very hard to handle.