September 29, 2018 By Lucio Buffalmano. Early 2011: Amazon is losing some traction in the book industry. "The Everything Store is a revelatory read for everyone--those selling and those sold to--who wants to understand the dynamics of the new digital economy. Amazon is in an awkward position, trying to undercut Zappos with price while promising brand name companies they won’t cut prices too much. The Everything Store is the story of Amazon, from its founding by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore to its rise as a commerce giant. Given the bad environment to come, this provides a needed cushion that might have helped Amazon avoid bankruptcy. August 9, 1995: Netscape Communications IPOs. Things Can Be Better. “Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. After thinking about it a bit, I offered these 10 questions for discussion. My friend Tracy (interviewed on Tim Ferriss's podcast) recommended The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone, so I wanted to check it out. If you've ever one-clicked a purchase, you must read this book." Bezos: “Because we need it as well” - thus there will be other companies who have this same need. “Sellers know they should not be taking the heroin, but they cannot stop taking the heroin,” drawn to Amazon’s massive audience. Will Amazon one day run its own delivery? New product releases require a mock press release, to start with what the customer would see and work backward. w, representing the world wide web, is growing exponentially and eclipsing all other protocols.). 2002-03: As an employer, Amazon has high levels of attrition. Think of two bookstores, one where all the books are shrink-wrapped and one where you can sit as long as you want and read any book you want. The next week they take $14,000 in orders and ship $7,000 worth of books. This is one signal of a heated interest in the Internet. They also like “aard.com” because it regularly arrives at the top of alphabetical website listings, and “relentless.com” for its description of the Amazon team. It uses capital for acquisitions (IMDB, BookPages, Exchange.com), building five... “Despite all the hoopla surrounding Amazon, Bezos has not really revolutionized the book industry at all. 2004: Engineer Charlie Ward suggests a speedy shipping club. Amazon could now reach customers around the country for nearly no cost, and it used its massive customer relationship to exert unprecedented leverage over suppliers.). Another motivation: Amazon’s project teams need to plead for provisioned infrastructure resources from a central team, which slows down progress. People taking action to lower prices for customers: Door-desk prize. Parent company NuvoMedia balks and goes to Barnes & Noble instead. The book also covers a number of Amazon and Bezos’s management techniques. April 2007: Amazon announces surprisingly strong Q1 results, with quarterly sales reaching $3 billion, growing 32% YoY compared to ecommerce at 12%. She soon meets Miguel Bezos, a Cuban emigrant, working at the Bank of New Mexico. Once the companies are weak, Amazon swoops in to acquire them, winning the war. Despite all the controversy, Amazon has only gotten progressively stronger over the past decade. Amazon believes MAPs are vestigial business practices, used by inefficient companies to protect their margins. Learn from one of the biggest visionaries and entrepreneurs, the mind behind Amazon. For each order, Amazon orders the book from a distributor, paying 50% off list price. Bezos thinks that big meetings are unproductive and likes to replicate Darwinian principles of survival between small teams. Summary of The Everything Store Brad Stone interviewed over 300 people, current and former Amazon employees, and Bezos family members, and provides us an in-depth look into life at Amazon. At first, however, Amazon bought copies of the e-books for the same price as their printed equivalents, which meant that the company lost money on every book. In summary, I’m from Paraguay and I love to learn. Jeff even went so far as to implement a “fitness function” for each group. His secret company Blue Origin is such a program. Their hunches prove right over the years - the instant gratification of free two-day shipping becomes addictive; people want to maximize the benefits of their sunk cost. Cut off, Amazon turns to gray-market secondary distributors. In this period, Amazon’s retail flywheel gains formidable momentum, and its experimental projects start yielding fruit. But. From initiation, Bezos imagined an Everything Store where the entire Earth’s catalogue was accessible to anyone. (Shortform note: MAPs may have been a stronger strategic move in the past. From the very beginning, Amazon has championed taking customer orientation to a higher level in every industry worldwide. In other words, Amazon is storing inventory owned by other companies and handling logistics for them. Udi Manber, algorithm expert, leads this charge. The Everything Store: Summary & Review in PDF. (Today, Turk is not a huge part of the company, but it’s emblematic of the orthogonal technological innovation Amazon attempts in this period.). Bezos realized the potential e-commerce had over traditional businesses and explored it with features like product recommendations which pop up based on previous shopping behavior. Minor said that he learned something from every person he knew. Cutting out the fluff: you don't spend your time wondering what the author's point is. The incentive was that teams ended up making their formulas ever more complex and did not help to get the job done. Early 1999: After the success in music and movies, Bezos chooses to expand to toys and electronics. The executive team questions every number and asks why things happened. People observe that this money enables Bezos, making him think bigger and move faster than before. Initially in the mid 2000’s, Amazon abides and becomes Wusthof’s second-largest US seller (after Williams-Sonoma). Instead, the toy makers carefully allocate supply to each retailer. No task is beneath them.”. They are focused on the competitor, rather than the customer. States accuse it of avoiding state sales taxes. Here's a preview of the rest of Shortform's The Everything Store summary: The Everything Store is the story of Amazon, from its founding as an online bookstore to its rise as a commerce giant. In The Everything Store, learn the history of Amazon from its early days to 2014, along with the company values that led its their immense success. In October, Bezos leafs through A in the dictionary and comes across Amazon. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone Book Summary Readtrepreneur (Disclaimer: This is NOT the original book, but an unofficial summary.) If the former, then it could outsource distribution to a third party. Doerr: “why would we go into this business” when Amazon is already struggling to hire engineers and needs to expand internationally? Here is a profile of the ones mentioned in the book. Upon graduating from Princeton in 1986, Bezos worked for a pair of Columbia professors at a company that developed a private transatlantic computer network for stock traders called Fitel. December 2006: Endless.com launches as the Zappos competitor. A few weeks later, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo ask if Amazon would like to be featured on their homepage. After all, Amazon was destined to become the everything store. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone | Book Summary | Readtrepreneur (Disclaimer: This is NOT the original book, but an unofficial summary.) The deal doesn’t happen. Prior to this, Yahoo is valued more than Disney; Amazon more than Sears. And Amazon and eBay now compete for Google search ads, effectively paying a tax to Google. Endless offers free overnight shipping and free returns, clearly losing money but designed to make Zappos bleed. Some projects fail, but others become critical strategic pieces. Another motivation for developing an e-reader: In 2003, Apple introduces the iTunes music store, which catapults past Tower Records, Amazon, and Walmart to become the top music retailer in the US. March 1996: Amazon moves to a larger building with a bigger warehouse a few blocks away. Zappos is obsessive about customer experience, promising free 5-7 day delivery and trying to meet 2-day delivery. He thinks that it helps Amazon concentrate on the important things like customer satisfaction. Bezos is unsatisfied with the size of the piles: “Do you want to hand this business to our competitors? The Everything Store is the unauthorized biography of Amazon and Bezos. To a supply-chain team causing software bugs leading to lack of recognizing revenue: “You’re a complete fucking idiot. To foster creativity, Amazon should emulate nature’s principle of evolution, that is, create the primitives necessary for developers to create something interesting, and then get out of the way. They sell thousands of devices but tank in the dotcom bubble. Hsieh believes that everyone should take below-market compensation to work at Zappos because of the great internal culture. Typical critical viewpoints are represented by Barron’s “amazon.bomb” article: (Shortform note: the story, as we know now in insight, is that, But these legitimate questions illustrate how difficult it is to foresee the future.). Further, Amazon offers its Warehouse Deals, selling refurbished and used products. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. He had them removed and left the mounts hanging for years, “like a warlord leaving the decapitated heads of his enemies as a symbol.”. Copyright © 2020 ShortForm™ | All Rights Reserved, This is a preview of the Shortform book summary of, Wall Street Journal features Amazon on its front page, Steve Yegge’s famous post about platforms. The Costco model is all about customer loyalty. It’s clear to them that no one has figured out how to sell books over the Internet. The book world rejects Amazon’s publishing efforts in an allergic reaction. Previously, Super Saver Shipping allowed users to self-identify as less time-sensitive customers. Bezos and colleagues try ordering a book. “I can’t believe we have to delay our business by seven years,” magnifying the calendar time by the speed of Internet evolution. Employees number 7,600, up from 1,500 in 1998. Regardless, publishers are hesitant about piracy and drag their feet. In fact, the very founding of Amazon was a giant risk which many other people wouldn’t have committed to, at least not if it means leaving a well-paid job as a hedge fund manager. Bezos also made it clear that a hierarchy isn’t responsive to change. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition … Bezos often quoted Alan’s observation that “point of view is worth 80 IQ points” a reminder that looking at things in new ways can enhance one’s understanding. Customers could leave reviews of any product, a more credible version of mail-order catalogues. Example ideas that they actually develop include a free email service (developed into Juno) and online stock trading (FarSight Financial, later sold to Merrill Lynch). Bezos projects $74 million in sales by 2000 if things go moderately well (actual sales in 2000: $1.64 billion). 1990: Bezos joins D. E. Shaw, a finance firm started by computer science professor David E. Shaw in 1988. More of the country continues signing up for Prime and using Amazon as their primary retail destination, and Amazon continues its inexorable march to servicing more of our life. About the book… • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon is authored by Brad Stone. 2011: Knifemaker Wusthof decides to end its relationship with Amazon after a torturous relationship. In contrast to Amazon’s smooth operations, incumbents start online operations online barely survive their first holiday season - Toys R Us is investigated by the FTC for unfulfilled promises made to shoppers. Miguel has tireless work ethic, love for America and its opportunities, and a libertarian aversion to government intrusion. Instead, he requires people to write presentations in prose. One particular revolutionary invention was Amazon Web Services or AWS in short. They try to build advantages through exclusives and sourcing hot new products, which Amazon is soon to study and provide itself. Bezos repeats stories and principles endlessly, leading his staff to call these “Jeffisms.”. Galli leaves in July 2000. Bezos’ approach was that developers are like alchemists, and he wanted to do everything possible to let them do their alchemy without getting in their way. Some analysts predict the death of Amazon, suggesting it will run out of cash within a year. Amazon maxes out its line of credit and has no processes to handle returns. Bezos is renowned by his staff for being able to dive into minute details of the business. It consisted of a web scrapper, a clunky process in which an algorithm parses a website, trying to isolate interesting data. Investors are questioning Amazon’s widening losses and its ability to ever reach profitability. “Amazon isn’t happening to the book business. Which one do you think will sell more books?”. New products have to be presented like documents of a press release. It now has 20 million registered accounts. Few believe Amazon will become a $600 billion company. That is why we are different. Teachers said that three of Tim’s projects were being entered in a local science competition that drew most of its submissions from students in junior and senior high schools. This feature increased sales consistently as customers stumbled on relevant products they wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Andy Jassy, Harvard MBA and anomalously not an engineer, leads the effort. From the beginning, Amazon has customer centricity as its focus. Bezos knows his customers will erupt in outrage if he turns over their files to other marketers. Bezos would then personally approve each equation and track each team’s evolution over time. The slower expectation of shipping lets them pack boxes into spare room in trucks when it happens to be available, reducing expenses. Despite Amazon’s volleys, Zappos grows further up to $1 billion in sales over the next few years, but the financial crisis hits them, making fundraising harder and lowering consumer spending. They cast predictions of the Internet’s future and how it would lead to a revolutionary shopping experience. He was a remarkable employee. 2012: After this media flak, Bezos considers what makes some companies cool and others not. This enables global branding that solidifies Amazon in customers’ minds. Instead of trying to guess what services developers might want. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.”. Recall that shoe manufacturers were wary of working with Amazon, fearing that they would ruthlessly discount their shoes. Here’s a brief discussion of the core values that power Amazon. Its sales grow exponentially, with $16 million in revenue in 1996 and $148 million in 1997. Bezos wants Amazon to IPO (just 2 years after founding). Despite the slow current speed of the Internet, Bezos believes everyone would one day use the Internet at high speeds. “Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. Business and organizations like NASA, the US government, and the CIA all started using AWS. Learn about the story of one of the most successful companies in the world and discover all about its founder Jeff Bezos and his brilliant vision. 1986: Bezos graduates from Princeton and works at Fitel, developing a transatlantic computer network for stock traders. Jeff Bezos wanted Amazon to become the everything store: a store which would offer everything at a great convenience to the customer. Early in Amazon’s life, a publisher executive is angry at Amazon customer reviews, suggesting Bezos doesn’t understand his business is to sell books, not trash them. After each purchase, a bell rings on their computers. eBay’s business model is strong, taking commissions for each sale but none of the hassle of inventory and sending packages. Of course, Jeff’s vision for Amazon goes much farther. Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores refuse to stock Amazon’s books. Employees need to back their arguments up with hard data which enables unambiguous decision-making in honor of the maxim “Numbers don’t lie.”. Popularity begets chaos. When hiring Walmart distribution exec Jimmy Wright in 1998, Bezos wanted a distribution system 10x larger than it currently was, not just in the US but also the UK and Germany. There is a large long tail of esoteric books ordered, furthering the belief in the importance of selection. The price, of course, was frugal, like winning a pair of Nike sneakers that belonged to a basketball player who worked at Amazon. The stock jumps 25%. The early 2000s sees the rise of Google, which threatens to disintermediate and out-innovate Amazon and make it a relic. Operating reviews are done twice a year, over the summer and after the holiday season. Using this money, Amazon begins hiring executives from other companies, some away from tech companies like Microsoft. Google’s hundreds of engineers outpace Amazon’s dozen, and Amazon finds it can’t build a search on top of a rival’s search index. Every doc contains a few tenets at the top, principles that guide the hard decisions. API’s are tools which allow third parties to communicate with an application in a clean way, for example, to harvest data about prices, products, and sales ranking. September 1999: Amazon hires Jeff Wilke as VP of Operations to replace departing Walmart alum Jimmy Wright. It chronicles the rise of Amazon.com, and became notorious when Mackenzie Bezos, wife of Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, gave the book a one-star review on the site. A few years later, the click-to-ship time is as low as 4 hours, down from 3 days when Wilke joined and the industry standard of 12 hours. When a user gets an embarrassing email about sex lubricant, Bezos is willing to shut down the entire profitable email channel. Bezos dreamed about making a huge impact on big things like space travel from an earlier age. It doesn’t advertise and earns most gross profit from annual membership fees. The dotcom bubble crashes. In its darkest times, detractors repeatedly predicted it would go bankrupt, that titans like Walmart would easily crush it, and that it would be out-executed by tech darlings like eBay and Google. As Amazon stock price falls, employee options fall underwater, causing resentment (after Bezos’s pushes for relentless work) and lack of faith in the company and leadership. The problem is that a slow worker could hold up the entire team. Tim modeled the device after one he had seen in a store. This requires retailers to stay above a certain price threshold in their advertisements, or else lose the manufacturer’s business. When the company falls behind in shipments, everyone spends nights in the basement, sitting on the floor packing boxes. Bezos himself quickly adopted the Web’s philosophy of openness and preached inside Amazon about how these new tools would enable developers to surprise them with new ideas. 1-Page Summary1-Page Book Summary of The Everything Store The Everything Storeis the story of Amazon, from its founding by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore to its rise as a commerce giant. Jeff Bezos is famously frugal. Questions for Book Clubs About The Everything Store I recently heard from a reader who was organizing a book club discussion of The Everything Store. End of 1997: Amazon has $148 million in revenue, up from $16 million in 1996. Bezos likes decentralization, autonomous working units, and independent decision making. At the time, other server services only allowed for fixed subscriptions regardless of the amount used (eg monthly). They quickly lower the minimum price for Super Saver shipping from $99 to $49, then $25. Traditional publishers resisted the customer review feature because they thought it would harm sales.Similarly, the decision to make a platform for individuals to sell used products met with opposition at first. Early on, Barnes & Noble was the giant that promised to quash them. Bezos was envisioning Starbucks having a much lower 1% equity. This makes her cry, and his grandfather tells him: “One day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.”, In high school in Miami, Bezos is known as “extremely disciplined” and focused. To begin with, publishing houses themselves could sell their books online.” “What's to stop famous authors from establishing their own Websites to sell their books?”, “And new technologies promise to cut costs even further by allowing consumers to download books via the Internet. November 2005: Amazon launches Mechanical Turk, a service allowing hiring of humans to perform low-cost, hard to automate services like image recognition and data categorization. June 1996: Amazon raises $8 million from Kleiner Perkins and John Doerr at a valuation of $60 million. Amazon had been the largest shareholder in this European Netflix clone. Bezos pattern for long-term strategies then is to take short term loss to get long term advantages. End of 1999: Amazon has $1.64 billion in revenue in the year, up from $610 million in 1998. (like rate of marketing email opens * average order size generated). Bezos used to say “You can work long, hard, and smart, but at Amazon, you can pick only two out of three.” A young CEO liked to rephrase it to “You can work long, you can work hard, you can work smart, but at Amazon, you can’t choose two out of three.”. Based on hundreds of interviews with him and the closest members of his family, the book details the rise and rise of Amazon.com, the online retailer of today and tomorrow. This causes addictive rank checking for authors and publishers. Book publishers collude to set pricing to relieve some of the pricing pressure Amazon places. Bezos is impressed but wants exclusivity, to prevent rivals from stealing the future of reading. Amazon begins researching new product categories that have a high number of SKUs (unique products), are underrepresented in physical stores, and can be sent through the mail. Author Brad Stone argues that AWS “helped lift the entire technology industry out of a prolonged post-dot-com malaise” and that it enlarged the scope of Amazon’s everything store concept. Bezos realizes he wants to be an active CEO, and Amazon has not had a President or COO since then. The internet made distribution to customers free, neutralizing the distribution advantage of incumbents. Jeff also took every possibility he could to learn something. After reviewing the annual plan from supply-chain team: “I guess supply chain isn’t doing anything interesting next year. Amazon’s approach is to establish fulfillment centers in economically weak areas to exploit cheap labor and the ability to fire workers once the season is over. To send US any money anyway ( then 16 ) books beyond the top 100.. 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