Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Brad Stone's The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
Five out of five stars
In many ways, this summary is a confirmation of what I have heard from other sources. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are known for driving their employees mercilessly as they were determined to get their products to their customers. Microsoft employees were regularly derided as “Microserfs.” The other sources indicated that Jeff Bezos had a similar personality, only was described as “worse than Gates or Jobs.”
The book is a dual biography of two things that cannot be separated, the life of Jeff Bezos and the life of his powerful company, Amazon. The company has many aspects of a tyrannical organization with nothing like the rewards of other tech companies. This is summarized in the following segment from the overview.
“Unlike its perk-rich competitors, such as Google and Facebook, Amazon strives for a lean operation in which employees pay for their own parking and do not enjoy any semblance of a work-life balance. Meetings are designed to be adversarial and only the strong are intended to survive the experience.”
The stress of the work environment is well-stated in the following excerpt from key takeaway one.
“Current and former employees told the ‘Times’ stories about how they’d seen almost everyone they ever worked with crying at their desk at some point.”
As a follower of the tech industry and someone that has worked with Amazon for many years, there was not much in the summary that was dramatically new. It is a great summary of one of the most complex and ruthless personalities in the modern business world. As is stated in the summary, employee well being means nothing to Bezos, there is only customer satisfaction at all costs. If you have any interest in Bezos or Amazon, this summary will convince you that you must read the book.