Episode#44 – The Everything Store

The Everything Store

by Brad Stone

 

The book in one sentence

From selling books to exploring space.

 

My personal opinion

This is for sure one of my favourite books! An amazing story and very well written. It’s so great, that you literally want to devour the book. I will not write much about it in this section but one thing: read this book!

The Everything Store by Brad Stone is the book about Jeff Bezos and Amazon. I would say Jeff Bezos is one of the most interesting personalities in our time! It is amazing to read about all the ideas Jeff Bezos tried or pioneered and the different offerings Amazon has today in place. Unbelievable!

 

To whom I would recommend this book

A good read for everyone! Entertaining like fiction and full of inspiration for the real (business) life.

 

What I learned from this book

  • Force yourself to think two, three steps ahead. If you are doing something, what will be the consequence and what will be the following consequence. Think big and be creative. Try to understand the full picture.
  • At Amazon, instead of using slides new ideas are presented using a press release format, meaning the way how a customer would hear about it. Meetings would start with everybody reading the paper and discussing it afterwards. This method helps to express your own thoughts completely without hiding the (important) details.
  • “We are genuinely customer-centric, we are genuinely long-term oriented and we genuinely like to invent. Most companies are not those things. They are focused on the competitor, rather than the customer. They want to work on things that will pay dividends in two or three years, and if they don’t work in two or three years they will move on to something else. And they prefer to be close-followers rather than inventors, because it’s safer. So if you want to capture the truth about Amazon, that is why we are different. Very few companies have all of those three elements.” – Jeff Bezos
  • Using the “regret-minimization framework”, you can decide on your big next step in life: what would you regret when you are eighty years old, looking back to this particular moment? “When you are in the thick of things, you can get confused by small stuff.” – Jeff Bezos
  • You don’t have to come up with completely new ideas. Sometimes it is enough to be better than the existing competition.
  • Understand when you have to shift from “Get Big Fast” to “Get Our House in Order” and improve in terms of discipline, efficiency and eliminating waste.
  • “You’ve got to decide on what you’re great at.” – Jim Collins
  • Uncover the flywheel, the self-reinforcing loop, of your business.
  • “Gradatim Ferociter, which translates to ‘Step by step, ferociously.’ The phrase accurately captures Amazon’s guiding philosophy […]. Steady progress toward seemingly impossible goals will win the day. Setbacks are temporary. Naysayers are best ignored.”
  • One time per year, take some days off just to think and read. – YES!
  • The power of Amazon’s marketplace: “If you don’t know anything about [a] business, launch it through the marketplace, bring retailers in, watch what they do and what they sell, understand it, and then get into it.”
  • High profit margins will probably attract other companies to invest into research and development. Low margins on the other hand will attract customers and are defensible. Jeff Bezos mentions in this context the Apple iPhone which profit margin lead to a big competition in the smartphone market.
  • “It is far better to cannibalise yourself than have someone else do it.” – Diego Piacentini

 

Want to read this book?

Check it out on Amazon.com – The Everything Store by Brad Stone

 

Publisher

Thanks to the publisher for printing such a great book!

Back Bay Books