Tuesday, June 9, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt



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ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

Amazon’s business model is deceptively simple: Make online shopping so easy and convenient that customers won’t think twice. It almost can be summed up by the button on every page: “Buy now with one click.”

Why has Amazon been so successful? Much of it has to do with Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO, whose unique combination of character traits and business strategy has driven Amazon to the top of the online retail world. Richard Brandt charts Bezos’s rise from computer nerd to world-changing entrepreneur.

Through interviews with Amazon employees, competitors, and observers, Brandt has deciphered how Bezos makes decisions. The story of Amazon’s ongoing evolution is a case study in how to reinvent an entire industry, and one that businesses today ignore at their peril.

MY REVIEW:

The subtitle could not be more appropriate.  "One Click" is a fascinating look at Jeff Bezos and the rise of Amazon.com.  I never knew much about Jeff Bezos other than the fact that he started Amazon.  He's always seemed to exist behind the scenes.  This book offers insight into Bezos's background, beginning with his childhood.  From being adopted by his step-father to his passion for reading in elementary school to his early entrepreneurial ventures, Bezos almost becomes a likable person.

For some reason, before reading this book I had in my mind that Bezos was not a very likable person. Brandt also shows the reader the ruthless (ugly) business side of Bezos - from the various lawsuits Amazon has been involved in to Amazon's PR/marketing war against Barnes & Noble to Bezos's own poor people management skills.

Whether or not Jeff Bezos is a likable guy, however, it's clear that he is a truly amazing person in what he was able to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time. His story inspiring.  If you're interested in Jeff Bezos and/or the business of Amazon, I highly recommend this book.