Amazon The Everything Store: Book Summary & Notes

3 - How Jeff Bezos Built Amazon Book Summary.png

Amazon started in Jeff Bezos' garage only with his vision to sell everything, everywhere. Focusing on the company as much as its founder, this book shows the unique thinking that made Bezos' dream a reality. Amazon's success is a result of MANY things they did right. Here are a few reasons why they became a company that's feared so much by its competition.

1. Amazon Is Genuine

"We are genuinely customer-centric, we are genuinely long-term oriented and we genuinely like to invent." Page 12.

Most companies claim to be these traits but rarely are they all three. Big businesses tend to react to their competition rather than focusing on their customer. Amazon gives a good reason for customers to keep coming back for more. 

For example, Bezos still makes his employees pay for parking because he'd rather spend money lowering prices... It's always customers first at Amazon.

2. The Flywheel

Jeff Bezos runs Amazon like he's playing multiple games of chess at the same time. He favours long term strategy over short term profitability.

To the shock of book publishers, he priced all eBooks at $9.99, taking a loss on each sale. He's done this many times with many products, but why does this strategy work? 

Amazon has a virtuous cycle that powers their business. Here is Amazon's "secret sauce" from page 126:

"Lower prices led to more customer visits. More customers increased the volume of sales and attracted more commission-paying third-party sellers to the site. That allowed Amazon to get more out of fixed costs like the fulfillment centers and the servers needed to run the website. This greater efficiency then enabled it to lower prices further. Feed any part of this flywheel, they reasoned, and it should accelerate the loop."

By learning how to have the lowest prices possible, Amazon gains customers, marketshare, and profit long-term. By focusing on what they're good at, Amazon is always a few steps ahead of everyone else.

3. Innovate Fast

Despite Amazon's massive size, they still innovate quickly like a startup.

With lots of innovation comes lots of failure. Despite that, their successful ideas pay off many times over. Amazon has created products that make them much more than an eCommerce store. 

One Click Checkout, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Cloud Drive, KDP, Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Prime, Amazon Instant Video just to name a few. 

To support his long-term strategy and innovation, Bezos was building the Kindle before there was even a market for e-readers. If books would be digital in the future, Bezos wanted to sell all of them. He started development with no proven market and waited for the right time to release the Kindle. He was right, and when the market was ready Amazon dominated eBook sales by over 90%. 

The Kindle is just one example showing how innovation is embedded within Amazon's culture.

Final Thoughts

Jeff Bezos is similar to Sam Walton who built the Wal-Mart empire. He uses innovative and bold ideas that always revolve around his customer focus.

This books shows you how a unique multibillion dollar company was built from nothing. You'll see Jeff's thinking, management style, and the execution he used when everybody doubted his outrageous ideas.

Amazon is a company like no other. If you're interested in this book you can buy The Everything Store on Amazon or get the audiobook free by signing up with Audible!