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One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com
     

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com

3.6 3
by Richard L. Brandt
 

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An insightful look at how Amazon really works and how its founder and CEO makes it happen.

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

Why has Amazon been so successful? Much of it has

Overview

An insightful look at how Amazon really works and how its founder and CEO makes it happen.

Amazon's business model is deceptively simple: make online shopping so easy and convenient that customers won't think twice. It can almost 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 CEO and founder, whose unique combination of character traits and business strategy have driven Amazon to the top of the online retail world. Originally a computer nerd rather than a businessman, he had the vision to capitalize on the untapped online marketplace for bookselling and continues to discover new marketing opportunities, from groceries to auto parts. He's a calculating machine, high energy, passionate, highly aggressive, and out to radically transform retail.

Through numerous interviews with Amazon employees, competitors, and observers, Richard Brandt has deciphered how Bezos thinks, what drives his actions, and how he makes decisions. Anyone in business can learn a lot from the example of Amazon's ongoing evolution.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A cursory overview of the man behind Amazon.com. As any bibliophile knows, the birth of Amazon in the mid '90s represented both a blessing and a curse to everyone involved in the book industry, from authors and publishers to bookshops and readers. It was a blessing because more than 1 million titles, many rare and hard-to-find, were suddenly available to anyone with a modem and a credit card; a curse because man local mom-and-pop booksellers folded because they couldn't compete with the deep discounts and extremely customer-friendly policies Amazon offered. Whether readers view Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos as an entrepreneurial genius or a ruthless capitalist, there's no denying that Amazon has grown from a three-guys-in-a-garage operation to one of the most powerful and recognized e-commerce sites on the Internet. Brandt (The Google Guys, 2011, etc.), a reporter on all things Silicon Valley for the past 20-plus years, traces Amazon's sometimes-rocky ascent by interviewing past employees, mentors and competitors of the site. He also mines Bezos' speeches and interviews to determine the thought process of the man behind the empire. Unfortunately, the result is skeletal and unsatisfying, mainly because Brandt never actually interviewed Bezos directly. The source material is largely what Bezos has allowed into the public realm and seems carefully polished, much like the image of Amazon.com. Suffices as a bare-bones account of a highly successful startup but fails to deliver on the inner workings of a website that changed e-commerce forever.
From the Publisher
“Richard Brandt compellingly profiles one of the greatest Internet executives of the era.”
Stephen Leeb, author of The Oil Factor and Red Alert

“Brandt is an award-winning magazine writer and he has the classic U.S. journalist’s approach—meticulously researched and with breathless, pithy commentary . . . a good story well told. If you want to understand the Bezos phenomenon, this is an easy and efficient way to do it—just like shopping on Amazon.”
—Management Today

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591843757
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/27/2011
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Richard Brandt compellingly profiles one of the greatest Internet executives of the era.”
Stephen Leeb, author of The Oil Factor and Red Alert

“Brandt is an award-winning magazine writer and he has the classic U.S. journalist’s approach—meticulously researched and with breathless, pithy commentary . . . a good story well told. If you want to understand the Bezos phenomenon, this is an easy and efficient way to do it—just like shopping on Amazon.”
—Management Today

Meet the Author

Richard L. Brandt is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about Silicon Valley for more than two decades. He is well known throughout the technology community as a former correspondent for BusinessWeek, where he won a National Magazine Award. He lives in San Francisco. Visit richardbrandt.com

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One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon. com 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Echo_Point_Books More than 1 year ago
One Click is slightly tricky to review in that, it mostly succeeds in what the author set out to do (if not exactly what the jacket copy promises): delivering a quick, readable bio of businessman/computer wunderkind Jeff Bezos. Certainly the polymathic and influential Bezos is worthy of study. The guy is clearly a brilliant standout in at least two highly competitive arenas: business and computers. But from my vantage point, and I suspect for most readers, that's not enough--especially (ironically in light of the internet information explosion of which Amazon is at the vanguard. That is, basic information such as Amazon's corporate history and product developments are readily available on sites like Wikipedia (and by following Wikipedia links). In fairness to the author, he does cover considerably more ground than you can easily pick up online and he does weave the JB story into a well-flowing narrative, so I got value from the book. But he left so many stones unturned, I ended up feeling frustrated. Here's one that quickly and obviously comes to mind: Amazon is dominating the publishing business like no one has since the owner of the first printing press started operations. Obviously, that's a deliberately dramatic statement, but there are serious issues concerning Amazon's dominance of books, the lifeblood of intellectual culture. This is especially true in light of the rise of the Kindle and their new forays into publishing. Amazon has shown it will play hardball with publishers and vendors, though typically very subtly (such as removing "Buy" or "One-Click" purchase options) so as not to come off as a bully to the public. But will their overwhelming dominance allow them to act as outright censors or, more likely, subtle censors that direct customers to buy their books leaving other publishers struggling? Or I've read that they may publish books from prominent authors and not let them be sold on other websites. Bestselling author and lawyer Scott Turow, who is the president of the Author's Guild, has dubbed Amazon the Darth Vader of publishing and says they should be subject to anti-trust legislation [presumably Amazon let me quote Turow and not bury this review?]. I don't know enough about legal issues or monopolies to have an opinion about monopoly legislation, but it's certainly opens interesting questions to explore. But nada. There is no discussion on this topic. This lack of analysis applies pretty much across the board. Brandt doesn't examine whether Bezos's "sprint ahead; profit later" tactics are a viable approach for most businesses or only for those with a genius at the helm with access to lots of capital. I suspect many of Bezos' business strategies are uniquely suited to him, but it would have been nice to explored that issue or at least some similar kind of avenues. The list of unexplored questions could go on for quite a while, but you get the idea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago