Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet, has built one of the most efficient wealth-creation machines in history. Based on behind-the-scenes reporting from 150 sources inside and outside of Amazon, this book examines the underlying principles Bezos uses to achieve his dominance and shows how these are being borrowed and replicated by companies across the United States, in China, and elsewhere.
You’d think it would be easy to write a page-turner about the firm and its founder, but what makes them so successful is complicated, contradictory and controversial ... If you are an Amazon hater or even a sceptic, this is not the book for you. Critics will be enraged by what they will see as Dumaine’s efforts to forgive Amazon its sins ... What makes this book a great read, however, is the way Dumaine shines a light on the man who has made Amazon such a success ... like it or not, tenacious Jeff and his data-driven instant-gratification machine are only just getting started. Only the paranoid — and those who copy Bezos’s use of artificial intelligence to learn what customers want and recommend it before they even know they need it —will survive.
...Bezonomics: How Amazon is Changing Our Lives, and What the World’s Companies Are Learning From It...is the sort of incredibly long title that publishers only give books when they aren’t sure what the point of them is. Bezonomics is an easy and engaging read, but I’d hesitate to call it gripping. Quite often, though, it is eye-opening ... If you want to understand why Amazon ended up here rather than any other company then the answer seems to lie with Bezos himself, who emerges as both an enigma and not very interesting all at once, even if the raw ingredients of character ought to be promising ... One flaw with this book is an occasional tendency towards being too reverential ... Probably there is not much new here, with other books looking in more depth at AI, automation, the gig economy, data mining, or Bezos, but it all makes for a fair beginner’s guide pulling it all together.
... overwhelmingly flattering ... A simple list of what Amazon now does, from small business lending to leasing its own ships, captures both its extraordinary record of innovation and why critics fear it is too powerful. Yet Dumaine seems to believe that only oddball privacy advocates and leftist 'political theatre' practitioners find its expanding reach a problem ... he asserts, any fault lies with the nature of capitalism—an odd claim given the strides other businesses have made in better balancing the interests of shareholders, employees and society. This book does a valuable job of explaining how Amazon sees itself, but struggles to examine the company from any other perspective. That makes it a frustratingly one-sided read.