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Summary

Amazon is the business story of the decade. Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet, has built one of the most efficient wealth-creation machines in history. Like a giant squid, Amazon’s tentacles are squeezing industry after industry and, in the process, upsetting the state of technology, the economy, job creation and society at large. So pervasive is Amazon’s impact that business leaders in almost every sector need to understand how this force of nature operates and how they can respond to it.

Saying you can ignore Jeff Bezos is equivalent to saying you could ignore Henry Ford or Steve Jobs in the early years of Ford and Apple. These titans monumentally changed how we do business, redefining the rules on a global scale. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the new disruptor on the block. He has created a 21st-century algorithm for business and societal disruption. He has turned the retail industry inside out, is swiftly dominating cloud computing, media and advertising and now has his sights trained on every other domain where money changes hands and business is transacted.

But the principles by which Bezos has achieved his dominance - customer obsession, extreme innovation and long-term management, all supported by artificial intelligence turning a virtuous-cycle 'flywheel' - are now being borrowed and replicated. 'Bezonomics' is for some a goldmine, for others a threat, for still others a life-shaping force, whether they’re in business or not.

Brian Dumaine’s Bezonomics answers the fundamental question: how are Amazon and its imitators affecting the way we live, and what can we learn from them?

©2020 Brian Dumaine (P)2020 Simon & Schuster UK

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if I hear "AI flywheel" once more I'll scream

This is a fair, but not outstanding, business book. interesting, and week researched, although doesn't really tell you anything that you don't already know or couldn't guess. there are some chapters of the Amazon story - such as the famous "API memo" - that aren't mentioned but which, I think, offer more profound insights into the Amazon phenomenon than anything presented here. And enough already of the "AI flywheel". This is hardly a differentiating factor, these days, for just Amazon. While the author makes periodic attempts to inject balance it does come across largely as a Bezos hagiography.

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The smartest company the world has ever seen?

There have been several books written about the incredible story of how the son of an estranged trick uni-cyclist father and seventeen year old mother founded Amazon and became the world's richest man. Such is the pace of change at Amazon that many of them become out of date very quickly. This book by Fortune associate editor Brian Dumaine treads familiar ground but also manages to articulate the concept of the virtual circle "AI Flywheel" that has turned Amazon into such a dominating power by using algorithms to suggest products by learning from customer buying habits. Jeff Bezos is certainly a patient man and his forward and long term planning with seemingly little regard for short term shareholder expectations has allowed the Amazon Empire to expand and diversify from an online bookseller into now stocking over 600 million items, eReaders, voice recognition devices such as Echo/Alexa, TV and music streaming services and other areas such as cloud computing through its AWS business, ownership of the Washington Post and even brick and mortar retail. Advertising and healthcare are the next targets for Mr Bezos followed by space exploration through the advanced Blue Origin porgram. Not all ventures have been successful though such as Amazon's for example the company's foray into smart phones via its Fire Phones was a disaster. Generally though, when Mr Bezos decides to go for something he does it big time, providing the six page proposal is comprehensive, and he has room to fail too which lets him take more risks. Amazon is not without its critics though and there are examples quoted here of staff working in fulfillment centres with less than fulfilling jobs and well documented attacks on the empire from Bernie Sanders and others. There is a threat that Amazon could well become too powerful and suffer a similar fate to those early US business magnates Rockefeller and Mellon whose empires were broken up by Roosevelt's anti-trust legislation at the beginning of the last century. Generally, Mr Dumaine is decidedly pro-Amazon and considers that any criticism on Amazon is an attack on free market capitalism. Maybe Amazon really is the smartest company the world has ever seen.

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Business masterclass in a nutshell

I really enjoyed this book. The naration was clear and engaging also. Ive had several businesses over the years and we have just had to start selling online and encorporate a fast delivery service. I got alot of ideas from reading this book which I have no doubt will prove very useful to me. I also found Bezos as a subject hugely motivational and inspiring. Anybody interested in business would benifit from listening to this audio book.

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Great book about Amazon.

Interesting and easy to digest. Amazon is currently the company to follow if any.

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The industry standard for all future business!

Adapt to Bezonomics or get crushed. A must read for anyone considering business. A great peek into the future, which is closer than we think.