The Coach's Corner

The Everything Store

February 26th, 2020 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

is the story of Jeff Bezos and Amazon, the highest market capitalization company in the world. For some reason, I didn’t know too much about Bezos, and I’m glad I read the book. Here are my takeaways:

  1. Bezos is very smart (summa cum laude from Princeton majoring in electrical engineering and computer science), hard-working, and driven/competitive.
  2. Right from the beginning, he hired intelligent, well-educated people at low salaries, with the promise that they would participate in changing the world — and maybe become wealthy.
  3. Like Steve Jobs, he’s very customer-focused and gets the product or service right, including delaying launches (like the Kindle) if necessary.
  4. He outlawed PowerPoint presentations and instead required his associates to describe their ideas in a narrative (maybe six pages at most).
  5. Like Jobs, he’s very demanding and, at times, demeaning to his team members.
  6. To my surprise, he’s very frugal (at least at Amazon).
  7. He was quick to meet with executives from other tech or retail companies that he perceived to be world-class, and he wasn’t too proud to learn from them.
  8. The story of the evolution of his fulfillment centers (warehouses or distribution centers) was fascinating — they’re a combination of technology, Dr. W. Edwards Deming thinking, and manual processes. It’s very interesting, especially for those of you who are manufacturers or distributors.
  9. Like Jobs, Bezos was adopted.

If you’re an entrepreneur or working in a startup business, I recommend reading The Everything Store to get a reality check. Often, companies like Amazon or Nike are glamorized — but in truth, the path to success isn’t very pretty. Although it requires a lot of hard work and luck, there are no guarantees.

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