Excerpts from “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone

Wrapped this amazing 432 pages book over the weekend! Here are some compelling lines from the book:

[Page 49] Bezos told his parents there was a 70 percent chance they could lose it all. ‘I want you to know what the risks are, because I still want to come home for Thanksgiving if this doesn’t work’ he said.

[92] Physically, I’m a chicken. Mentally, I’ bold.

[115] They agreed on five core values and wrote them down on whiteboard in a conference room: customer obsession, frugality, bias for action, ownership, and high bar for talent.


[167] ‘If you’re not good, Jeff will chew you up and spit you out. And if you’re good, he will jump on your back and ride you into the ground.’

[189] ‘Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.’

Jeff’s grandfather


[223] ‘Jeff doesn’t tolerate stupidity, even accidental stupidity’

[224] ‘That was a typical interaction with Jeff. He had this unbelievable ability to be incredibly intelligent about things he had nothing to do with, and he was totally ruthless about communicating it’

Bruce Jones, Former Amazon Vice President

[244] ‘Treat Google like a mountain. You can climb the mountain, but you can’t move it,’ he [Bezos] told Black Scholl, the young developer in charge of Urubama [Amazon’s 1st search-ad-buying system]



John Donahoe, eBay’s CEO

[328] ‘He [Bezos] embraces the truth. A lot of people talk about the truth, but they don’t engage their decision-making around the best truth at the time.

‘The second thing is that he is not tethered by conventional thinking. What is amazing to me is that he is bound only by the laws of Physics. He can’t change those. Everything else he views as open to discussion.’


Some of my students will relate to this one 🙂

[413] In the main conference room of the foundation’s office, a few blocks from Amazon’s headquarters, is a rag doll that they often prop up in an empty student they are trying to help – just as Bezos once had a habit of keeping a chair empty in meetings to represent customer.

One of Amazon’s fourteen leadership principles

[425] Thing Big: Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.

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Professor @ IIIT Hyderabad