Why Amazon is buying MGM for $8.5 billion

In early 2017, Jeff Bezos gathered executives from his Hollywood division, Amazon Studios, and told them, “I want my Game of Thrones.” The chief executive officer was frustrated. The team was developing niche programming like the gender identity drama Transparent and the retro-feminist comedy the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. They lacked the kind of mainstream appeal that might introduce wider audiences…

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Amazon Unbound In The News

REVIEWS The New York Times, “To Understand Amazon, We Must Understand Jeff Bezos” by Ben Smith The Washington Post, “How did Amazon grow so fast? By thinking outside the shipping box” by Marc Levinson The Seattle Times, “Inside Jeff Bezos’ obsessions” by Shira Ovide ARTICLES, EXCERPTS & INTERVIEWS Mashable: “How Bezos became an asshole, and…

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The Secret History of Alexa

Wired Magazine has the second excerpts from Amazon Unbound, on the inception of Alexa, its early challenges, and the secret identity of the actress and singer who lent her voice to Amazon’s disembodied artificial intelligence. Here’s Jeff Bezos’s first ever whiteboard sketch of an Alexa device, circa early 2011.

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The Strange Tale of Jeff Bezos and the Single Cow Burger

As Amazon continued to experiment and trial different ways to deliver fresh food and groceries, it faced a mounting problem: fledgling grocery services like Amazon Fresh and Prime Now didn’t offer anything unique, often charged higher prices and weren’t retaining their customers. If Amazon wanted to arouse excitement and loyalty for these programs, it needed something else entirely—like a unique product that customers were passionate about. Well, Bezos had an idea for that as well and it was just as bizarre.

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A True Story: I won $10,000 in Whole Foods Gift Cards

Out of the blue in 2019, I got a call from Amazon. The person on the line informed me I had won $10,000 in Whole Foods gift cards, part of a sweepstakes I was entered into by using my Amazon credit card at the organic grocer. Obviously, I figured it was a scam. I called…

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How Jeff Bezos Beat the Tabloids

The first excerpts from Amazon Unbound are out and on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek! It’s a selection from Chapter 13, Complexifiers, on the saga that enveloped Jeff Bezos and Amazon in late 2018 and early 2019. It’s a tale that involves a scheming Hollywood manager, desperate tabloid newspaper editors, and spurious claims of political…

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The Amazon Unbound Virtual Book Tour

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be “appearing” around the country to talk about Amazon Unbound, Jeff Bezos, and all the beautiful awkwardness that comes with writing and promoting a book from my garage during a pandemic. Please join me at an upcoming event, ask questions, and tell me how you feel about Amazon and…

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Author’s Note

Writing books about fast-growing technology companies is a little like jumping from a highway overpass onto a speeding train. Sometimes you manage to hit the caboose and hang on for dear life, your work remaining relevant for a few glorious years. But other times, things change so rapidly that you miss the moment entirely, and your account is left to dangle as a historical curiosity, an account of an enterprise that no longer really exists in its current form.

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LinkedIn Speaker Series: Brad Stone

In the spirit of iconic Silicon Valley renegades like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, another generation of entrepreneurs is using technology to upend convention and disrupt entire industries. These are the upstarts, idiosyncratic founders with limitless drive and an abundance of self-confidence. The Upstarts is the definitive story of Uber and Airbnb, two new titans…

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The Upstarts

Amid the throngs at the January 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama, two groups of entrepreneurs were there not just to witness history but to make it. Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk were in the national mall that day, promoting a website called Airbed&Breakfast.com.

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Excerpts from The Upstarts, Volume 2: The Real Origins of Uber

The ride-hailing company Uber Technologies was invented by a Canadian and originally coded in Mexico. An excerpt from the book on Uber’s origins in The Guardian, published just as the world is taking a new look at Uber’s character amid charges of complicity with the Trump administration.

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Silicon Valley Reckons with its Political Power

Technology’s transformation of society seems to be speeding up. And now we know where it all leads: to the 25th floor of Trump Tower, and a central spot in the national dialogue over an evolving economy, with all its accompanying winners and losers. My opening essay in the 2016 year end issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

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The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn’t content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store—a store that offered limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition that transformed retail in the same…

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The Bitcoin Mining Arms Race Heats Up

Bitcoin is the digital currency that thrills nerds, inspires libertarians, and incites the passions of economists who debate the value of money made from nothing but ones and zeroes. A Bloomberg Businessweek cover story.

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Questions for Book Clubs About The Everything Store

I recently heard from a reader who was organizing a book club discussion of The Everything Store. “I couldn’t find any great resources, so I thought I’d take a chance and email you and see if you, as the author, have any suggestions,” she asked. After thinking about it a bit, I offered these 10…

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The Everything Store Wins ‘Business Book of the Year’

I’m delighted to report that The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon has won Business Book of the Year, awarded annually by the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs. Here’s the FT’s story about the evening, and some embarrassing photos of the ceremony which was hosted by Lionel Barner, FT editor, Lloyd Blankfein,…

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