From the Archive
Talking to NBC’s David Gregory about The Everything Store
On Sunday, I spoke to NBC's David Gregory for a "Meet the Press" extra. Check out the video here.
Blogging the Everything Store 2: Jeff Bezos’s League of Shadows
There is a job at Amazon that is highly coveted throughout the company and that nearly anyone in business would kill for. The man holding this job—and they have all been men so far—has had direct, almost unlimited access to Jeff Bezos for as long as two years. He follows Bezos around, travels with him, sits in on his meetings, and confers with him at the end of many workdays. The job title is unofficially the “shadow” to the CEO, or more formally, the technical assistant or technical adviser. I blogged about Bezos's League of Shadows today on Businessweek.com.
Blogging the Everything Store 1: Climbing Amazon’s Ladder
in my interviews with rank and file Amazon employees, one common complaint I heard is that positive feedback from superiors is rare and promotions even rarer. This, it turns out, is probably by design. Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos believes his managers must raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion and that only exceptional talent should progress within the organization. As he has done in so many other ways, Bezos has codified his beliefs within his company in the form of a custom called the OLR, for organization and leadership review. READ The full blog post here on Businessweek.com.
How I Found Jeff Bezos’s Biological Father
How I tracked down the unicycle performer and bike store owner whose history is the untold piece of the Amazon and Jeff Bezos story.
Secrets of the Amazon: “The Everything Store” Book Excerpts are Now Out!
Check out this week's Businessweek cover story here.
Grading the Kindle Fire as Amazon’s Tablet Turns Two
Amazon’s introduction of its new Kindle Fire tablet this week was a marvel to behold and a riddle to deconstruct. The company did almost everything differently. Instead of jamming journalists into a convention center to live-blog the proceedings, Jeff Bezos conducted more than a dozen sit-downs with representatives from print, television, and the blogosphere. In a mild rebuke to the notion that Bezos is averse to the press, reporters were invited, one after another, to visit Amazon headquarters for an audience with the sage of Seattle.
What Bezos talked about in these sessions was illuminating as well. Other Kindle execs briefed journalists on the new, spiffed-up Kindle HDX models. Bezos spent his time talking about the principles that guide Amazon’s Kindle group (“sell premium products at non-premium prices”) as well as such new features as the Mayday button, which summons a live videochat with a customer service rep. At the end of each conversation, Bezos actually did pull out “one more thing” in Jobsian fashion. But it was last year’s Kindle HD, now repurposed at $139, down from an introductory price of $199 last year. It’s the Kindle Fire model with the fewest bells and whistles, not the most, and it was the opposite of what Steve would have pulled out of his bag at the end of a product rollout. Read the full story here on Businessweek.com.
Amazon Unveils New Kindle Readers
Amazon announced the details today of its new Kindle Paperwhite, and the sixth-generation electronic reader again shows why the company has more than 60 percent of the e-reading market in the U.S. Read my post on Businessweek.com.
Talking About Jeff Bezos’s Buy of the Washington Post
In the past few days, I've been talking quite a bit about Amazon's Jeff Bezos and his acquisition of the Washington Post. Along the way, I try to get in a few words about my forthcoming book The Everything Store. Here are a few appearances:
Shocker: Jeff Bezos Buys the Washington Post!
Jaws across Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Silicon Valley just dropped in unison: Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon.com and one of the pioneering figures of the commercial Internet, just acquired the Washington Post for $250 million. I wrote about the deal the day it was announced here. The next day I followed it with some additional analysis. For our summer double Interview Issue, I also wrote the opening remarks on Bezos's deal, in addition to interviewing Bill Gates and eBay CEO John Donahoe.