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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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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