Book Review: One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com
The book One Click:Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com gets its title from the process of paying for Amazon.com purchases with just one click. The author Richard Brandt suggests that Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, has built a powerful juggernaut of Internet retail by being ruthless, detailed and persistent in his pursuit of world domination. According to the author, the creation of a "one click" button and the refusal to let anyone else use this type of simple purchasing process without paying a royalty to Amazon, is predatory and a prime example of how difficult and predatory Amazon has become. The example of the One Click button is both the strength and weakness of the book as a whole, Strength: the story of how Bezos thought to patent the One Click is interesting. Weakness: It hardly rates as dramatic or evil as the author protrays it to be.
This book is no where near the quality of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and the author has a particular perspective that seemed a bit sensational, but I still found it an interesting little read. I'd recommend it, but only to people who enjoy the back-stories of how businesses like Amazon get created.
Here are some take aways from One Click:
Jeff Bezos is smart: Even in school, Jeff was a math and science prodigy, and he learned to take his genius and put it to practical use, first on Wall Street by helping to create some of the first internet trading systems, and then by creating Amazon. However you look at this story, and whatever you think about Amazon, you definitely can see the genius in Jeff Bezos.
Amazon had growing pains: As a leader myself, I enjoy reading how successful business leaders worked through the painful challenges and hurdles they faced in the building of their companies, and this book plenty such stories. That's because Amazon has made a lot of mistakes along the way, some of them funny - early on a computer glitch allowed you to order a negative number of books and Amazon would send you money as a refund - and some of them serious. However I found lots of lessons to be learned from their journey.
Follow you Dream: The most significant take away was that Jeff Bezos accomplished, and is still working on, his dream. Against all odds he's built one of the worlds largest retailers, the largest online retailer, just as he planned to do. There's a lot to be learned from him.
On the whole, this book is a C+, but it's a quick read and if you're interested in Amazon or in business leaders in general, it's probably worth the money.
Read all of David Curry's blogs at http://blog.rescue-mission.org
or visit the Rescue Mission at http://www.rescue-mission.org