The Everything Store is a book by Brad Stone released in 2013 about Amazon and Jeff Bezos.
Anyone who wants to understand disruption and the era of a customer centric business must read this book.
These days Amazon almost does ‘everything’ – millions of products, cloud hosting, freight, streaming video, music, doorbells and groceries.
In the book Stone explains why Bezos choose books as the first category for Amazon because:
“They were pure commodities; a copy of a book in one store was identical to the same book carried in another, so buyers always knew what they were getting. There were two primary distributors of books at that time, Ingram and Baker and Taylor, so a new retailer wouldn’t have to approach each of the thousands of book publishers individually. And, most important, there were three million books in print worldwide, far more than a Barnes & Nobel or a Borders superstore could ever stock.”
Bezos always set out to deliver everything a customer desired the way the customer desired – with the lowest prices, widest selection and best service.
But he started with books.
This singular focus enabled them to build a huge customer base before they sold anything else.
Amazon started the journey to being the everything store by being the one thing store.
You too must start there.
One outcome for one type of customer delivered one way.
You will grow easier, have less confusion and complexity and move faster.
You can be everything later.