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“Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos”, With an Introduction by Walter Isaacson – a HBR Book Essentials Review

The latest Harvard Business Press title represents a compilation of public statements, articles and written thoughts – all belonging to Jeff Bezos. “Invent and Wander” has thus two main important functions:

1. It sheds a light on the principles and processes under which Jeff Bezos built Amazon from an online book 📚 retailer to the largest e-commerce retailer in the world.

2. It offers a historical perspective on the development (or if you want – becoming) of a top business creator, who always dared to be different.

Add to the above Bezos’s idiosyncrasies on:

– building the most possible customer-centric company and

– surrounding himself with trusted persons and leaving them to do the job whilst he sits back 

and you will have on your ✋ s som thing of a an advanced business cookbook.which would be the envy of the 19th century oil barons.

“Invent and Wander” starts big and ends… literally flying in space. The beginning theme focuses on the long term perspective. Amazon never did anything for the the next 3 months – it always looked at the next 10 years. This is the main reason why the company went public only 3 years after its start, despite its exponential growth in a hot 🔥 sector (founded in 1994, IPO in 1997). This is also why Bezos insisted that they never pay any dividends, but rather to reinvest the money in new projects. In a sense, Jeff Bezos is a brilliant financial architect – as one of the most coon-held view among the hedge funds is that companies are sums of projects with a finite lifetime, rather than production machines. 

As a consequence of these constant themes, Amazon made history. I have experienced first-hand how customer-centric Amazon is – and this several times. Most of its customers are company fans, many of them being loyal Prime customers – even if they consciously understand they are not always using Prime 💯%. Amazon also became the most growing share ever – since its launch the share price rocketed more than 120,000%. And the story continues…

One of the last themes in the “Invent and Wander” relates to why Jeff Bezos thinks we need to go to space. The reason is pretty simple and lies in our current Earth dynamics – I will not spoil the surprise in the article here. The methods are an entirely different story. Bezos founded Blue Origin with the main goal being his desire of contributing to this goal. It seems that he is doing serious steps ahead – so leaving his mark remains definitely one Bezos’s long standing obsessions.

One last phrase about the book’s curator – Walter Isaacson remains to me probably one of the most inspired ideas historians I have ever read. I still keep around his famous compendium “The Information” – a book 📚 to that is as interesting as any other history title. Dixit.


Title: “Invent and Wander – the Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos”

Authors: Jeff Bezos, Walter Isaacson

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Publishing Date: November 2020

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