Mackenzie Bezos, the wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, did not approve of the book “The Everything Store.” The book is about Jeff Bezos and the growth of Amazon. Mackenzie gave the book a one-star customer review on the product page on Amazon.com. MacKenzie is a published author also and the review was titled “I wanted to like this book.” The book was written by Bloomberg Businessweek journalist Brad Stone.
Here is how the review starts out:
In the first chapter, the book sets the stage for Bezos?s decision to leave his job and build an Internet bookstore. ?At the time Bezos was thinking about what to do next, he had recently finished the novel Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro, about a butler who wistfully recalls his personal and professional choices during a career in service in wartime Great Britain. So looking back on life?s important junctures was on Bezos?s mind when he came up with what he calls ?the regret-minimization framework? to decide the next step to take at this juncture in his career.? It?s a good beginning, and it weaves in nicely with what?s to come. But it?s not true. Jeff didn?t read Remains of the Day until a year after he started Amazon.
If this were an isolated example, it might not matter, but it?s not. Everywhere I can fact check from personal knowledge, I find way too many inaccuracies, and unfortunately that casts doubt over every episode in the book. Like two other reviewers here, Jonathan Leblang and Rick Dalzell, I have firsthand knowledge of many of the events. I worked for Jeff at D. E. Shaw, I was there when he wrote the business plan, and I worked with him and many others represented in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centers, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon?s history. Jeff and I have been married for 20 years.
Jeff Bezos refused to be interviewed for the book, but he approved of Stone interviewing his family and friends.