I am reading the Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon for the 2nd time. The first read I found interesting to see what the author had collected as the facts to write his book. The nice thing is I know some folks who have been at Amazon and talked with them first hand on what the company is like. One friend I found was in the book. Were they quoted in an interview? no they just appear in this picture included in the book.
A point made in the book is the challenge of telling story in words.
The narrative fallacy, Bezos explained, was a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 book The Black Swan to describe how humans are biologically inclined to turn complex realities into soothing but oversimplified stories. Taleb argued that the limitations of the human brain resulted in our species’ tendency to squeeze unrelated facts and events into cause-and-effect equations and then convert them into easily understandable narratives. These stories, Taleb wrote, shield humanity from the true randomness of the world, the chaos of human experience, and, to some extent, the unnerving element of luck that plays into all successes and failures.
Bezos was suggesting that Amazon’s rise might be that sort of impossibly complex story. There was no easy explanation for how certain products were invented, such as Amazon Web Services, its pioneering cloud business that so many other Internet companies now use to run their operations. “When a company comes up with an idea, it’s a messy process. There’s no aha moment,” Bezos said. Reducing Amazon’s history to a simple narrative, he worried, could give the impression of clarity rather than the real thing.
Stone, Brad (2013-10-15). The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (pp. 12-13). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
If you agree with the point made by Bezos and Taleb which the author Brad Stone would appear given he puts it in the book, then how should you interpret what Brad Stone has written? The image above tells a story that is not manipulated in photoshop to align with the goals of a sales team. The words written by Brad Stone are written in a way that fulfill his objectives and his publisher.
This idea is going through my head as I read the book for the 2nd time.
Here are some words from my friend who is in the above picture.
in my time he was just a very enthusiastic, very smart startup CEO with a mission beyond what any of us ever imagined. I'm still crazy proud of the place and my time there
This point is going through my head though more as I study Amazon.