The most telling detail on Amazon in this book was on page 132: When publishers and authors asked Bezos why Amazon.com would publish negative reviews, he (said) Amazon.com "was taking a different approach, of trying to sell all books...the good, the bad, and the ugly...doing that, you actually have an obligation...to let truth loose.'"
Whichever publishers and authors those were, they epitomize the sort of thinking that a new business model sweeps away. When someone responds negatively to their product they seek to silence that person. Failing that, they repackage the same product. If that doesn't work, they rename the product. Then they present the product in a different size. Anything, abosolutely anything, but listen to the customer who gripes.
I don't think Spector grasps the depth of this change. When Amazon gives a forum to ordinary people to speak where previously only "professionals" could, that's as profound a shift as from monarchy to democracy. Giving equal space on the electronic bookshelf to an arcane book on geology and a convenience store bestseller is as revolutionary as Martin Luther's 95 theses getting equal billing with the pronouncements of the pope. In terms of sales, if I can buy what I want instead of just what the "professionals" want me to buy, I'm going to buy more.
Most of the other factors in Amazon's success have been done before: hiring smart people, working long hours, providing great customer service...but no other retailer ever had a selection larger than the Library of Congress. And no other retailer ever gave customers around the globe a public forum for feedback. I would have liked to have seen more on this unique aspect of Amazon in GET BIG FAST, and less of the sort of business school platitudes that make up the "Takeaways" sections at the end of each chapter.