This may be a long post, or I may split this into multiple posts. Depends on how much the battery in my iPhone lasts, and how much I can think or write at one go. The reason why it would be a long one because its about the book, and then, about a lot more things.
Firstly the book. The one I'm talking about here is titled 'One Click', and is about Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos. Few stories in the internet era have been more successful than that of Jeff Bezos. I'm not counting Facebook and Twitter and a whole lot of other companies simply because its too early to tell. Internet is like the big wild jungle, and its all about 'winners takes all'. The pace of change is mind numbing, and very few companies survive after the initial hype. Amazon did, and changed the rules of the game. It has survived the first decade, seen two crisis, and still manages to grab the front page.
Bezos can be credited to a large extent for shaping the e-commerce as it exists today. He just hung in there, overseeing profitless growth for years, and yet believed in the future. Now we have a lot of portals offering similar services and it all looks so natural now. The book briefly deals with some of the very obvious problems faced by the founding team, and how some of the features so common today were conceptualized.
On another level, it makes you wonder about the possibilities of the internet. Is it really going to change the world for good, or is just a passing fad. Its a crazy world out there now. The aggregator websites offering air tickets are valued much more than the airline companies themselves. Similar may be the case for online movie ticketing, book selling ventures in India. Most of them are being valued at more than the valuations of the underlying business they are supporting. May be, world is changing for ever, or it may be just another bubble. Anyways, we are back in the dot com mania, albeit a little bit wiser than last time.
P.S. - I will have to split this into parts, and let me write the other half later.