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In his new book The Everything Store, Brad Stone chronicles how Amazon became an "innovative, disruptive, and often polarizing technology powerhouse." He writes that Amazon was among the first to realize the potential of the Internet and that the company "ended up forever changing the way we shop and read."
Amazon started off selling books, but Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, always had the intention of turning it into an online market that sold everything.
But [Amazon] does create enormous downward price pressure. It's one of the things that merchants, or manufacturers don't really appreciate about Amazon. But as an Amazon shareholder or analyst will tell you, profit, frustratingly, is not something that Bezos or Amazon are after. They're after customer loyalty. They want to lock up the market. They want customers to make Amazon their destination for all of their shopping. So he's had this long-term view of that's the way to conduct his business, and profits are very low down on the list of his priorities.