Last Saturday, I read the 6,000-word New York Times piece, “Inside Amazon,” in the car on my way to the beach. I sat quietly in the front seat, glued to my phone while my husband flapped his hand gesturing for help with Google maps. My two-year-old danced to the sounds of Raffi in the back. When we got to the beach, we set up our spot, complete with dinosaur sand toys. My husband and daughter made a beeline for the water. I put on my Coolibar SPF 50 jacket to cover my skin from the sun. Then I sat down in my chair and wept.

Until July of 2014, I worked for Amazon. As a relatively successful young book editor, I’d been hired by the company in 2011 to help launch its New York City-based book publishing outpost created to commission original content by name writers. The media landscape was continuing to evolve; everyone was in everyone else’s lane. It was a big opportunity, one many people inside the publishing industry told me privately I would be crazy not to take. I was drawn to Amazon’s spirit of innovation, its agility, and its culture of excellence. I was about to start Columbia’s Executive MBA program when the offer came in. Why not, as the saying goes, “earn to learn,” I thought. I took the job.