This is Book Author, Jason Del Rey
Updated: Jun 20
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Although he only moved to town seven years ago, Jason Del Rey is proud to call Rutherford his home. Jason is a father, husband, tech business journalist, podcaster, and book author. Jason's book Winner Sells All: Amazon, Walmart, and the Battle for Our Wallets, was recently published. This is Rutherford interviewed Jason about his new book, living in Rutherford, his family, and his career.
TIR: Why did you decide to move to Rutherford?
Jason Del Rey: My wife, two kids and I moved to Rutherford nearly seven years ago. We had been living in Weehawken and were looking to buy an apartment somewhere in Hudson County. But we are so lucky that our wonderful realtor Shaye Lastra, who grew up in Rutherford and moved back here to raise her kids, urged us to check out this town as well. After one lunch at Sonoma Bistro and a visit to just three homes on the market, we were sold. We love this community and couldn't imagine raising our children anywhere else.
TIR: What do you enjoy about living in Rutherford?
JD: The closeness of the community, the wonderful small businesses, the caring teachers, there is so much to appreciate. My sister and her family ended up moving into the home next to us back in 2017, too, which has been amazing as well.
TIR: On Tuesday, June 27th, you will be doing an Author Talk at the Rutherford Public Library about your new book Winner Sells All. How will this opportunity help you share more about the book you have written with our local community?
JD: The book is an investigation of the decades-long rivalry between Amazon and Walmart and how it impacts the way tens of millions of us shop, live and work. On the evening of June 27th, I'll be chatting with a fellow Rutherfordian and journalist about the book at the library and my hope is that I'll share some of the key takeaways from the three years of reporting I put into this project, including the ambitions and motivations of these two corporate giants and their leaders. Attendees will also be able to purchase hardcover copies of the book at the event, and I'll be signing them as well. Residents can RSVP here! TIR: Tell us what inspired you to write this book.
JD: I've been a tech business journalist for 15 years, and have focused a lot of my coverage on Amazon and Walmart for the past decade, both in written form, and in a documentary-style podcast about Amazon called Land of the Giants: The Rise of Amazon. These companies play such a large role in our lives already, not even considering the new areas they are trying to enter, such as healthcare. So I believe that informing the public about how they operate is important, and you can learn so much about people and organizations engaged in a rivalry. I believe that rivalries can bring out both the best and worst in us, and it's no different for business leaders at two of the most powerful companies in the world. They also happen to be the two biggest private sector employers in this country. Also, most journalists who write about these companies cover either one or the other; I'm one of the only journalists who has reported deeply on both for the past decade, which allowed me to investigate both companies in a thorough way.
TIR: Can you tell us a bit more about what readers will discover while reading this book?
JD: I interviewed more than 150 people for the book, the vast majority of whom have worked at either Amazon or Walmart (or in some cases, both companies). I interviewed CEOs at both companies and other executives, but also rank-and-file employees working in their warehouse centers and corporate offices. On one hand, the book is a giant case study into how Walmart's missteps allowed Amazon to grow as large as it has, and how Walmart has been trying to reinvent itself over the last decade to conquer "the innovator's dilemma." On the other hand, it's a tale of how ambition, revenge, and insecurities can drive decisions at these companies that affect millions of people, from customers, to warehouse employees to competitors. The people who run these companies have strengths and weaknesses like all of us. I think that comes through in the narrative writing style I chose, which I believe makes Winner Sells All a compelling read to all kinds of people.
TIR: What is your current profession (in addition to being a book author)?
JD: I'm a longtime journalist. I got my start writing about sports and breaking news at The Jersey Journal in Jersey City and Bayonne, but have been a business journalist since 2007. For the last decade or so, I worked at Recode, a tech business publication that was founded by the veteran tech journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. Recode eventually became part of Vox Media in 2015, and you can read all of my articles here. I also created my own email newsletter recently, where I've been updating subscribers on my book and which I may use in the future to publish more of my original reporting. I welcome new readers to subscribe too.
TIR: Anything you would like to tell us about your family, hobbies, interests, etc.
JD: My favorite things to do almost always involve family or sports. I especially love volunteering in youth sports because I learned so much about commitment, discipline and teamwork from my sports coaches growing up, and hope I can pay it forward in a small way. I have helped coach my 10-year-old son Sebastian's teams across basketball, soccer and baseball, and hope to soon do the same for my 7-year-old daughter Scarlett's teams as well. But more than anything, I love a simple date night with my wife, Tyrene. It doesn't happen often enough!