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1. Boards That Make a Difference
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2. Built to Last : Successful Habits
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3. The Smartest Guys In The Room:
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4. iCon Steve Jobs : The Greatest
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5. Inside the Magic Kingdom: Seven
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6. Liar's Poker: Rising Through the
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7. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side
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8. Pour Your Heart into It : How
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9. Everybody Wins: The Story and
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10. The Machine That Changed the World
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11. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie,
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12. The Art of the Long View: Planning
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13. What the Dormouse Said: How the
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14. The Chasm Companion : A Fieldbook
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15. Avon : Building The World's Premier
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16. The Wellness Revolution : How
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17. The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration
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18. Confessions of an Advertising
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19. Jack Welch & The G.E. Way:
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20. The Qualcomm Equation: How a Fledgling

1. Boards That Make a Difference : A New Design for Leadership in Nonprofit and Public Organizations (J-B Carver Board Governance Series)
by JohnCarver
list price: $35.00
our price: $32.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0787908118
Catlog: Book (1997-05-14)
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Sales Rank: 16416
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"This book should be in the library of everyone who serves--or aspires to serve--on the governing board of any organization, large or small, nonprofit or corporate. Better than any other available resource, it tells what the roles of board members are and what they must and shouldn't do. An indispensable guidebook to leadership excellence."
--George Weber, secretary general, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva

"John Carver's Boards That Make a Difference was required reading for board members of the Calgary Philharmonic Society. It provided a clear and concise road map with which we carried out significant governance restructuring of the society."
James M. Stanford, president & CEO,, Petro-Canada, and past chairman of the Calgary Philharmonic Society, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

John Carver's groundbreaking Policy Governance model has influenced the way public and nonprofit boards operate around the world. Now, as widespread experience with the model continues to grow, Carver enriches his definitive exposition with updated policy samples, a new chapter on the process of policy development, and additional resources for various types of boards. He debunks the entrenched beliefs about board roles and functions that hamper dedicated board members. With creative insight and commonsense practicality, Carver presents a bold new approach to board job design, board-staff relationships, the chief executive role, performance monitoring, and virtually every aspect of the board-management relationship. In their stead, he offers a board model designed to produce policies that make a difference, missions that are clearly articulated, standards that are ethical and prudent, meetings, officers, and committees that work; and leadership that supports the fulfillment of long-term goals.

... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful
The world is full of experts at what is wrong with the things that we do. Dr. Carver has a rock-solid, well thought out suggestion concerning how to do it right. One reviewer complained that Dr. Carver's suggestions are not realistic. Right is not often realistic, but right is always right. It's far better to start with an ideal and compromise from that point than to capitulate from the outset. Boards that Make a Difference is well worth reading.

2-0 out of 5 stars Idealistic
The carver style of governance is a tad idealistic and perhaps overly optimistic. I have read everything Dr Carver has written concerning this field and enjoy this material at an academic level. But when it comes to operationalizing this model in boardrooms I've seen it fail time and time again. Not to say that the model is flawed because in fact the model is normative and conceptually complete. However it doesn't capture that element of reality from which, in my experience, the model requires - practicality and real-world application. Dr Carver's notion that Boards can do without Finance and Audit Committees is very naive. Most consultants from the chartered accountant genre are saying the complete opposite. In fact most government policy initiatives are moving toward more control of financial affairs of organizations for boards from charts of accounts to fiscal policy. So I don't think the elimination of Finance and Audit Committees is realistic nor is it a terribly bright suggestion. I guess my only crticism is that the carver model is far to idealistic and philosophical for a practical application in the form Dr Carver suggests. Sorry but a hybrid model of traditional Board governance and the carver model may work given the commitment required from directors to follow-though on everything suggested in that system of governance,

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for not-for-profits!
This book was the core piece of a radical change in our board room. It led us down the path we knew we wanted to go but didn't know how to get there. His model for board room organization could revolutionize boards of companies in transition, like those of the rural electric program in America. It's a road map for where you already know in your heart that you want to go.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for public boards seeking to lead strategically
After 5 years on a local Board of Education I finally found a book that describes everything I know is wrong with board management practices in schools and nonprofit organizations. But that is the easy part. Carver offers sound alternatives to current practices that put the responsibility and the capability for strategic leadership right where it belongs--on the board.

I winced as I read Carver's description of reactive boards trapped in the "approval syndrome" in which boards rely on staff to bring issues and recommendations to them for approval. This pervasive practice not only takes board members out of the driver's seat, but it confuses the lines of accountability between the board and the CEO for the organization.

Carver offers a framework for changing all that by forcing the board to rethink all of its policy with an eye toward board-determined policies that operate at the highest level possible. In Carver's approach only four types of policies need to be set by the board: 1) "Ends" policies (board expectations), 2) Executive Limitations (the "don'ts" for the organization), 3) Board process policies and 4) Board-CEO relationship policies. *Everything* you need to be involved in can be fit into one of these four categories.

Want to learn how to stop working at the staff level and how to help your organization find a true sense of direction? Carver's book offers practical and straightforward ways of getting there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Accessible, Codified Common Sense
Mr. Carver presents a very readable way of looking at how governing boards should work. His theories are logical and his arguments pursuasive. He offers board members an intellectual framework to consider how their organizations are running. The book is prescriptive, but not preachy. I was very surprised to find it sensible after hearing so much hype from "converts" to his method. ... Read more


2. Built to Last : Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business Essentials)
by Jim Collins, Jerry I. Porras
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060516402
Catlog: Book (2002-08)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 668
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day -- as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: "What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the comparison companies and what were the common practices these enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?"

Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the 21st century and beyond.

... Read more

Reviews (101)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Business Student's Perspective
Having spent the last four years of our lives being taught to think about every business problem in a particular way, it was great to read a business book that encourages you to "think outside of the box." We have read many textbooks in our time at University, and it was refreshing to read a book that expressed clear and simple ideas that we will remember after we graduate. "Built To Last" started off strong by 'shattering' the 12 well-known "myths" that they teach us in school. The book then continued with the author's model that is based around the premise of preserving the core ideology, and stimulating progress within the organization; it uses simple points that build on one another to create a first-rate framework. The authors make their points at the beginning of each chapter and then build on them with numerous examples of 'visionary' companies...Some of our favorite points were:
- The true definition of a core ideology; including the distinction between a core purpose and core values;
- Encourage trying lots of stuff and keeping what works;
- And, "The Genius of the And"...it is possible to have two things at once.
Although, this book was primarily targeted towards entrepreneurs and CEO's, we found that we could use this book for our future career search and within our daily lives. For example, the chapter titled Cults and Cultures outlined the extraordinary commitment employees have to their particular organization; Personally, we don't think we have what it takes to be a true "Nordie," but it gave us insight into what characteristics and traits to be looking for in an organization we would like to work for.
Some of the inferior traits of the book are that there were some parts in the novel where the authors seem to stretch their examples to fit within their framework, and they came across as being slightly bias to their own theories. We also found that they never mention the same company in every chapter, which made it harder to follow and also harder to believe that every visionary company fit all aspects of their model. However, overall, this book is an easy read, with a simple model that makes sense. It uses interesting companies and is backed up by 6 years of intense research. We recommend this book to any student who is looking to think on different terms than what we are being taught in school.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unprecedented, Compelling, Well-Researched
"Built to Last" is one of those rare non-fiction books you just can't put down. Unequivocally the best "business" book I have ever read, "Built to Last" by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras is a compelling, thorough, well-written, unprecedented look at what it takes to "create and achieve long-lasting greatness as a visionary corporation." Unlike many current "trendy" management and "business success" books out on the market, Collins and Porras differentiate "Built to Last" by using their own six-year comprehensive, well-documented research study as the basis for further analysis.

What separates "Built to Last" is that each visionary company (3M, HP, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart...) is contrasted with a comparison company founded in the same time, in the same industry, with similar founding products and markets (Norton, TI, Colgate, Ames...). Perhaps what I found most intriguing were some of the twelve "shattered myths" they go on to counter throughout the book:

1. It takes a great idea to start a great company
2. Visionary companies require great and charismatic visionary leaders
3. Visionary companies share a common subset of "correct" core values
4. Highly successful companies make their best moves by brilliant and complex strategic planning
5. The most successful companies focus primarily on beating the competition

As a current business student with a summer internship in a "visionary company," I was amazed as their careful analysis rang true. This is one book I can highly recommend to any student, professional, or business educator looking for those not-so-subtle traits that characterize a truly visionary company.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Business Book - A Must Read
The next time you see a book that casts a business leader as a mythical or heroic figure, go back to this book and see if the leader passes the 'Level 5 Leader' tests. Sandy Weill, for example, fails that test miserably, since he cares nothing for his company or its employees, and only about feeding his insatiable appetite for personal profit, self-aggrandizement, and great food, in that order. Weill is an example of the so-called celebrity leaders who are very reluctant to groom and name their successors, since they care far more about holding onto their power than for the longer-term welfare of the company and its employees. The last thing you'd see these quasi-leaders do is sacrifice their power or money for longer benefit of the company. Eisner is another perfect example of Emperor-CEO who got paid obscene amount of money and drove out top talents from Disney, while its business and stock prices languished badly.

A perfect business book - erudite, entertaining, and relevant - and a must-read for anyone who ever dreamed of becoming (or simply working for) the true business leader.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to read & Shattered Myths
Overall, this is an excellent book about how to build a company that will stand the test of time. The authors present the information in a format that is easy to read for the senior executive or someone with no business experience. While the authors present detailed and informative examples of actions that businesses have taken to be successful, the number of examples can become cumbersome. If someone is looking for a quick reference of strategies to improve a company, this is probably not the book for them, but if an individual is looking for an in depth report on techniques used by companies, it would be a useful tool. This book's intent is to show you the cogs that matter and give you some framework by which to align them to drive a company constantly/relentlessly forward. Often managers get lost in the P&L of the day. While that is important, it may not be enough to keep the fiber of the organization together. This book can serve as a reminder to us all of what is important to maintain a business that is financially successful but more importantly keeps its employees and customers happy. This book's simple goal is to shatter two myths that many believe a visionary company is founded upon, the incredibly innovative product and the charismatic leader.

4-0 out of 5 stars The genius of the "AND" -- use his book AND his web site
I listened to the audio version on my way to work. The bonus author interview at the end was the best part. It included a pitch for one of his other books "Good to Great". Jim Collins also has a web site, of the same name, that has an additional 10 non business books that he recommends. These additional resources have provided two of the next books I plan on reading.
As far as Built to Last goes, the following are some of his key concepts from this book.
1. Be a "Clock builder" instead of a "teller of time"
2. BHAGS (def in the book)
3. The "and" instead of the "or"
4. Preserve the core
5. Cult like corporate cultures
6. Stimulating progress
7. Alignment
8. All leaders die
Two other tid bits that caught my attention: The fact about how at the 18 visionary companies only 4 CEO's have ever been selected to the top spot in these organizations from outside the company. And finally the 3M example of how to effectively facilitate interaction between internal departments, by inventing a Technology Sharing Award and Technical Honor Society.
If you are a business type climbing the corporate ladder, it is worth a read. 3.5 to 4 stars ... Read more


3. The Smartest Guys In The Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
by Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591840538
Catlog: Book (2004-09-28)
Publisher: Portfolio
Sales Rank: 8017
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Just as Watergate was the defining political story of its time, so Enron is thebiggest business story of our time. And just as All the President’s Menwas the one Watergate book that gave readers the full story, with all the dramaand nuance, The Smartest Guys in the Room is the one book you have toread to understand this amazing business saga. ... Read more

Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Exorcist" for Business Readers
This book scared the hell out of me. With the scandals at Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia, etc., one has to ask - "Where Else?"

While it focuses on the people and personalities directing Enron, the book very rightly points out that this Ponzi-Scheme of a company could never have existed if not for the complicity, corruption and willful ignorance of individuals and organizations who were supposed to act as checks and balances. Simply put, Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling & Andrew Fastow were able to bully, buy or dupe the following:

1. The Enron Board, who questioned almost nothing.
2. Arthur Andersen, who was corrupted by large consulting fees, and the "glamor" that was Enron.
3. Wall Street Equity Analysts, who were long ago compromised.
4. Large commercial banks, who allowed themselves to be played like violins by Fastow.
5. The business press, who with rare exception, acted as cheerleaders for Enron.
6. Debt-Rating agencies such as Moody's and S&P for shallow due dilligence.

Make no mistake, this is a horror story. So much loss and pain due to extremely bright folks with no moral compass! Throughout the book, I found myself asking "can an organization this unethical, cutthroat and STUPID have really existed?" I didn't know if I should be outraged or horribly depressed (BOTH!). If I had a critisim of the book, it would be that it should have contained an appendix that illustrated the financial position (on-balance sheet & total) to help readers fully comprehend the magnitude of what went on.

I recommend this book to anyone who owns more than $10 in stock.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not For Lay People
There's blame galore to go around for the spectacular downfall of Enron Corp in that sober year of 2001. Accountants, rating agencies, regulators, lawyers, consultants, bankers--and these are just the bad actors outside the corporation. Look inside, where Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind treat their readers to a thorough journalistic scouring, and the smell of the rot almost wafts off the pages.

The authors rightly spend the vast majority of the book examining the personalities and circumstances that allowed the company to become what it was at the end of its life. Mix a potion that's one part hardscrabble Harvard MBAs, one part energy deregulation, and one part hysterical bull market, and you've got a financial molotov cocktail. Sadly, as we all know now, it was largely the little guy who paid the price for all the hubris of the players in this story, a fact that tends to get lost in the authors' painstaking recreation of the most complicated shell game in history.

But the story of Enron's fallout could provide the material for a whole other book. In this one we get the tale of the players, people like Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, Rebecca Mark and Andy Fastow, all filled with an equal mix of remarkable brilliance and fatal arrogance. All are indicted by these authors as rabid players in a game they made up themselves, deeming themselves beyond the petty world of rules and regulation. But coming in for equal excoriation is the system itself, the web of enablement and intimidation that allowed Andy Fastow to quietly hammer together the company's coffin in the form of a maze of phantom accounting entities designed to prop of the appearance of the corpse inside. The most unnerving theme the book treats indirectly is the effect of mass psychology--the way exceptional personalities distort and transform reality on a systemic scale. And it offers little in the way of how something like this could ever be prevented in the future.

One word of warning for people not acquainted with basic finance: this is a complicated story, about erstwhile geniuses in the arcane use of financial products and regulatory loopholes. Though it's enjoyable even if one can't follow every detour down each accounting scheme, some knowledge of Wall Street and its workings seems necessary to understand the implications of the book overall. Given the fact that most experts didn't understand what went on here, the authors do their best to keep things as simple as possible, often using helpful metaphors and simple summations after a few pages of analysis, but they have no choice but to assume a level of sophistication among their readers.

Which leads to one gripe. In "The Smartest Guys In the Room" not a single institution or individual player involved with Enron escapes the authors' finger-pointing notice, with but one exception. Where were the journalists in all this? Why did short-sellers have to be the ones to ask all the tough questions? Bethany Mclean should take understandable pride in being the first one to pry the door open on Enron's malfeasance, but she was just a little late. One would think that with the mass of financial journalists on CNBC, the Journal, the Times, etc., that just one would have bucked the collective cheering squad and dug deeper into what this supposedly invincible company was up to. But of course, this was the bull market. A time when everyone was exuberant when they should have been scared.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for the non-sceptic
My blood ran cold reading of how long the officers of this firm managed to pull the wool over the investment community's eyes, aided and abetted by the deleriction of duty of those in whom we trust (and pay hansomely) to guard against such crooks. If there was ever a book to convince investors to do their own homework and to think independently, this is it. A well written and an engaging read. Well worth the money.

5-0 out of 5 stars Who Are These Guys
I chose the above title quote from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" to highlight my review. The authors provide a biography of many of the Enron players that lets us know what these guys were all about at their core. For example, Jeff Skilling spent almost all his after-school time working at a television station. Yet, he went to college without a dime because he blew all his pay in the stock market-buying stocks on margin. Never mind though because he got an impressive academic scholarship anyway because of his "brilliance." The authors provide other telling stories about the other major players. Ken Lay, the Baptist preacher's boy who preached exemplary corporate values, had an affair with his secretary, and later divorced his first wife to marry her. Yes, this is the same lady who went on television complaining about being broke while her family still owned millions of dollars in real estate. Lay's number two guy-not Skilling-who shacked up with a different Ken Lay secretary at Enron, costing himself annointment as Lay's successor. By the way, this guy now is a billionaire. Having that affair with Lay's secretary, later marrying her, was the smartest thing he ever did because he left Enron to found his own high-flying energy company. Rebecca Mark got a leg up from another Enron mentor by having a tempestous affair with him. The stories like this go on and on.

The authors provide far more detail about company history and the accounting conspiracies that brought it down. As a professional accountant, I am even more convinced now that Arthur Andersen deserved to fail for approving many of the tricks that Enron used to book fictitious profits. The authors point out that near the end, nearly 85% of Enron's total debt wasn't on their books, but "lay" in off balance sheet special purpose entities. The auditors couldn't understand the meaning of the standard sentence in an audit report that states that the financial statements "present fairly the financial condition and operations of Enron in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles." They over emphasized generally accepted accounting principles and ignored the term "present fairly." Good riddance to them.

The authors certainly are not admirers of Skilling, Fastow, or most of the other Enron players. For example they say of Skilling in their Epilogue, "He does not seem to have any remorse about his own actions, any sense that he hired the wrong people, got into the wrong businesses, or emphasized the wrong values. The fault, in his view, lies in a world that did not and will not appreciate the sheer newness of what Enron was trying to do." At the end, Jesse Jackson-yes that Jesse-held prayer meetings in the hall to comfort the afflicted who suddenly realized they needed forgiveness. Skilling didn't attend. I hope Jesse says a few prayers to protect Jeff while he's in prison. He'll need them, as well as a lifetime supply of "soap on a rope."

Certain Enron principals flew to their bankruptcy hearing in their mega-bucks Gulfstream 5 executive jet and stayed at the plush Four Seasons in Manhattan. As one of the offending executives said, "Maybe we should have flown on Southwest and stayed at the Ramada." In short, yes.

3-0 out of 5 stars Missed opportunity
Excellent journalism and very well articulated research from McLean and Elkind make this a gripping read for anyone who wants to understand the forces that drive corporate greed. Banks, rating agencies, lawyers and accountants are not spared in what is a scathing criticism of profitability over ethics and plain common sense. What disapponted me, however, was the authors' obvious decision to skim over the political elements of the whole scandal. Kenneth Lay was one of the single largest individual contributors to the Bush campaign in 2000 and also made available corporate resources, such as company jets, on numerous occasions. Dick Cheney had secret meetings with company executives at a time that the wheels were beginning to fall off and it is impossible to believe that this was all innocuous, although in the rare instances that the authors refer to such events, they will have you believe that this was the case. Time will hopefully still reveal more about the murky political dealings of Enron, but it is a crying shame that this otherwise very well written book is not a place where you will learn anything at all about that dimension, despite there being no shortage of facts to be found elsewhere in the public domain. ... Read more


4. iCon Steve Jobs : The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business
by Jeffrey S.Young, William L.Simon
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471720836
Catlog: Book (2005-05-13)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 234
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lightning never strikes twice, but Steve Jobs has, transforming modern culture first with the Macintosh and more recently with the iPod. He has dazzled and delighted audiences with his Pixar movies. And he has bedeviled, destroyed, and demoralized hundreds of people along the way. Steve Jobs is the most interesting character of the digital age.

What a long, strange journey it has been. With the mainstream success of the iPod, Pixar's string of hits and subsequent divorce from Disney, and Steve's triumphant return to Apple, his story is better than any fiction. Ten years after the leading maverick of the computer age and the king of digital cool, crashed from the height of Apple's meteoric rise, Steve Jobs rose from ashes in a Machiavellian coup that only he could have orchestrated-and has now become more famous than ever.

In this encore to his classic 1987 unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs-a major bestseller- Jeffrey Young examines Jobs' remarkable resurgence, one of the most amazing business comeback stories in recent years. Drawing on a wide range of sources in Silicon Valley and Hollywood, he details how Jobs put Apple back on track, first with the iMac and then with the iPod, and traces Jobs' role in the remarkable rise of the Pixar animation studio, including his rancorous feud with Disney's Michael Eisner.

  • Written with insider scoops and no-holds-barred style
  • Based on hundreds of highly unauthorized interviews with Jobs' nearest and dearest
  • New information on the acrimonious parting between Eisner and Jobs, the personal vendetta behind the return to Apple, and the future of iPod and the music industry
... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Have a Very Favorable Opinion of Mr. Jobs Now
After reading this book I have come away with a much more favorable opinion of Steve Jobs.He is the flawed hero type.I found this to be a very enlightening and motivating story.Steve Jobs is the epiteme of the New Age American Dream, a no hoper rising to the top and changing the way everybody sees things.

The truth about the reality distortion field theory is that Jobs doesn't let reality affect him.Rather he is in control of his own reality and he changes it when necessary.It's much easier to change the world when you think it is revolving around you.It's that kind of self-centered focus that many of the world's greatest minds exhibit.Many geniuses are hard to get along with and communicate to, Steve Jobs is no exception.

4-0 out of 5 stars Horrible Book Title
I can't imagine the Apple folks being happy with the title of the book. Is it:

a) iCon -- a symbol or emblem?
b) iCon -- as in "I've conned you into buying a Mac."
c) all of the above.

Somebody's in trouble somewhere...

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent sundeck reading
While completing a website: www.linuxfree.net A friend pass this title along to me. Excellent read. Just five years ago Mac was just another bland corporate player. Since the inclusion of (smooth) well-developed and managed unix, the apple family has finally begun to stir well-deserved praise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lighten up, Steve.
You would think, with all the fuss Steve Jobs is making about this new release, that it would be the worst hatchet job since "Wired" massacered the late John Bulushi.
In actuality, the approach to the project was even-handed to a fault. William Simon brings his forminable experience with these business giant profiles to the table. His signature combination of terse and flavorful makes for excellent reading.
As the episodes unfold, the Steve Jobs onion is peeled away for the reader to view the admirable along with the not-so-admirable. Great stuff!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I've long been intrigued by the Steve Jobs story as well as the early days of company-building and conflict between he and Bill Gates. This book is a real page-turner as it explores the connection between the technology, consumer-focused brand building and the psyche of the man behind it all. Jobs is a fascinating character and the author's representation of his story is better than fiction.

Another new book I enjoyed recently which has fun analysis of public figures is "The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book." This one also has a cool online application that lets you test your emotional intelligence and learn about it via clips from movies. Fun stuff. ... Read more


5. Inside the Magic Kingdom: Seven Keys to Disney's Success
by Thomas K. Connellan
list price: $20.00
our price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885167237
Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
Publisher: Bard Press (TX)
Sales Rank: 18637
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Look in Mickey's Briefcase . . .

Now, an outsider takes you inside the incredible Disney service culture and presents simple, powerful concepts in a fun, memorable waythat just may change the way you conduct business.

Based on hours of interviews and discussions with present and former Disney employees, Inside the Magic Kingdom discloses the secrets behind Disneys success . . . and explains why, of its more than 30 million guests each year, over two-thirds are repeat customers.

This upbeat, easy-to-read book illustrates clear, solid principles with examples that are well-known to Disney insiders but virtually unknown to outsidersuntil now. ... Read more

Reviews (43)

2-0 out of 5 stars Good. For a seven year old.
This book explains the customer service and overall business philosophies of The Walt Disney Company. The lessons and anecdotes it includes are very good, however the way they are presented is ridiculous. A tour guide who is not at all affliated with Disney takes a group of business people through the Magic Kingdom pointing out various interesting things and showing them just how great Disney is. Of course it all ends up with the stubborn, uptight last man coming around to see what a great company Disney is. How touching. This book was an incredibly easy read. Almost along the lines of; See Spot. See Spot run. Spot likes Disney. Anyone who would find this book useful should be insulted by the level at which it is written. It is worth borrowing for an afternoon quick read but definatly not worth buying.

5-0 out of 5 stars McDisney
Inside the Magic Kingdom is a great book when read just to get information about why Disney does what it does with its company and theme parks from the standpoint of customer service.

The real power, as I see it, of this book come from seeing that, like McDonalds, Disney has discovered how to apply a customer service attitude across all areas of their business operations. Moreover, these principles are not proprietary and can be learned and applied by anyone seeking to improve his or her company's (or personal) customer service strategy.

Read the book and apply the lessons and don't get too hung up on the dialogue of things.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good reminders of things companies tend to forget
I thought this book did a great job of conveying its message. To the reviewer who said "The sophisticated executive will not get past the first chapter. Both my husband and I are in upper management and have returned this book", I think you need to give it a chance. I'm sure some of the executives at my company would say the same thing, but as a 20 year employee, I can see many lessons that they could learn from this simple book. Many execs have blinders on - the point of the book is to help remove them!

5-0 out of 5 stars INSIDE THE MOUSE'S HEAD
INSIDE THE MAGIC KINGDOM is a terrific read just to have a look at how Disney does what it does with its company and theme parks from the standpoint of customer service. Incredible stuff. You won't believe what pains Disney takes to make us more comfortable and, of course, amenable to making a return trip or purchase.

The real "magic" of this book are the applications that anyone can make of its principles to a customer service or to attention to detail that one intends to make in ones own life. Disney does not own the principles here and they can be learned and used by anyone who wants to improve his organization's (or personal) customer service strategy.

THE HORSEMAN

4-0 out of 5 stars I normally don't like books like this, but...
I normally don't like books like this, but...

this one by a noted customer service guru seemed to please me.

This is one of those books you buy to read on a one hour airplane trip. It's an easy-to-read, fictional story about customer service. Kinda hokey, cute. But it wasn't too cute as this genre often can be.

The book is organized around 7 major customer service concepts. But you'll end up with maybe 20 thoughts that trigger ideas. Many of them will be stupidly simple, but most businesses don't do them. Several of them will be embarassing. Several will be important.

There was one point that I thought was particularly important: Your competition is whoever your customer would compare you to... whoever raises your customer's expectations. So that means FedEx on fast delivery reliability, or in other areas: L.L. Bean, or GE's answer center. So, don't benchmark your industry competition, benchmark the best in each area of your services.

Again, its a cute book but not too cute. It's fun to read, easily consumed in a one hour flight. You'll end up with a few good ideas. It's a great way to keep reminded on customer service topics. I enjoyed finding out more about Disney.

John Dunbar
Sugar Land, TX ... Read more


6. Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street
by Michael Lewis
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140143459
Catlog: Book (1990-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 2179
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (148)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read, if you are thinking of working on Wall St
I worked for CSFB for three years, and am still in investment banking for a smaller firm. So I have seen a part of the world that is described here. I'm not saying that this is an exact description of what I saw, because Lewis picks the most exotic creatures that he met, but the atmosphere is perfectly conveyed. This book will tell you all the stuff that they don't teach you in an interview or recruitment visit - the pecking order, the politics, and how to get paid.

The other reason to read this is that Lewis is a brilliant writer, with a real talent for describing people and their situations. Lots of other people have written boring books with the same raw material. For a non-specialist like my mother, the technicalities were hard work, but you don't need a lot of special knowledge to like this book. My mother certainly did.

Probably the best way to look at this book is like a travel book - you're not visiting a country, you're visiting a world. Great travel books are not word-perfect descriptions of a place, they are representations of what the author felt like when he was there, and they give the reader a feeling of what it was like to be there. If you read this book, you will understand what it feels like to work inside a big bank, and you'll enjoy the ride, even if you have no interest in actually working there.

3-0 out of 5 stars Obvious Cry Baby
I want you to realize that Michael Lewis is only one perspective albeit a very biased and skewed one at that. If you speak to any one who worked at Salomon they will bluntly tell you that the book is not completely factual. Michael Lewis has an agenda, and it is very obvious that he has it in for the Salomon and Wall Street traders. And, he is willing to bend the truth and exagerate things to make the people look like monsters. Using the endearing term of Human Pirhana speaks to this point. I loved the book, because it gives you somewhat of a perspective on the life of traders, but I don't think you truly know what it is you're up against until you go and do actual trading. I wouldn't believe everything you read in Liar's Poker, and I would weigh each word carefully, because Meriweather isn't the only playing Liar's Poker here. Enjoy, and don't let the book discourage you from hedge funds and investment banking, especially if you really love finance.

4-0 out of 5 stars An insider's view of Solly
'Liar's Poker' is worth a read if you want an insider's account of life on Wall Street. The book doesn't pretend to glorify the easy money that Lewis and his ilk made during the bond schlepping go-go days of the 1980s. Rather, Lewis is disillusioned by the greedy culture and hypocritical short-sightedness at Salomon Brothers, but not enough that he doesn't enjoy the ride for a few oh-so-profitable years. Like his other books, 'Liar's Poker' is fun to read. His anecdotes about the training program and the trading floor, albeit surely embellished, read like a day at the amusement park. The key shortcoming is an oozy 20-something self-righteousness that pervades many of the book's chapters, and reaches a crescendo in the final pages. But hey, arrogance begets credibility. And when it comes to describing Wall Street in the 80s, Lewis is as credible a spokesman as anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excelent insight into the world of wallstreet
Michael Lewis is obviously an excellent writer. The words simply flow from him. He speaks from experience so his perspective is insightful, and entertaining.

I have always been mesmerized by wallstreet, as well as silicon valley, simply because we it allows us, if even for just a few hours, to imagine the possibility of attaining great wealth legitimately thru our talent and hard work.

He reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut. But Kurt speaks of the old wrld, the one our fathers lived in. Lewis in more today. Somewhat ike Po Bronson

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read for a finance novice too!
I picked up this book as it is highly popular among investment bankers. I am not an investment banker and do not intend to be one but I was keen to find out what makes Wall Street special. The book not only satisfied my curiosity but also was pleasantly amusing.

The author traces the glorious and gloomy times of Salomon Brothers, a big financial enterprise in which he worked long enough to be able to tell this tale and become a rich man. He explains some financial innovations of Salomon brother's in lay man's terms, which makes this book very readable for all.

The author's self-deprecating humor and his vivid analysis of the people he came across in his organization make the account entertaining.

Whether or not the author's opinions on technical matters in this book are meritorious-I am not qualified to say. If you are a finance novice and curious to find out about life in that universe, you will find this book worthwhile. ... Read more


7. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
by Eric Schlosser
list price: $14.95
our price: $8.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060938455
Catlog: Book (2002-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 253
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but here Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.

Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths -- from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate. He also uncovers the fast food chains' disturbing efforts to reel in the youngest, most susceptible consumers even while they hone their institutionalized exploitation of teenagers and minorities.

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Reviews (1014)

5-0 out of 5 stars McInteresting Look at Fast Food
I read this book knowing I was not going to learn any new and cheery anecdotes about how Ronald McDonald got his start..... instead I read this to solidify the notion that fast food was not a healthy choice. And boy, did this book give you reasons it is not, and I'm not just talking nutritional value here.

I found this book fascinating for the detail was great, well researched, and given to the reader straight. It was an eye opening book. Who knew that due to the meat industry being run just by a few corporations, essentially we are eating the same meat from the same feedlots and slaughter houses whether we buy it at a fast food chain or the local supermarket, and perhaps even the nicer restaurants. I also found some of the content appalling. Cattle are fed cats, dogs, other cows, even old newspaper! If this doesn't outrage you enough, just wait to you get to how these same meat conglomerates treat the low paid, low skilled employees of the slaughterhouses.

This book is insightful and unbelievable, and will make you question how the fast food giants sleep at night.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm Supporting What?
I've been trying to write a review for this book and end up not being able to grasp the profound effect it has had on me. I'm left will a feeling of being too small to actually do anything about the "wool" being pulled over America's eyes. From basic human rights to our nation's safety (e.coli, salmonella, etc.), the fast food industry has been able to break laws, cover up incidents and some how flourish, making billions of dollars a year.

I devoured this book, it is easy to read, accurate and eye opening. The contents in this book is something that every American should be familiar. Fast food customers need to be informed of what goes on to deliver that "happy" meal on to that plastic tray from beginning to end. I'd like to thank Eric Schlosser for writing this book, his research has caused me to take a look at what I'm supporting and risking by consuming meat. I for one will not support these arrogant corporate giants and have chosen to stay away from fast food. I have seen the light and it's not from the glowing golden arches down the street!

5-0 out of 5 stars Appalling. Read it and weep.
Since many other reviewers cover the more repulsive details of Schlosser's book, I will stick to pointing out something I think deserves even more attention: one of the themes of the book is that the fast food industry has its tentacles in EVERY aspect of Americans' lives. Changing this goes far, far beyond bypassing a Big Mac...boycotting fast food is not the same thing as boycotting the fast food industry, when industry practices have made the USDA powerless against meatpackers, advertisers target children as consumers, and schools are taking money for corporate sponsorship.

This a fantastic book and it touches on a lot of areas that I don't normally think of relating to fast food, such as the plight of abused migrant workers in the slaughterhouses and the economics of teen labor. Everybody should read it, even if you never eat fast food, because you're affected too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing... Will never eat fast food again!
I must warn the reader that you'll never want to eat fast food again after you read this book. I've never been a big fast food junkie, though I've eaten it if there isn't anything else around, but I won't again take a bite of the same even if I'm starving during a road trip and the only food available is a drive-thru burger joint. Eric Schlosser's book is an impressive, albeit disturbing dissection of the fast food industry in the United States, one that examines each aspect of said industry with unflinching, well-researched facts. The result is an unflattering picture of an industry that has changed US business and eating habits in an almost secretive fashion. The book is a fascinating look into the business and talks about the process of hiring, franchising, purchasing and other practices. The most fascinating and disturbing chapters concern, however, the beef served at fast food restaurants and how it gets there. I warn you that it is not a pretty picture. If you care about the food you eat, these chapters will sicken you. You must read this book (unless you never eat fast food at all). The quality of the food aside, this book is extremely critical of the fast food industry and I believe that if you are a fast food lover, this book will disturb and upset you. As I said above, the picture Schlosser paints isn't pretty, nothing is sugarcoated. This is well-researched and well-written book and I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars KNOW WHAT YOU EAT AND SUPPORT
SCHLOSSER SAYS THE EASIEST WAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY FAST FOOD/MEAT PACKING COMPANIES CONDUCT FRADULENT BUSINESS TACTICS IS TO "NOT EAT IT". THIS BOOK IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE CONSUMERS MUST KNOW WHAT WE ARE EATING, SUPPORTING, AND CONTRIBUTING TO. THIS IS A GREAT BOOK WITH MUCH RESEARCH. ... Read more


8. Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
by Howard Schultz
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786883561
Catlog: Book (1999-01-13)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 3372
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the mostremarkable business stories in decades, growing from a single retailstore on Seattle's waterfront to a company with more than one thousandstores nationwide and a new one opening every business day. Starbucks haseffected a fundamental change in American life, turning coffee into anational obsession and establishing the coffee bar as a new fixture ofMain Street - a home away from home for millions of Americans. In PourYour Heart Into It, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, shares thepassion, values, and inspiration that drive the success of thisfascinating company. Schultz gives credit for the growth of Starbucks toa foundation of values seldom found in corporate America - values thatplace as much importance on the company's employees as they do onprofits, as much attention to creativity as to growth. Schultz tells thestory of Starbucks in chapters that illustrate the principles which havemade the company enduring, such as "Don't be threatened by people smarterthan you," "Compromise anything but your core values," "Seek to renewyourself even when you are hitting home runs," and, most simply,"Everything matters." For entrepreneurs, marketers, managers, andStarbucks' loyal customers, Pour Your Heart Into It gets to the heartof a company that, according to Fortune magazine, "has changedeverything...from our tastes to our language to the face of Main Street." ... Read more

Reviews (81)

4-0 out of 5 stars An insightful read - much better than the typical CEO tract
I was pleasantly surprised as that number of insights I picked up in Howard Schultz' tale. He and Dori Jones Yang really appeared to have connected in the writing of this book. There's an effortless flow in the telling that gives you a 'fly on the wall' insider's feel without getting bogged down in coffee arcania or management dribble.

Schultz walks you through some of the thought processes and actions that led to important advancements in Starbucks' success with their customers. And, he's not afraid to point out when he's been dead wrong. He's strong enough to admit being dead set against the Frappuccino & totally missing the boat on what ended up being a blowout product for the company.

One comment - it's hard for me to reconcile Schultz' recent fixation on the Internet, going so far as ruminating about buying Williams-Sonoma for its online potential, with the clear-headed thoughts expressed in this book. [Yes, let's see...I'll have a latte and this leather couch, thanks.] Throughout the book, Schultz shows a complete understanding of a company's need to please Wall Street via growing profits, and also is quite clear of having to evaluate each decision by asking "Will it strengthen or dilute the brand?"

5-0 out of 5 stars You will never look at Starbucks the same way again
This is one of the best business biographies I have ever read. It is truly inspiring. One simple, and telling, output from reading this book on a plane was that as soon as we landed I headed to the local airport Starbucks for a latte. I rarely even drink coffee! So powerful are the imagery and the passion for coffee in his story that you can almost smell the roasted dark beans, feel them running through your fingers, hear the sounds of the espresso machine and taste the coffee itself!

Why is this imagery so important? Because behind the corporate image of a relentless pac-man like machine churning out new locations at a rate slightly above the national birth rate it seems, is a simple vision of passion for coffee combined with Italian neighborhoods and a warm and friendly place where the worlds best coffee and social friendship intermix. That is what Starbucks was all about.

The book itself is a remarkable insight into this journey. It was even more special for me, as I grew up with Starbucks - literally. When Howard talks about the vision he had to treat even his part time employees with full benefits and ownership in the company through stock, I know it was more than just a nice sounding corporate manta, it really worked. Friends I went to high school with in Bellevue in the mid to late 1980's worked at the first stores, and raved about this little coffee company and couldn't imagine working anywhere else. So, from firsthand experience I can tell you that what he says about the passion and vision coming to life in Seattle is all true

While company history is quite interesting, and the book itself just hums and glides without ever getting mundane, the real gems are in the emotional reality Howard displays. He talks about being overwhelmed to tears, about the rejection he faced while trying to get funding for his fledgling company, about the naysayers and others who nearly took it all away, and the struggle with having a hand in everything and slowly letting go. You know that you are reading about a real person, someone who came from a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn with working-class roots, not an image generated by a large corporations PR spin doctors

The value of people, so often lost in corporate bureaucracy, is evident here. Starbucks grew because it struck an emotional chord with people. He knew that in order for the company to be successful he needed people who shared the values. This is often spoken of, and rarely practiced in the corporate world where systems, forecasts, processes and other such tools become the focal point, and the simple fact that all results come through people is lost. He speaks throughout the book of people who helped him, coached him, mentored him, challenged him, and made the company what it was. One quote in particular summarizes his views: "If people relate to the company they work for, if they form an emotional tie to it and buy into its dreams, they will pour their heart into making it better." (Page 6) This theme comes through in every decision.

Overall, this is a wonderful book, and is truly inspiring. I would work for him tomorrow, if it really still is the way it's portrayed here. I encourage you to read this book and see your neighborhood Starbucks in a new light.

1-0 out of 5 stars Try Working at Starbucks
This is an interesting read if looked at as a fictional account of business. As a frustrated Starbucks employee, there are many an urban legend about how great we are supposed to be treated. Howard should go to work as a barista in one of his own stores, have customers insult him, throw drinks back at him and do all of the cleaning chores expected of the people making him his millions. As for the "One Drink at a Time", I wish that were true. We are expected to whip out drinks within mere seconds of them being ordered. Don't believe all the gospel of Howard. It ain't all that he thinks it is cracked up to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read
OK. I don't read a lot of books. I am an entrepreneur. This book was great. I always liked starbucks coffee but now I have an in depth understanding of how truly amazing a company Starbucks is. You will not be dissappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book to Read for those who Wish to Develop Own Business
You can see from this book how Howard Schultz upheld his belief in good coffee quality from the begining. Also, he was so committed to bring in new experience to his customers which was a very important marketing strategy nowadays. The book is easy to read and has given the reader a lot of inspirations! ... Read more


9. Everybody Wins: The Story and Lessons Behind RE/MAX
by PhilHarkins, KeithHollihan
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471710245
Catlog: Book (2004-12-03)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 12687
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Book Description

EVERYBODY WINS

Inside stories and strategies behind the remarkable growth of RE/MAX, and how to use them for competitive success in virtually any industry

"This is a book about dreaming with your eyes wide open, a book about success and winning and leading, and most of all, it is a book that contains important lessons for all organizations that want to become great."
—Warren Bennis, author of On Becoming a Leader and Distinguished Professor of Business, USC

"I love the word 'Wow.' And though I've by now 'seen it all,' or most of it anyway, I found myself saying 'Wow' time and time again as I highlighted my way through Everybody Wins. The RE/MAX saga—the story of a huge industry turned upside-down and inside-out by an outrageously bold dream, incredible tenacity, and uncommon business sense—yields inspiring and practical lessons for all of us. As I said, 'Wow.' "
—Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

"Everybody Wins is a must-read for any executive serious about sustainable growth and innovation. A powerful resource guide to the next generation of leaders focused on building great companies!"
—James D. White, Senior Vice President Business Development, North America, The Gillette Company

"When the business dream is applied with leadership, passion, a clear brand, and committed people, incredibly great sustained performance and growth occur. The RE/MAX story is one of those inspiring fairy tales where a dream and passion of the founder have led to an incredible success and one where there is a unique outcome—everybody does win!"
—Steve Steinour, Chairman Mid-Atlantic Regional Banking, Citizens Bank

"Everybody Wins offers valuable advice on how to build a culture that supports innovation, growth, and constant learning. The chapter on 'Pace Line Leadership' is essential reading for leaders who want to turn vision into action."
—John Hammergren, Chairman and CEO, McKesson Corporation ... Read more


10. The Machine That Changed the World : The Story of Lean Production
by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, Daniel Roos
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060974176
Catlog: Book (1991-11)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 4481
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's five-million-dollar, five-year study on the future of the automobile, a groundbreaking analysis of the worldwide move from mass production to lean production.

Japanese companies are sweeping the world, and the Japanese auto industry soars above the competition. Drawing on their in-depth study of the practices of ninety auto assembly plants in seventeen countries and their interviews with individual employees, scholars, and union and government officials, the authors of this compelling study uncover the specific manufacturing techniques behind Japan's success and show how Western industry can implement these innovative methods. The Machine That Changed the World tells the fascinating story of "lean production," a manufacturing system that results in a better, more cost-efficient product, higher productivity, and greater customer loyalty. The hallmarks of lean production are teamwork, communication, and efficient use of resources. And the results are remarkable: cars with one-third the defects, built in half the factory space, using half the man-hours. The Machine That Changed the World explains in concrete terms what lean production is, how it really works, and--as it inevitably spreads beyond the auto industry--its significant global impact.

... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars a Manufacturing Mustread
The Machine That Changed the World; The Story of Lean Production
A great book that although becoming a little outdated portrays the ongoing trends in the automobile production industry in three major cultural areas.
The three areas are;the Asian lean production (Toyota) v.s. the American system,(mass production) v.s. the European craftsman system. On a larger scale it will and is affecting manufacturing everywhere.
Henry Ford was the founder of the American mass production system, and Ford was very successful adopting it to the aircraft and steel industries. American companies adopted this system and it is one of the main reasons for American pre-eminence in many industries worldwide. Toyota has become the founder of the Lean system of manufacturing. Most of the
early adherents to this system were other large Japanese companies, and responsible for the Japanese manufacturing miracle since the 1960's, as it was adapted from automotive to all manner of industries.
The book is well written and interesting even though it is based on an MIT study of global trends in the auto industry. I would like to see an update to this book. The one anomaly I see is the German Automobile industry. If Japan and Korea have some of the most efficient auto manufacturing plants in the world and
North America is becoming more competitive, what is happening in Europe comes as no surprise. Many European automakers have yet to fully embrace American mass production techniques and are now faced with the greater efficiencies of Lean
production. The book does not explain in my mind the success of the German Auto industry. It seems to be the one exception to the rule.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent in-depth analysis of the automobile industry.
In "The Machine That Changed the World", Womack, along with several other individuals, give an analysis of the Automobile Industry within global boundaries. This book was the summarization of a five year, five million dollar study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Analysis was provided for both foreign and domestic automobile manufacturers with an eye toward the future. This book spoke "globally" far earlier than it was hip to speak in such terms, analyzing such foreign automotive powers such as Toyota, with their Toyota Production System, perhaps the greatest example of Lean Manufacturing in the world. For anyone who would like to learn anything about the automobile industry in general, or even further, would like to learn about successful business practices, I highly recommend this text.

3-0 out of 5 stars Don't "Machine" - try "Lean" instead
If you are just starting out learning about Lean Manufacturing, and you only have time to read one book, "The Machine that Changed the World" is an historically important book but "Lean Thinking" is the one that actually gets you started toward implementation. It's one of those rare occasions where the sequel was better than the original.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lean should be a journey not a destination
This is the first book that I planned to read as a part of learning about lean, the other two books are "Lean thinking" and "Becoming Lean" , so far I could say that the "Machine that Changed the World" is a good benchmarking between craft, mass and lean producers. It mainly gives you an insight of the differences between lean and mass producers from the production, sales, marketing, customer relation and other dimensions. If you don't know about lean I really recommend you to start by reading his book because it will make you start to think in a lean way, if you know about lean and convinced about what it can do to you organization start with lean thinking and then go to "Becoming Lean".
This book is aimed at strategic level and as a key tool to convince old timers about the lean-mentality against the push-mentality.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introductory Book
I usually refer to this kind of books as "Open Minds", are written in a very simple way that may seem that the content is simple, BUT IS NOT. This book is in my opinion a must read for any Industrial Engineers, Managers, Supervisors. It can be used also for training and kaizen events.
Silly is that one that reads this book expecting that he will know everything about lean manufacturing, JIT, or modern IE.
In summary, this book is the entrance to a new world with a new way of thinking and doing thins and it is a necessary complement to any technical book. ... Read more


11. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America
by Les Standiford
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400047676
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 5156
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12. The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World
by PETER SCHWARTZ
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385267320
Catlog: Book (1996-04-15)
Publisher: Currency
Sales Rank: 10874
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good way to view your future
Book Review: The Art of the Long View

¡®The Art of the Long View¡¯ by Peter Schwartz is a book about planning our future. Different to the past, which we already knew, and the present, which is going on, it is impossible to tell what the future will be. However, people, companies, cities, and states, as well as the world like to know about their future. Thus, we could plan the future with a forecasting skill, scenario writing.

Schwartz suggests a long view for the future planning. He argues that scenarios are tools for helping us to take a long view in a great uncertainty rather than simply predicting the future. Admitting the uncertainty of scenario, the author insists that it is possible for us to prepare for the future.

The purpose of this book is giving a guideline to build scenarios. The author explains uncovering decisions, information hunting and gathering, creating scenario building blocks, composing plots, and writing scenarios. Moreover, he suggests the eight steps of developing scenarios (Step 1. Identify focal issue or decision, 2. Key forces in the local environment, 3. Driving forces, 4. Rank by importance and uncertainty, 5. Selecting scenario logics, 6. Fleshing out the scenarios, 7. Implications, 8. Selection of leading indicators and signposts) which are helpful for scenario writers.

I agree with the author in terms of that scenarios are tools for long view. Although scenarios have much of uncertainty, they are needed for planning. It is better to have plans for people and organizations even the results are different to plans. With social, economic, political, and technological points of views, scenarios could be sufficient alternative future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Liberate your insights!
In "The Art of the Long View," Peter Schwartz, one of the world leading futurists introduces the concepts of scenario planning. He argues that scenario thinking is an art not a science, and people in general has an innate ability to build scenarios, and to foresee the future. From the book, the readers can learn how to build their own future scenarios. They are neither predictions nor mere extrapolations of the present trends. They help us to know the shape of unfolding future reality. A good scenario must have surprised elements with power to break the stereotypes.

The general principles of scenario planning are neatly summarized in the appendix, "Steps to Developing Scenarios." They compose of: Step One: identify the focal issue or decision; Step Two: list the key Micro-Factors relevant to that issue or decision; Step Three: list the key Macro-Driving Forces; Step Four: cross-rank Factors and Forces in terms of importance and uncertainty; Step Five: select Scenario Logic; Step Six: flesh out Scenarios; Step Seven: identify Probable Implications; and Step Eight: select Leading Indicators and Signposts. However, the order of the steps may be muddled in some cases.

For me, as a former employee of Shell in Cambodia, it is an eye-opening reading. I wish I had read this book before I started to develop the promotion plan for Shell Cambodia. The great pleasure of adopting a constant futurist's perspective on things is that it forces you to think of different possible ways things may happen and have at hand the answers to the "what if...?" questions either plausible or implausible. Then comes a mindshift that leads to the change in behavior in managing organization, let it be global corporation like Royal Dutch Shell or AT&T and small family businesses. It is an excellent read if you want to liberate your insights from your existing "mental map".

5-0 out of 5 stars What a great book?
You have to buy The Art of the Long View. I don't know how to explain how great the book is. Don't hesitate to grap one

5-0 out of 5 stars Open Your Brain and Reperceive the World
This book will help you to learn the scenario planning process. At the beginning, the author presents a short but insightful example how scenario playing an important role for starting up a gardening tool company. The author also shares an "information hunting and gathering process" which tell you where to get some helpful data. Various factors influencing the futures are also discussed (including socials, politics, economic, technologies, and environment). In addition, at the end of the book, the author provides a user's guide (eight steps of how to hold a strategic conversation) and eight steps to develop scenarios which I found very useful. The book enables us to use scenario planning as a tool to deal with uncertain futures. Scenarios help us to awake and "reperceive" others possible and impossible alternative futures including both short and long term. The author also believes that a good scenario leads you to ask better questions. The point of scenario-planning is "to help us suspend our disbelieve in all the futures: to allow us to think that any on of them might place. Then, we can prepare for what we DO NOT think is going to happen." (p.195)

However, one annoying thing in this book is that the author keeps referring to chapters (e.g. look in chapter 7) but physically, there are just no chapters number indicated in the book. There are just short titles in the table of content and at the beginning of each chapter. You have to go back and forth between the TOC and chapters to to see which one is actually being referred. However, I consider this is a minor issue comparing to what you will learn from this book.

You may find this book useful if you are preparing for your strategic plans, making decisions having critical impacts to your firm or your personal life, or even you are just an ordinary reader, this book will open your mind to a new level of critical thinking and imagination about unfolding futures. Highly recommend.

4-0 out of 5 stars Scenario for personal life
As an international student who stays in Hawaii for a while, Peter Schwartz's The Art of the Long View inspired me to make planning for my future whether in Hawaii or other places. His explanations about scenario building may be adapted to my personal life as well as in business to plan my better life in future. Moreover, as a human being, we have an innate ability to build scenarios and to forecast the future. He said that scenarios are apparatuses for helping us to acquire a long view in a great uncertainty rather than simply predicting the future. Therefore, it is possible to prepare for our future.

In real time, the eight steps of developing scenarios which he suggested in his book are used in many fields. Most websites about forecasting adopt his idea as a basic foundation to prepare alternative future with social, economic, political, and technological points of views. Although he said scenario building as "art" not "science", it may not reduce the important of scenario building to identify alternative dimensions of future by recognizing the driving forces and composing the plots.

I recommend for a beginner in particularly non-native English speaker in forecasting or in future planning reading this book as a guide. His guide is easy and simple to apply for everyone to anticipate unexpected changes. ... Read more


13. What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer
by JohnMarkoff
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670033820
Catlog: Book (2005-04-21)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Sales Rank: 2471
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

While there have been several histories of the personal computer, well-known technology writerJohn Markoff has created the first ever to spotlight the unique political and cultural forces thatgave rise to this revolutionary technology. Focusing on the period of 1962 through 1975 in theSan Francisco Bay Area, where a heady mix of tech industries, radicalism, and readily availabledrugs flourished, What the Dormouse Said tells the story of the birth of the personalcomputer through the people, politics, and protest that defined its unique era.

Based on interviews with all the major surviving players, Markoff vividly captures the lives andtimes of those who laid the groundwork for the PC revolution, introducing the reader to suchcolorful characters as Fred Moore, a teenage antiwar protester who went on to ignite thecomputer industry, and Cap’n Crunch, who wrote the first word processing software for the IBMPC (EZ Writer) in prison, became a millionaire, and ended up homeless. Both immenselyinformative and entertaining, What the Dormouse Said promises to appeal to all readers oftechnology, especially the bestselling The Soul of a New Machine. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Largely unknown roots of the PC revolution
John Markoff has written a wonderful book about the cultural roots of the personal computing revolution.

I don't agree with everything in the book, but "I was there" for some of the formative period, and I know a lot of the people who show up in the book, and John largely gets it right. Also, I learned more from this book that I didn't know about people that I did know than from any book I can recall.

I definitely agree with John's main thesis, that a revolution is shaped by, and needs to be understood in terms of, the culture(s) in which it is rooted.

(...)
First, and I admit that I am biased by my participation, I think John over-rates the influence of the Homebrew Computing Club and the Personal Computer Company relative to Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).Second, I think that the technologies developed at SRI and PARC had a much stronger influence on the PC revolution than psychedelics and other aspects of the counter-culture. Networking was critical to all that followed, as were graphical user interfaces, ubiquity, laser printing, etc.

4-0 out of 5 stars From Cultural Upheaval CameModern PC Technology
As all major movements and innovations seem to come out of periods of cultural upheaval so true is it of the computer revolution that brought about the information age.Here we see that Steve Wozniak's Apple one was just an immediate cause the soon to come home computing explosion.It wasn't until brew-club mate Steve Jobs saw that the market was ripe to start selling computers that the market took off.But underlying this well known story of garage-built computing is a much deeper and much more interesting story of how the field of computer science developed in sequence with the intellectual community and how it wasn't until these fields clashed (or symbiotically nurtured) with 1960's psychedelic counterculture as only California could have produced it that the computer science really took off."What the Dormouse Said" explores how the computer industry needed freedom from the heavy top down institutions of the East Coast and found it in Silicon Valley.

Of course it all started with transistors that TI built into integrated circuits in 1958.This was the essential technology that made the revolution possible and though the IC wasn't perfect it was only a few years before the idea of a home PC was possible.As possible as it was, Digital's CEO Ken Olson said that there was no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.This backward view, like Bill Gates in 1981 when he said there is no reason a PC would require more than 640K of RAM, seems laughable in hindsight yet it was these philosophies, among forward thinking men no less, that probably slowed down the process.It only follows that if these were the innovators closed-mindedness must have been the prevailing stance within the computer science community. Nevertheless progress did happen and thinking that within twenty years of the invention of the transistor solid stat computing was a solid technology it could very well be that these years saw a far greater technological leap than we have seen in the last 20 years.

As always is the case it was midlevel people that truly brought about the computer revolution. These people; the mid-level intelligent doers not the business leaders were able to thrive technically in the environment of the 1960's that questioned everything.This questioning allowed the cutting edge technology industry to break apart from stifling corporate mentalities of the current tech businesses and even universities that were still under the yoke of 19th century corporate mentality to a great extent.It was Stanford University that offered a strange mix of willingness to fund computer research and yet was a hot bead of counterculture. As a university that had a small amount of prestige yet by no means an overwhelmingly stifling atmosphere it was a breeding ground for new ideas.This naturally turned out to be a nurturing atmosphere for technical innovation.

John Markoff, explores this time of innovation that resulted in the fledgling PC industry.The book is less than a narrative and more of a mix of events accounts of people within the industry and researched texts. It is a very fast and interesting read.The connection of drugs and the enhancment consciousness and the idea that computers could augment the human intellect that Doug Englebart apparently had was visionary, though quite possibly accidental. The Drug culture of the 1960's at least opened the door to the idea of a world connected by computers.Reading this book really makes one aware of how visionary and pioneering these young computer scientists really were. I have been a fan of Markoff and his articles for a long time and I see he really put a lot of effort into making this book lucid and vital.This history is very important to us now and it had me call into question weather WWII or the PC revolution was the most important event of the 20th century.The only problem is that the book seems somewhat disjointed and I had trouble following the book at times.Overall I think this book is fascinating and should be required reading for engineering students.I



Ted Murena

5-0 out of 5 stars How LSD and Vietnam Helped Create the PC
Most histories of the personal computer begin with Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Apple in 1976, but while hanging out at SAIL in the mid 1970s, and at the First West Coast Computer Faire in 1977 I heard highly attenuated versions of the folklore that Markoff has only now, after nearly 30 years, run to ground.Conventional histories of the PC make passing reference to the MITS Altair (1974) before going on the talk about the Apple, the IBM PC (1981) and what followed.The more sophisticated would conspiratorially tell the story of how Steve Jobs "stole the idea" for the Macintosh from Xerox's fabled Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) as they were "fumbling the future", and nearly everyone knew that Bill Gates then stole the ideas from Apple.

But the truth of those half-heard folktales from my youth is that nearly every concept in the personal computer predates all of this, in a delightfully picaresque tale that starts in the late 1950s and weaves together computers, LSD, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the Vietnam War and dozens of characters.

John Markoff, veteran technology reporter for the New York Times, is the first to comprehensively tell this story in his new book What The Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry.Markoff, best known for Cyberpunk and Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of Kevin Mitnick, explodes the conventional notion that the PC replaced the mini-computer in the same way that the mini-computer replaced the mainframe -- by a sort of evolutionary selection within the computer business, by persistently investigating the roots of the PC its unsung pioneers, its user interface, and the culture of open-source software in the San Francisco drug and anti-war culture of the late 1950s and 1960s.

Markoff has painstakingly researched the men (and a few women) who populated the cutting edge of the computer revolution in 1960s San Francisco, capturing an oral history of the PC never before recorded.Central to "Dormouse" is the story of Doug Engelbart, the "tragic hero" of computing, and the man who invented -- and demonstrated -- virtually every aspect of modern computing as much as a decade before the PC.Engelbart presided over the ground-breaking 1968 demo of his Augment concept, which included multiple overlapping windows, the original mouse, a screen cursor, video conferencing, hyperlinks and cut-and-paste -- virtually every aspect of the modern PC user interface three decades later.Yet the combination of Engelbart's ego and his poor management skills doomed the project, and his best team members leaked over to Xerox PARC, where they worked on the equally doomed "Alto" workstation, source of Steve Job's inspiration.

In parallel to this central story are those of the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL), the Free University, the People's Computer Company, and the Homebrew Computer Club, all located within a few files of the center of the San Francisco peninsula.SAIL, in its first incarnation under John McCarthy and Les Earnest, may have been the first place where computers (or the powerful access to a time-sharing server) really were "personal", and was almost certainly the birthplace of the first true computer game, SpaceWar.It was the locus of naked hot-tub parties, a porn video, and not a little bit of LSD (taken both as serious experimentation and recreationally) that fueled a cast of characters dodging the Vietnam war at Stanford and at the ARPA-funded Stanford Research Institute and creating a counter-culture.Virtually everyone linked to the genesis of the PC spent some time at SAIL, including Alan Kay, who conceived the first notebook computer, who appears first at SAIL before running into Englebart and his enrapturing demo of Augment, leading him to PARC and eventually Apple.

"Dormouse" is peppered with odd juxtapositions and combinations of characters including Fred Moore, the anti-war activist and single father who knit the community together with a pile of special punch cards and a knitting needle and helped create the People's Computer Company and the Homebrew Computer Club.Another, Steve Dompier, was widely accused -- falsely, Markoff convincingly reports -- of being the source for the infamous distribution of Gates' early Altair BASIC.(Was this the eThrough the whole story Stewart Brand -- of Whole Earth Catalog fame -- pops up "Zelig-like" at nearly every turn.The list goes on: Larry Tesler, Ken Kesey, Joan Baez, Ted Nelson, Lee Felsenstein, Bill English, Janis Joplin, and Bill Gates.

If the book has a problem, this is it.Markoff neither presents a first-person oral history nor is he able to tease a single central narrative thread out of this creative soup.He tells several interwoven stories, but there is so large a cast of characters that one must be a dedicated reader (or have a previous knowledge of some of the events described) to keep everything straight.Without a single narrative, the book returns several times to the start of a timeline, retracing it from another perspective, and after a while you feel the need for a map.

Markoff's own "Takedown" shows that with a clear narrative arc he is a wonderful writer, and while the complexity of the tale make keep away casual readers, Markoff does the entire technology industry a great service by capturing these tales while most of the primary sources are still alive.The central story of Doug Engelbart deserves a book of its own -- a better book than the nearly unreadable Bootstrapping by Thierry Bardini -- and one can hope that Markoff revisits the trove of original material he located for this story to write that book.

"Dormouse" is an essential "prequel" to Michael Hiltzik's excellent Dealers of Lightning, the definitive work (so far) on Xerox PARC, and belongs on every bookshelf that includes Katie Hafner's Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet.

For anyone who thinks they know anything, or wants to know anything, about the real roots of the PC revolution and the pioneers who never got famous, this book is required reading. ... Read more


14. The Chasm Companion : A Fieldbook to Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado
by Paul Wiefels
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0066620554
Catlog: Book (2002-08-15)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 19603
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Fans of Geoffrey Moore's Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado will certainly be attracted to The Chasm Companion, a step-by-step manual by longtime Moore associate Paul Wiefels that lays out specific ways to apply his popular tech-oriented business principles in our fast-changing world. But even those who never warmed to the earlier works--which proposed a pragmatic path for successfully navigating the ever-moving environment of "disruptive technologies that force changes in both strategy and behavior"--could find this book appealing. Designing The Chasm Companion as a hands-on field guide, Wiefels opens by explaining six "inflection points" in high-tech market development (the Early Market, the Chasm, the Bowling Alley, the Tornado, Main Street, Total Assimilation) that he and Moore insist everyone must carefully watch and properly react to as internal and external conditions evolve. He then outlines models and tools developed in the consulting practice he co-founded with Moore that enable individual corporations to carefully craft relevant strategies that they can align correctly with the appropriate market phases defined earlier. Finally, he presents initiatives (strategy validation, whole product management, marketing communications planning, and field engagement strategy) to help these firms actually implement their plans. Graphics and sidebars help Wiefels drive his points home clearly. --Howard Rothman ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extends beyond high tech
Wiefels get to the heart of high tech marketing. Nothing I have read has more insights or is more useful in the practical application of marketing constructs for high tech. Anybody in high tech, indeed in marketing of any sort, can benefit from these concepts.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE guide for tech marketeers and managers
It's a very simple and clear framework to keep in mind, with VERY practical results in day-to-day activities of product management (specially for those, like me, come from "techies" backgrounds). It's reccommended to read the other 5 books of Chasm Group to fully understand the concepts, but to start using as product manager, this is THE guide.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tough Marketing Decisions Made Easier
Paul Wiefels has given a gift to marketing and technology executives by doing an extraordinarily difficult thing: adding yet more value to some of the most valuable marketing strategy books ever written (Geoffrey Moore's). For both readers and non-readers of Moore's books (Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, and others), The Chasm Companion is an immensely useful how-to guide to successfully marketing technology products and services. It provides thoughtful and provocative connective tissue between Moore's books for those who are already Chasm devotees, but doesn't rely on the reader already having familiarity with Moore for this book to be completely understandable and immediately actionable. The author's intimate experience with difficult technology marketing decisions saturates each chapter with a pragmatic perspective often missing from consultant-authored books. The "field guide" format insures that theory consistently supports rather than trumps practice and execution. As a strategy consultant and former Fortune 100 marketing executive, I highly recommend reading The Chasm Companion before your competitors do.

5-0 out of 5 stars For converts of The Technology Adoption Life cyle
I have been a keen student of the Chasm Group publications for a number of years and this book starts to bridge the gap between the theory of visionaries, tornados, gorillas etc and the application of the concepts in practice. The style is very readable and filled with good "common sense". I have already started using it in earnest ... Read more


15. Avon : Building The World's Premier Company For Women
by LauraKlepacki
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471710261
Catlog: Book (2005-03-25)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 17971
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A colorful look at Avon's journey to the top
Avon is the world's largest direct sales company, with a record four million representatives in more than 140 countries worldwide. Its product line has expanded from cosmetics to vitamins, weight control products, clothing, and jewelry. In The Avon Story, author Laura Klepacki offers an in-depth look at how Avon grew from a small business selling books door-to-door to one of the world's leading cosmetics companies. Through exclusive interviews with company executives--both past and present--as well as analysts and other experts in the beauty and cosmetics industry, Klepacki reveals how Avon has built a global empire by addressing the needs and customs of women around the world as well as how it has managed to thrive in all economies even in tough times. Readers will also discover how this cosmetics powerhouse has maintained and increased its market share through new product introductions, the use of technology, appealing to different customers, including men and teens, rewarding its best performers, and giving back to society with financial support for such causes as domestic violence and breast cancer. The Avon Story also takes a look at the leadership principles that have allowed Avon to prosper over the years. Engaging and entertaining, The Avon Story offers readers a well-rounded account of one of America's most respected and successful companies.
Laura Klepacki (West Caldwell, NJ) is an experienced journalist who has covered beauty, marketing, and other consumer issues. She is the mass-market beauty editor for Women's Wear Daily, where she specializes in articles on the multibillion-dollar health and beauty care industry in the United States. She frequently travels to industry conferences to meet with senior executives and has close contacts with consultants and analysts in the cosmetics and fashion business.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Idea
I think it's a great idea to have some kind of knowledge in making this business a success for everyone.I never thought they would come out with a book, but if and when it comes out, I am going to read it!Great job at making something so lucrative in helping the women of today advance further! ... Read more


16. The Wellness Revolution : How to Make a Fortune in the Next Trillion Dollar Industry
by Paul ZanePilzer
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471430676
Catlog: Book (2003-04-04)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 14181
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

World-renowned economist and entrepreneur Paul Zane Pilzer shows you how to tap into the next trillion-dollar industry–– wellness. Already a $200 billion business, Pilzer predicts that sales of vitamin and other health-related items will grow to over $1 trillion annually within ten years. In The Wellness Revolution, he shows entrepreneurs and investors how to make their fortunes in this burgeoning industry.

"Paul Zane Pilzer has proven time and time again that he holds his finger on the pulse of our economy, and The Wellness Revolution is no different. Pilzer’s insights into the future of our healthcare industry are revolutionary and will empower you to the next level."
–– Anthony Robbins
author, Awaken the Giant Within and Unlimited Power

"In The Wellness Revolution, Paul Zane Pilzer reveals the most important secret for tomorrow’s successful entrepreneurs: where to invest their dream. Step by step, Pilzer shows entrepreneurs how to find where they fit in the mega-industry of the future–– wellness."
–– Randy Fields
cofounder, Mrs. Fields Cookies

"Like any machine, our body runs best when operated according to its design principles. Noted economist Paul Zane Pilzer shows how to promote–– and profit by–– the wellness revolution."
–– Michael J. Behe
Professor of Biology, Lehigh University; author, Darwin’s Black Box

"Paul Zane Pilzer has paid great tribute to J. I. Rodale, founder of Prevention magazine and the organic industry in the United States, by showing how Rodale traditions of individual and environmental health make sound economic investment sense in today’s world. If you’ve been looking for the next big, ground-floor opportunity, catch the wave of the future–– The Wellness Revolution!"
–– Ardath Rodale
Chairman of Rodale, Inc., publisher of Prevention and Men’s Health ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Compelling, Cutting Edge Read
As a former television news health reporter, and someone who is already achieving success building an organization of people who distribute high quality wellness products, I believe Pilzer's book will be compelling reading for baby boomers looking for improved physical and financial health. For those willing to work hard to establish a foothold in this industry, Pilzer offers compelling reasons why the rewards -- both physical and financial -- will be worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
Paul Zane Pilzer is an economist with a vision. Pilzer sees technological advances remaking the way Americans think about health. In his eyes, scientific breakthroughs are ushering in a revolution that will transform our current healthcare system - which Pilzer describes as the sickness industry - into the proactive, lifestyle-based wellness industry. His book describes this revolution in two parts. The first half, which will appeal to a wide range of readers, analyzes the current state of healthcare and advances in biology and cellular biochemistry. In the second half of the book, which takes a more dollar-minded approach, Pilzer attempts to identify business and investment opportunities that will arise from the Wellness Revolution. Thus, we from getAbstract heartily recommend this book to both camps: the general-interest reader, and the entrepreneur or investor on the hunt for new opportunities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book for health & wealth
I won't go over Paul Zane Pilzers credentials as other reviewers have, I believe that if you found your way to this webpage, you already know his credentials.

But the fact is that Pilzer has predicted other trillion dollar industries. He knows what of he speaks. Personally, I am a baby boomer and in a company that is predicted to become the next billion dollar company. I have also had some health problems and hardly a day goes by when I talk to other baby boomers where the subject of health & wellness doesn't come up.

Pilzer has something here. Worth a read for both your health and your wealth.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm sold!
Last year, I began wondering why everyone around me was sick and on prescriptions. I didn't remember growing up that way. I had a friend with fibromyalgia and I just began thinking all of this sickness was directly related to the food we eat. I searched for products that would help my friends feel better. I found a liquid vitamin/mineral complex, bought it and shared it with her. She cut her prescriptions in half the first two weeks. My family started feeling better also.
It was at this point that I began my journey into the "wellness industry". I believe that God created our bodies to function a certain way and when we give it unnatural, processed foods, it can't function the way it was intended.

I was glad to find this book after I stumbled upon my personal discoveries. I know now that I am not alone. And, I was so overcome with the lives that are being changed through good products, I got into the industry myself. I've been a Vision For Life distributor for the past year and am helping so many people, both with their health and their wealth. I highly recommend this book for it's facts, figures and knowledge. People definately want to feel better. When you don't feel good, no amount of people telling you to exercise will help. By supplementing with good nutritional products (not like centrum where you feel good just "knowing" your taking it- I mean where you feel good BECAUSE you're taking it) you start to feel better, you start to do more and it becomes much easier to exercise and get more accomplished.

I feel better than I did when I was 19 (thank goodness, I'm much the smarter now too! LOL)

2-0 out of 5 stars Stay Well Rather Than Cure Sickness!
The main problem with The Wellness Revolution is that the brilliant Paul Zane Pilzer has stretched a magazine article's worth of information on healthy living and ways to develop businesses around that theme into a book. If you know nothing about how nutrition, water and exercise affect your health, you will probably love this book. But you can find better books. If you have been paying attention to those areas, you will find the book to be superficial and limited. As for investing, the ideas are pretty broad. Basically, you should make the economics of your business serve wellness and anti-aging.

What will be new to some are the details of how you can use high deductible health insurance and tax-advantaged medical savings to cut your cost of sickness while having some money left over for wellness activities (like exercise and better food). If you regularly read investment or business magazines, chances are you will know about these ideas too.

For entrepreneurs, the stories of Steve Demos (Silk soy milk), Paul Wenner (Gardenburger), Jill Kenney (Club One fitness), Dr. Frank Yanowitz (The Fitness Institute), Dr. Tod Cooperman (ConsumerLab.com), and Stuart Johnson (facilitating wellness products being provided through network marketing) may help inspire a new business thought or principle. Professionals can look at pages 188-189 for specific examples that apply to them.

Those who want stock purchase ideas won't find much here, although you'll probably have an itch to buy stock in whomever first specializes a whole company in wellness insurance.

As a result, the "how to" part of the book's subtitle is quite misleading.

There is a fine book that can be written on this subject, but unfortunately, this isn't it.

After you finish this book (if you choose to read it), I suggest that you find ways to make your working and investing more health-enhancing for you and others. If nothing else, walk on a treadmill while you watch the financial news at night to pick out companies that enhance health! ... Read more


17. The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability
by Paul Hawken
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0887307043
Catlog: Book (1994-08-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Sales Rank: 10979
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Paul Hawken, the entrepreneur behind the Smith & Hawken gardening supplies empire, is no ordinary capitalist. Drawing as much on Baba Ram Dass and Vaclav Havel as he does on Peter Drucker and WalMart for his case studies, Hawken is on a one-man crusade to reform our economic system by demanding that First World businesses reduce their consumption of energy and resources by 80 percent in the next 50 years. As if that weren't enough, Hawken argues that business goals should be redefined to embrace such fuzzy categories as whether the work is aesthetically pleasing and the employees are having fun; this applies to corporate giants and mom-and-pop operations alike. He proposes a culture of business in which the real world, the natural world, is allowed to flourish as well, and in which the planet's needs are addressed. Wall Street may not be ready for Hawken's provocative brand of environmental awareness, but this fine book is full of captivating ideas. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Someone's gotta do it
It seems some are skeptical of Hawken's book because his ideas are too radical and no one will actually adopt his idealist suggestions. But this is the first book I've read that has made concrete suggestions that please both the business world and the environment. Yes it's radical, but the world is soon going to require radical solutions. I loved this book and admire his ingenuity.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice try, but simply not enough
Don't get me wrong: I agree with the vast bulk of this book. Yet Paul Hawken's attempt at a new vision of corporate behavior and business ethics is more mirage than masterpiece.

I have two main criticisms of this otherwise eloquent book. First, although Hawken bravely tries to bridge the ideological gap between his two different audiences (the rapacious businessman and economically-uninformed environmentalist), he ultimately has to pull punches on both fronts; this is okay for political compromise, but not for building vision or revealing "inherent" truthes (which seem to be the book's aims). Second, and more important, the book has almost no helpful detail, either for policy or for corporate behavior. Perhaps I'm really just complaining that the book is too short, but a call for Pigovian taxes and a vague yet comprehensive overhall of business philosophy does not a vision make.

But read the book anyway, since there's little else out there in this vein (though I recommend When Corporations Rule the World, David Korten). ;-)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Resrorative Economy
The Ecology of Commerce is a fascinating book that changes your view on the way business should be run. Using interesting facts and analogies, he describes the restorative economy, a new way to transform buisness to better suit the environment. Incorporating the ideas of others, he presents a good idea of where we are now and where we have to go, and equally distributes responsabilities to business, politics, and citizens as a whole. The book is well written, although it does tend to ramble and jump around at a few places. Hawkin's propositions are probable, if not extremely possible, and could solve many of the problems we face in the everyday world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, especially the second time around
When I first tried to read this book, I didn't even get past the first chapter. But when I picked it up again almost a year later, I absorbed it like a sponge. Even when I interviewed the president of a sustainable business for my website, SustainableWays.com, I found that the same thing happened to him. The fact of the matter is, this is an excellent book, but it's also somewhat of a pragmatic call to arms. It wasn't till I'd explored and developed my ideas about the environment and resolved to do something about it that I could fully appreciate this book. For someone who's still exploring their position on these issues, Paul Hawken's prescriptions for action will probably seem irrelevant and premature. But if your ideas are ripe and you're ready to put them to work, The Ecology of Commerce is an invaluable resource.

Before I read this book, I used to think that business and the environment were inherently at odds. But then I realized that this doesn't have to be the case. According to Hawken, the problem lies in our economic system's design, and no amount of management or programs is going to change that. In order to make things better, we're going to have to rethink our economic structure, and in that possibility is where Mr. Hawken finds hope. As he so eloquently put it:

"To create an enduring society, we will need a system of commerce and production where each and every act is inherently sustainable and restorative...Just as every action in an industrial society leads to environmental degradation, regardless of intention, we must design a system where the opposite is true, where doing good is like falling off a log, where the natural, everyday acts of work and life accumulate into a better world as a matter of course, not as a matter of conscious altruism." (Hawken, p. xiv)

The Ecology of Commerce is dedicated to envisioning such a system, and discussing how we can get from here to there. The restorative economy contemplated by Hawken may seem like a long shot, but he demonstrates that it IS possible because his approach is to work WITH natural processes, not against them. That not only includes those processes existing in ecosystems, but also the ones present in ourselves, like our unique ability to innovate. You see, what makes these ideas inspiringly hopeful, and what I love most about this book, is the author's willingness not just to acknowledge the way things really are, but also to use them to our advantage. For example, he's smart enough to know that any system, program, or law that asks people to sacrifice happiness, comfort, or convenience ISN'T sustainable because ultimately, it just won't work. "Humans want to flourish and prosper," he explains, "and they will eventually reject any system of conservation that interferes with these desires...[A sustainable society] will only come about through the accumulated effects of daily acts of billions of eager participants" (Hawken, p. xv).

This is the kind of book I'd encourage you to buy if you are even remotely concerned about the state of our environment, which is intimately tangled with our own. On a personal level, it's one of the most motivating books I've ever read--in fact, its concepts form the foundation for my website, SustainableWays.com. My copy is now riddled with highlighter marks, astericks, and dog ears. It's just one of those books you come back to again and again and again, every time learning something new.

5-0 out of 5 stars Line your pockets and your clouds
As a portfolio manager, teacher, and economist I canb whole-heartedly say this is a must read.

The concept is simple. Everyone has a misconception that profits and capitalism come at the price of environmental destruction. This divides the issue into sides. But it's a myth. We can make money and restore the the biosphere fairly easily. It will create jobs, increase quality in the economy, increase market efficiency, and change our end-of-the-pipe focus on pollution.

The criticism that seems to apear on this book most often is that there is a lack of detail on how to execute a cohesive vision. I think this misses the point. The author does suggest a few macro-level actions in adopting Pigovian taxes and rethinking trade agreements. But for the most part, he makes a good case for things we can do as individuals. No one person will change everything overnight... but we can be a part of the solution. ... Read more


18. Confessions of an Advertising Man
by David Ogilvy
list price: $17.00
our price: $11.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1904915019
Catlog: Book (2004-10-30)
Publisher: Southbank Publishing
Sales Rank: 20636
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The long–awaited reissue of the million–copy best–seller that FORBES magazine called “A valuable primer on advertising for any businessman or investor.” With a new Foreword by Sir Alan Parker. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise -- Worth a quick read
Ogilvy's clear concise writing makes it a quick easy read. In fact, parts of the book itself sound like an advertisement for the advertising industry. His bulleted set of mantras are for the most part, intuitive. It is very interesting especially for a person in the 21st century reading the advertising zeitgeist in 1960s.

The last chapter "Should Advertising be Abolished?" is a must-read. The author seems to be feel guilty enough to admit that the industry needs to be "reformed" and stricter controls and regimens need to be adopted.

I wish the book had lot more concrete examples of ads and copies that have run in the papers, so Ogilvy's observations can be more credible. Nevertheless the author's writing is quite compeling.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic from One of the Masters
While not as detailed or colorfully illustrated as his later work "Ogilvy on Advertsing," this is still a classic fillld with great information. The book is clearly a precursor to "Ogilvy on Advertising," as many of the same elements can be found in it.

Ogilvy has a wonderfully casual, yet occassionally pompous, style to his writing, but he clearly knows and understands advertising. He manages that rare combination of managing to teach while entertaining. Sometimes his ego and pride come across too strongly, but given the man's accomplishments, I'll cut him slack. And you may wonder why he starts off discussing his days as a chef in Paris, but he does a great job of analogizing that experience to his experiences with running an ad agency.

Highly recommended for anyone involved in advertising, particularly copywriters. Ogilvy was a copywriter and he clearly has a special admiration for those who write copy for a living. He also has great advice to share for anyone in advertising.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding read!!
I am a freshmen marketing mojor at Johnson & Wales University and let me just say that this book is outstanding. There are concepts in this book that no marketing professor will ever teach you! David Ogilvy is an advertising genius! If your looking for a great book that will give you a tremendous leap forward in the marketing/advertising industry, this is the book to pick up. I checked this book out at the local library, but i loved it so much that i am planning on picking up my own copy of the book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic in Advertising. Easy to read.
This is a great book. It's a must for any one who is going to want to work in advertising agency AND for anyone who is going to run ANY KIND of a business. David Ogilvy, is giving ideas on everything. This book was very easy to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Advertising Classic
I really enjoyed this book and have lent it to several friends. Much to my chagrin, they now regularly spew Ogilvy quotes to me. If you buy the book, don't lend it to anyone you talk to on a regular basis.

Ogilvy is one of my favorite advertising thinkers. This isn't saying much but what of serious importance is there to discuss in advertising anyway. He's a really witty, cocky guy.

He tells a bit about how he got started in advertising and then goes on to detail his philosophies on running and agency, copywriting, etc.

Much of the content and structure of this book is similar to that in "Ogilvy on dvertising."

If you work in advertising or want a better idea of what the advertising biz is all about, read this book.

It's out of print so the only way to get it is to buy it used. ... Read more


19. Jack Welch & The G.E. Way: Management Insights and Leadership Secrets of the Legendary CEO
by Robert Slater
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070581045
Catlog: Book (1998-07-31)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 16165
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A recent Fortune poll cited General Electric Company as America's most admired company. Much of the credit went to Jack Welch, GE's chief executive for the past 17 years. During his tenure, GE's revenues and profits have grown enormously. Its share price has soared, making GE the world's most valuable company. And the key to GE's success, according to Jack Welch and the GE Way, is Welch's fanatical devotion to a personal philosophy of leadership. Author Robert Slater has made a growth industry of his own out of Welch, penning two previous books on him, The New GE in 1992 and Get Better or Get Beaten! two years later. The same territory was plowed in 1993 by Noel M. Tichy and Stratford Sherman in Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will.

In this book, Slater draws extensively on Welch's own words to deliver his now familiar message: keep it simple; face reality; embrace change; fight bureaucracy. Bromides these may be, but Slater's account of Welch's fierce efforts to lead a global, multifarious organization of 270,000 people does inspire admiration, even if it does not enable emulation. The book provides fresh insights into GE's shift toward service businesses, as with its takeover and transformation of NBC. Most timely are Welch's closing thoughts on trends in the global economy. Jack Welch and the GE Way is a must for the legions of "Welch-heads" out there and for anyone else interested in this brilliant leader's perspective on the future of business. --Barry Mitzman ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lessons from a brilliant business icon
Good Job, Jack!!

As a one-time Wall Street professional, I find books about the top minds of business interesting. Truly, this book about the now-retired CEO of General Electric, the world's best run company, is fascinating. It not only gives us insight into Jack Welch the man, but the strategies he used to make GE a darling of Wall Street and Main Street.

What I found most intriguing about this book is its dedication to showing HOW and WHY Mr. Welch employed his fresh attitudes towards his pursuit of excellence. He addresses many salient issues, including

1. Leadership being the key to successful management, not managing; 2. Harnessing the true power of the corporation: its employees; 3. The advantages of large corporations acting like small companies; 4. Growth by globalization; 5. Corporate change is natural and necessary. Jack Welch has proven that he was one of the greatest leaders corporate America has known. The author, Robert Slater, does a superb job of taking us inside GE and Jack Welch's head. This book will stand as a tribute to GE's greatness and Welch's vision, strength, courage and brilliance.

If you are an entrepreneur, corporate manager or business executive, this book is well worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC STORY... INCREDIBLE MAN!
Any corporate executive or manager should read this book to be an effective, top-notch leader. Jack Welch has come through the ranks and has shown us that in the corporate world of business it is not enough to manage, one must lead by example. Welch shows how and why corporate change is both healthy and a necessity. Above all, the book brings out the fundamental aspect of communication and the fact that many of our obstacles, trials and errors in the corporate world could easily be overcome or eliminated with effective communication skills. In the world of business, communication takes up the majority of our time even though many CEO's and managers have, seemingly, not learned this critical fact. If CEO's, managers and employees are lacking exceptional communication skills, corporations, both large and small, will not reap the fruits of their labour and achieve optimum results.

Overall, "Jack Welch and the G.E. Way" is an insightful look inside the mind of brilliant man, and penned by a writer who puts meaning and conviction to the words. The story which unfolds, and Welch himself, are throughly intriguing. The book is highly recommended and certainly deserving of a five-star rating.

2-0 out of 5 stars Author Paid By The Word
Good overview of the Jack Welch way, including a variety of innovative business ideas that brought GE forward.

However, as a book goes, it would appear the author was paid by the word. Each of the "secrets" is presented, reviewed, repeated, and presented again in a 300+ page book that would better be summarized in about 20. I kept reading after the first two chapters thinking I would learn somthing new, but honestly, save your money, read chapter one at the library, and go home with just as much insight.

To the publisher, I'd recommed an "executive summary" version for the next edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Book But I Prefer Jack's Own
I bought this book before reading Jack's "Straight from the Gut". When I read this book I thought it was 5 stars and I re-read this book at least once looking for clues to help my own business. Then I read Jack's book and realized his was better. In any case this covers all the basic aspects of Jack's methods including the educational meetings at the GE "university", cleaning house, picking winning companies, eliminating small market share companies, and promoting top performers and eliminating underperformers. It shows how he is hands on.

Good if you want to read two books on Jack Welch.

Jack in Toronto

1-0 out of 5 stars Absurd
I worked as an engineer for GE under Jack Welch and I have also worked as a (civilian) naval engineer.

GE's bureaucracy makes the government look like a paradigm of efficiency. GE is probably the most politicized, bureaucratic, inefficient and bloated organization on the planet.

Jack Welch is incompetent. Read a comic book instead: You'll find more truth in one. ... Read more


20. The Qualcomm Equation: How a Fledgling Telecom Company Forged a New Path to Big Profits and Market
by Dave Mock
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0814408184
Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
Publisher: American Management Association
Sales Rank: 11714
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Featuring a foreword by George GilderThe Qualcomm Equation provides readers with a fascinating inside look at how a small company stormed the burgeoning wireless industry and grew into a global multibillion-dollar powerhouse in less than a decade. This book examines how Qualcomm became so successful, chronicling the early history of the company, then provides an in-depth analysis of Qualcomm's business model. Through this eye-opening, real-life case study, readers will learn:* how the company pioneered and commercialized a new technology in record time...and made it an industry standard* how Qualcomm's revolutionary business model relied on licensing this technology * key business strategies that enabled Qualcomm to leapfrog the competition* how companies can encourage and use innovation to dominate their marketsIn addition to describing the development of the wireless industry over the last few decades, The Qualcomm Equation is a riveting look at a one-of-a-kind company. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Story of how the Telecom Industry was Revolutionized
Dave Mock did an excellent job of giving a good, accurate telling story of how a small start-up company in San Diego revolutionized the telecom industry.The book does not talk so much about the company, the technology, or the business model that made it successful, but rather describes in more narrative manner of the story behind the scenes, its history dating back from decades ago.The book describes in details the numerous technical and business challenges that Qualcomm encountered during the early stages of the endeavor and how the company managed to overcome these obstacles.

Although Qualcomm's story is about how CDMA came about, the book is suitable for both the technical and non-technical audiences as it circumspect more about the entrepreneurship side and what made it work for a group of renowned academic individuals in becoming businessmen.The book is suitable for readers in the wireless industry as well as entrepreneurs trying to look for key ingredients in starting a successful company.

4-0 out of 5 stars An important work on IS-95
In The Qualcomm Equation Dave Mock does an excellent job of reporting the company's technological and financial history. The first half of the book,"The Radical Technology Solution", interweaves different story lines as well as Brooks did when he presented AT&T's complicated history in Telephone. Mock handles well the difficult job of keeping a cogent narrative flowing while discussing different elements: the founders, their funding, the competition, and the technology itself.

As with Brooks, Mock is not an employee of the company he writes about, nor is this a corporate sponsored biography. Still, having been granted special access to Qualcomm people and papers, he seems at times too favorable to Qualcomm, jeopardizing the validity of conclusions he draws. Never-the-less, the factual reporting he presents is quite strong; there is information here on CDMA development in mobile telephony not found anywhere else.

Part Two: The Intellectual Property Business, explores how IP promotion and control helped Qualcomm become a worldwide company. It's fascinating, to a degree, but I am a technology historian, not a business manager. I feel unable to comment on Part Two's validity but it is obviously well researched.

Gripes? A bizarre Foreword from George Gilder. You'll see :-) And a one-sided approach to covering Qualcomm which is perhaps a structural problem; this book wasn't meant to be a comparative history or to tell the story of another company. Q's decision to withhold payment to Korea's ETRI, later overturned in arbitration to the cost of $80 million, for example, could be viewed as a smart decision by Q to save their stockholders money, or a robber-baron like action intent on defrauding a group that had a legitimate right tobe paid. A reader of this book can't tell because we don't have ETRI's position. Nor Qualcomm's legal department. The success of Qualcomm may indeed be based on all the positive things Mock tells us, but it also could be founded, in part, on aggressive lawyers and a bankroll big enough to buy out or shut down competition when threatened.

Positives? An excellent index. Nice, bright paper. A good bibliography and a detailed time-line. 231 pages of good information. Most important, the arrival of Dave Mock as a first class technology historian.

While the history of TDMA based GSM and IS-54/IS-136 is documented in hardcopy and on the web, CDMA based IS-95 has not been covered well until now. This book should be considered an essential title for anyone working in or investigating cellular radio.

4-0 out of 5 stars If you want to know how Qualcomm became Qualcomm, this is it
Qualcomm is the Microsoft of the telecoms industry, for better and for worse. You either love the company or you hate the company; I'm leaning toward the latter, so please keep this in mind.

First, you have to give the company credit for getting to where it is today. Dave Mock does an excellent and meticulous job of documenting Qualcomm's against-all-odds rise to the top of the telecoms industry. I did not realize the degree to which Qualcomm relied on government business in the early days and also did not realize just how close the company came to missing the cellular boat completely. Back when Europe set in place one standard and many in the US wanted to follow suit, Qualcomm stuck to its guns.

And I think that the US is better off for it.

By and large, the mixed-standards "mess" that we have in the US has turned out to be a pretty good thing. Because of competing standards, we have EV-DO, which is a much-faster technology than single-standard Europe has to offer. Competing technologies keeps everyone on their toes, and Qualcomm has certainly kept the GPRS vendors on their toes. Dave Mock does a great job of documenting this drama and making sense of the very complex technical standards and jargon.

Mock is perhaps too kind to Qualcomm, particularly in the latter years, as the vendor transforms from David to Goliath. For example, the company has been in an all-out war with Wi-Fi and WiMAX over the past three years, and it is only recently that we now see the company starting to co-opt some of the same technology underlying WiMAX. Qualcomm recently ditched its much-hyped EVDV technology when it became brutally apparent that carriers want IP and big pipes, something WiMAX was designed to address from the ground up. I find Qualcomm to be a little lost these days, as if it is searching for another big bully to take on again; the trouble is, Qualcomm is now the big bully and it's taking on the types of innovators that it once was.

That said, anyone in the telecoms industry who wants to know how Qualcomm got to be Qualcomm should read this book. ... Read more


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