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Being Digital
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (03 January, 1996)
list price: $13.00 -- our price: $10.40
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Editorial Review

As the founder of MIT's Media Lab and a popular columnist for Wired, Nicholas Negroponte has amassed a following of dedicated readers. Negroponte's fans will want to get a copy of Being Digital, which is an edited version of the 18 articles he wrote for Wired about "being digital."

Negroponte's text is mostly a history of media technology rather than a set of predictions for future technologies. In the beginning, he describes the evolution of CD-ROMs, multimedia, hypermedia, HDTV (high-definition television), and more. The section on interfaces is informative, offering an up-to-date history on visual interfaces, graphics, virtual reality (VR), holograms, teleconferencing hardware, the mouse and touch-sensitive interfaces, and speech recognition.

In the last chapter and the epilogue, Negroponte offers visionary insight on what "being digital" means for our future. Negroponte praises computers for their educational value but recognizes certain dangers of technological advances, such as increased software and data piracy and huge shifts in our job market that will require workers to transfer their skills to the digital medium. Overall, Being Digital provides an informative history of the rise of technology and some interesting predictions for its future. ... Read more

Reviews (77)

4-0 out of 5 stars Being Byte-able
I read this book in 1996 because I saw it on my manager's desk - we both have EE/MBAs and decades of computing experience - and we discussed some of the issues raised.

This all happened in 1996, of course.

I found it a very good book. I'm sure that it made forecasting errors, but also certain that compared to many of the other books which delved into similar terrtory, it was superior (as a book for the general reader.)

I also must point out that for software developers with decades of experience in 1996 - this includes Bill Gates - the web took most of us by surprise. However, once nrought to my attention by a younger CSer, I could easily realize the power of it.

About a year ago I began reading books on computing and other subjects from an earlier era - the 70s to mid 90s - like "The Soul of a New Machine" and "Future Shock" and "Hackers" among many others. Many of these were excellent books, partly because they got the technology and because they also got the sense of what it was like to be on the cutting edge of technology, however, most are now historical artifacts.

Negroponte got the sense of what was happening in certain subsets of digital technology and essentially sounded the warning to those unaware.

As always, context is critical.

1-0 out of 5 stars diary of an egomaniac
Negroponte is the man who created Wired Magazine and then had them put his face on the cover and give him made-up awards.It is hard to point to any important discovery coming from him or the MIT Media Lab, except perhaps the invention of hype.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and both too optimistic at the same time.
As an Information Science minor this book has been mentioned many times and I finally had a chance to read it. Even though it is noe 8 years old it still is very useful, his theory of the change from atoms to bits is revolutionary and with it he has named what has been going on: the move to a more and more digital world, whether we like it or not. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the new digital world.

There is however one major flaw in this book, although he briefly mentions it in the epilogue. What are the broader societal complications? Nergroponte makes it look like our lives will be perfect and easier. I agree in part, but there are some things to be critical of.

Many people in the media seem to be happy with what I would call customized news; you only get the news you want. But what do we want? Doesn't news we hadn't thought of before increase our knowlegde of the world as well? If we only want to read left or rightwing editorials, will we ever understand what the other side thinks? Won't we be molded into a certain way of thinking?

There is a funny part about the digitial sister in law, a computer that knows what you like and can therefore tell you which movie you should see. What about moods? surprises? Won't digital machines tell us what to like this way?

Read it however, even though you might not like it, it's a classic, if only because of its influence. ... Read more

Isbn: 0679762906
Subjects:  1. Computer networks    2. Digital communications    3. General    4. Information Technology    5. Science/Mathematics    6. Social aspects    7. Sociology    8. Sociology - General    9. Technology and civilization    10. Technology / General   


The Heart Aroused : Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 June, 1996)
list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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Editorial Review

The call for increased creativity in the workplace brings with it a concomitantchallenge: how will the world of cool professionalism stand up to the inevitable heat and volatility that accompanies people's emotional and spiritual lives?Itis problematic to assume, poet David Whyte explains, that you can ask people to createand also to behave. The Heart Aroused explores these and related issues in aninspiring, grounded, thought-provoking way, and is the best nonverse book by a poetsince Robert Bly's IronJohn. Interwoven with carefully selected poems to illustrate Whyte's points,The Heart Aroused is necessary reading for any professional who secretly harborsa poet's soul. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars In My Mind:A Classic
This book is already on the way to becoming a well known classic now but I first encountered it in a very private and personal way at a crucial time in my life when it first appeared a few years ago. I felt very thankful then that someone had been able to speak to the hidden qualities of my work life and set me on more of a courageous path as a result. Having just reread it I realize now why it had such a profound effect on me: The Heart Aroused really does speak to a person whatever threshold of life they might find themselves on. A hearty recommendation then to anyone wondering about the hopes raised by the title, it more than fullfils its promise.

5-0 out of 5 stars "What profit a man...."
Frankly, I found this to be an especially demanding book even when reading it for a second time. Whyte requires of his reader a rigorous as well as truthful self-exploration, and in ways and to an extent few other authors do. As is so often true in other dimensions of human experience, the benefits derived from reading his book are almost wholly dependent upon how much is personally invested in it. As Whyte explains, he wrote this book "hoping it would be read in two ways. First, as a good story about the difficulties and dramas of preserving the soul at work -- in short, a page-turner; second, as a book that could be studied, contemplated, and discussed with others." More than 50 years ago, Mortimer Adler affirmed the value of reading the "great books" because they stimulate and enrich what he called "a conversation across the centuries." I think this is what Whyte has in mind when providing, in the book's final section (a "User's Guide"), a number of thoughts for reflection and discussion as well as for self-questioning. For example: "What is my heart's desire in life? What are some of the particularities of the way I like to live? What are the essential qualities that give me a sense of belonging? How can work be a good servant to my essential nature instead of a taskmaster?" As I now reflect on this book after a second reading, I think its greatest value lies not only in the truth of what Whyte expresses so eloquently but also in what his assertions and questions require his readers to consider as they seek spiritual fulfillment in their own lives. Those who my high regard for this book are urged to read Whyte's other books, especially Crossing the Unknown: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity and Fire in the Earth; also, to check out David Maister's Practice What You Preach and Tim Sanders' Love Is the Killer App as well as Eliyahu M. Goldratt's The Goal, Critical Acclaim, and It's Not Luck.

2-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get through it...just too boring
I tried to hang with this book as long as possible, but finally gave up.The writing is murky, laden with obscure metaphors, and quite a chore to get through.I had high hopes for this book, since I am an English major who is equally interested in corporate life and poetry.But I finally lost patience with the author's pretentious, pointless prose.Two stars. ... Read more

Isbn: 0385484186
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business Life - Inspirational    4. Business/Economics    5. Careers - General    6. General    7. Business & Economics / General   


Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance
by Larry Downes, Chunka Mui
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 May, 1998)
list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.97
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Editorial Review

You don't have to look far to see that technology is driving today's economy. Turn on CNBC, open The Economist, scan the Wall Street Journal--you'll find that technology is the prime force creating growth in almost every industry. In Unleashing the Killer App, authors Larry Downes and Chunka Mui look at the dynamics of technological change and its potential to create "killer apps." The authors describe a killer app as a product or service that "wind up displacing unrelated older offerings, destroying and re-creating industries far from their immediate use, and throwing into disarray the complex relationships between business partners, competitors, customers, and regulators of markets." Examples of killer apps throughout history include the Welsh longbow, the pulley, the compass, moveable type, and the Apple Macintosh. And today, with our increasingly networked economy (for example, the World Wide Web), killer apps are appearing all around us.

Downes and Mui argue that the dominant trend behind the proliferation of killer apps is a combination of Moore's Law, which states that the processing power of the CPU doubles every 18 months, and Metcalfe's Law, which observes that the value of a network increases dramatically with each node that's added to it.These two laws are fundamentally changing how businesses interact with each other and with their customers. To exploit these changes, the authors outline 12 points for designing a digital strategy to help you identify and create killer apps in your own organization. The book includes dozens of examples of how killer apps were discovered and implemented.

Unleashing the Killer App provides an excellent framework for rethinking the nature of business in today's wired economy. No matter the size of your company or what it does--health care, publishing, or fast food--there's probably a killer app lurking somewhere. This book will help you find it. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (153)

5-0 out of 5 stars Are you on the bench or the playing field?
"Are you going to be part of creating the future or are you just going to be a spectator - the choice is yours." -Michael A. Davis

According to Bill Gates "Going digital will put you on the leading edge of a shock wave of change." Maybe you missed the dot-com boom. Are you going to miss the Wireless boom - which will change the world a thousand times over. The time is now to seize opportunity and the "Killer App" will help you do it.

What exactly is a killer app?

"Killer App - a new application so powerful that it transforms industries, redefines markets, and annihilates the competition." Not just a recent digital age phenomenon; inventions like the compass, moveable type, eyeglasses, the steam engine, and lightbulbs have impacted society in a huge way. Downes and Mui did a fantastic job of describing the characteristics of true killer apps and have aptly illustrated the degree of impact they can have on society.

You certainly don't have to look far to see that technology, particularly the Internet, is driving today's economy. Turn on CNBC, read Business Week or browse the Wall Street Journal - you'll find that technology is the prime force creating growth in almost every industry.

Downes and Mui argue that the dominant trend behind the proliferation of killer apps is a combination of Moore's Law (CPU processing power doubles every 18 months) and Metcalfe's Law (network value increases dramatically with each additional user.) These two laws are fundamentally changing how businesses interact with each other and with their customers. Owing to the today's rapidly changing business environment, business owners will inevitably lose out to competition if they're not utilizing the latest technology.

Unleashing the Killer App is divided into three parts:

Digital Strategy
Designing the Killer App
Unleashing the Killer App

In Part I, there is a brief discussion of one "killer app" in the Middle Ages, the stirrup, which added mounted cavalry to the battle equation. The "lowly stirrup" played a singular role in rearranging the political, social, and economic structure of medieval Europe.

In Part II, what they refer to as "a few rules of thumb." They suggest three stages of "killer app" design and carefully explain each. They identify 12 specific principles on which to base the design process.

In Part III, they shift their attention to "Unleashing the Killer App" and correctly stress the importance of communication, one which "speaks with the language of ideas, scenarios, options, and what-ifs."

Think of and measure your daily operations as a series of unique transactions. Then focus on how these transaction costs can approach zero. With technology allowing for greater interactivity, the ability exists to create online communities where people can share in ways never imagined.

Unleashing the Killer App is an awesome book that will certainly make you think about ways to ride the waves of technological change surrounding us. With that said, it is prudent to consider both traditional and digital strategy, particularly in light of the Dot Com Bust, when developing strategic plans. Two interesting concepts are illustrated in Table 3.1 "Strategic Planning vs Digital Strategy," p. 59 and Figure 3.1 "The New Forces," p. 65.

Michael Davis, President - Brencom Strategic Business Consulting

5-0 out of 5 stars This I/T technologist now thinks digital
For technologists that have worked in the I/T field for twenty years or more, it is easy to find ourselves reacting poorly to technology changes and business opportunities due to a lack of clear understanding of how digital strategies are affecting business economics, lifestyles, and our jobs."Unleasing the Killer App" is applicable to technologists, managers and business analysts alike; but reading it from the viewpoint of a technologist, it forced me to take an introspective look at how I provide service to my clients using the paradigm of "digital strategies for market dominance" as presented by the authors.

Part one introduces generation defining technologies, i.e. "Killer Apps", the new economics, and the "digital strategy".The theories of Gordon Moore (Moore's Law), Robert Metcalfe (Metcalfe's Law) and Ronald Coase (economist) are used by the authors to describe the "Law of Diminishing Firms".In short, my take on the matter is that businesses must create "flat" decentralized management support organizations to reduce transaction costs or risk being diminished; this includes I/T service organizations.

Part two presents twelve principles of "Killer App Design".Of major significance to technologists is the idea to "outsource to the customer".What better way to drive down the cost of transactions than to design systems that allow the customer to bypass customer representatives entirely.Another significant principle is to "give away as much information as you can" to open up interfaces that will create new markets and opportunities for integration.I believe one of the failures of I/T service organizations has been the propensity to create internal (closed system) applications, fostering proliferations of organizational silos.

Part three deals with implementing the "Killer App-digital strategy". I/T organizations are struggling to balance investments between new technology projects and growing operating costs.In almost all companies, those responsible for operations and maintenance are also responsible for strategizing new technology directions.As discussed in chapter 8, managing innovation requires observing technology trends and implementing practices that drive change based on the new technology.The author states, "Succeeding at these early stages of digital strategy development requires substantial changes to the organization" (p. 182).My perception is that I/T organizations should consider shifting experienced technology specialists from the operations areas into the strategic technology areas to stay ahead of the technology wave or risk being swept away by it.

Although "Unleashing the Killer App" was written in 1998, the principles are still applicable today.It is a must read for any technologist that cannot determine whether his I/T service organization is simply a provider of technology solutions designed to meet business requirements or an I/T organization that provides technology solutions that drive the business.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unleashing Technologies
(c)Lyle K'ang, 2003

The major principles of this module deal with ideas and methods to increase one's ability to focus on higher levels of information that began as low level mechanization concerned with bits and bytes and how they transform applications into working models. The whole scope of what and how these electronic machinated applications interface with a larger picture is understood as a disruption at best to harmonious interactions within the whole IT and corporate application structure. (I reference: Downes, Mui, 2003 here).

Between the middleware applications and the physical interfaces that bring us computing connectivity, there are numerous processing's, intermingled and costly, which brings us to today's computing networking.

It is the affordability equation, enhanced through Moore's implications and understanding of outcomes such as higher quality, less costly interfaces, and devices that help design interfaces, simply. The ease to operate, at blazing speeds, brought about by higher computing power, and its ideas of mass proliferation have its beginnings with Metcalfe's Law. The economics of sheer computing power, its application infrastructure, is in fact, a Coasean theory of that economics.

Because of the profundity of Moore's Law, and its ability to affect not only the realm of computing, but also industrial, automotive, and aerospace as well, that law, is the `killer app'.

Killer apps are not just related to new application coded language transformed into cyberware, but ideas, equations, formulas, and entirely new directional thought patterns that lead to unfilled frontier process exploration. The round wheel opened the imagination and innovation of a pre-industrialized world. Watches, clocks, automobiles, gears, rollers, and most things round come from nature, our first architect, but the formula and prescience of the `wheel', became the `killer app' within the science of generations to come.

The `wheels' ability to survive as an innovation proves the point, that `killer apps' must have profound and lasting disruptive affects of visionary quality to an industry or industries.

Lyle K'ang, 2003 web site: http://www.SiloManagement.com ... Read more

Isbn: 087584801X
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business/Economics    4. Digital communications    5. Electronic Commerce    6. Information Management    7. Information Technology    8. Management    9. Management - General    10. Management Information Systems    11. Marketing - General    12. Marketing Management    13. Organizational change    14. United States    15. Technology    16. Strategy/Electronic Future   


Big Blues : The Unmaking of IBM
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (24 August, 1993)
list price: $24.00
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Minuet of the Dinosaurs
This very readable book is the model that Gerstner should have followed. Elephants can do heavy towing, or push aside obstacles; they can't pirouette en pointe. This book is the viewpoint of IBM by an outside journalist. It lacks a table of contents. The book describes the problems, it does not tell when or why it originated.

Page 20 says IBM developed "a lush bureaucracy that prided itself on having a higher ratio of managers per employee than any other business around." Is this what they teach in business school? IBM's chairmen came from the sales force; if you can't sell it, there's no point in making it. The IBM PC was created from off-the-shelf parts so it could be quickly marketed; pre-defined interfaces too! Page 24 tells how Microsoft did an operating system: they licensed QDOS (a replica of CP/M), then bought it. It eventually made Gates the richest man in America.

Page 27 tells of the management problem in creating software. Architects spent months producing detailed designs for software. Then masses of programmers had a hard time deciphering the hundreds of pages of specifications. More time was spent in communicating than actually writing code! Isn't this a recipe for a project to be over budget and behind schedule? Estridge's habit of shunning meetings, not returning phone call, and ignoring unwanted advice could set an example of a well-ordered project manager who concentrates on the mission, not the housekeeping. Page 37 explains why standards for PCs began at birth.

Page 53 mentions the "fear of nuclear attack" as the reason for moving out of New York city. But other companies also moved out in the 1970s; the fear of a nuclear attack drained away after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Didn't IBM build a skyscraper in the 1980s only to sell it in the 1990s? Didn't AT&T do the same?

Page 87 tells how Gates got lucky when VisiCorp began to self-destruct. Those familiar with counter-intelligence operations may think of another reason (p.192). Page 97 says IBM never wanted to have too many people in one spot. Unstated here is the fear that nearly all could walk out to a new company (p.186). Page 101 tells that IBM used lines of code as a measure of programming; what did IBM use to measure its management? Microsoft rewrote IBM code to make it faster and smaller, then; how are they doing now? The last pages of Chapter 8 deal with the OS/2-Windows politics. There is no explanation as to why they didn't share the same application interface. Page 201 tells of developing a RISC chip; didn't CDC do this in the early 1960s? Page 208 describes the chip development problem in Burlington VT. Page 217 mentions the "golden screwdriver" and how quickly some machines were upgraded. Think ahead!

Pages 245-7 tell of the PS/1 project: crippled so it would not compete with PS/2. Would General Motors restrict the sale of Chevrolets to sell more Cadillacs? Page 281 suggests Microsoft moles reported on IBM's strategies. Pages 301-9 tell of the changes in Lexington under new owners. In political history, this is like a revolution that sweeps away the aristocracy and lets the farmers and merchants rise to power. Does the description of the IBM bureaucracy remind you of France before the Revolution? Will anyone write a book to cover the last ten years as well as this one does?

5-0 out of 5 stars With IBM's bungling, how could Microsoft fail?
People who complain that this book is unfounded because IBM is growing and profitable forgets that over a decade ago, IBM was a stinker:the bottom had fallen out of the lucrative mainframe market, and IBM could not compete long-term in the rapidly growing PC/Workstation market.This book is a great lesson in how not to adapt to change.

Luckily, IBM has pulled itself out, but at what cost? Imagine if IBM had got the PC revolution right? There might not even be a Microsoft today and IBM could have retaken its position as THE corporate super-power.

Besides discussing poor management, I enjoyed the information andgreat anecdotes about IBM's relationship with Bill Gates and Microsoft.I cannot believe the number of opportunities IBM squandered to acquire, invest or eliminate Microsoft.It seems that IBM pratically pushed Gates to build Microsoft into the power it is today.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read!
I have now read this book twice.Not only have I read the book, I remember this time period as my company worked closely with IBM.One of the other reviewers said, "An amusing book that attributes IBM's success to a couple of lucky business decisions followed by endless blunders. Carroll makes alot of assertions about IBM but provides few facts to back them up..."Obviously, this person either works for IBM or did not know what was going on at that time.What Carroll says is true.Especially if you had ANY ties with IBM during these years, you will find this book fascinating.I have referred back to it many times. ... Read more

Isbn: 0517591979
Sales Rank: 458435
Subjects:  1. Business / Economics / Finance    2. Business/Economics    3. Computer Industry (Economic Aspects)    4. Computer industry    5. History    6. History Of Specific Companies    7. Infrastructure    8. International Business Machine    9. International Business Machines Corporation    10. United States   

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, 20thAnniversary Edition
by Frederick P. Brooks
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (02 August, 1995)
list price: $34.99 -- our price: $23.09
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Editorial Review

The classic book on the human elements of software engineering. Software tools and development environments may have changed in the 21 years since the first edition of this book, but the peculiarly nonlinear economies of scale in collaborative work and the nature of individuals and groups has not changed an epsilon.If you write code or depend upon those who do, get this book as soon as possible -- from Amazon.com Books, your library, or anyone else. You (and/or your colleagues) will be forever grateful. Very Highest Recommendation. ... Read more

Reviews (82)

5-0 out of 5 stars Key concepts for project managers
This is an old book full of good concepts. Its value is not in the examples but on the concepts presented. The reader should focus on the concepts.

Some of the great qualities I found in this book:

- It is compact. Each chapter develops a major idea or concept in full.

- It is inspirational ( I think as you read it, your brain is activated in such a way that you will have ideas about your projects)

- It introduces a solid perspective on the value and impact of intelligence and skill in building or designing a product/system.

- It is applicable to many situations and not only to software projects. (if we could get the internal story of projects done by companies like GM, Ford, Toyota, Daimler Chrysler, Accenture, IBM we probably would find several examples for many of the ideas and concepts presented in the book)

The examples are old, but if you cannot deal with this, it is better to look for another book. One day you may come back and enjoy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it every 5 years...
I read this book about 1992, when I was just starting my career in software engineering.At the time, I didn't appreciate the book.I struggled through it, but frankly, didn't get much out of it because I was constantly saying to myself, "This book is ancient... what does IBM's OS/360 have to do with the world today?"

Fast forward to 2 years ago...I now had a lot more experience under my belt, and came across this book looking for material on the concept of "Conceptual Integrity" in architectural design.Now that I had the experience to 'relate' to this book, I got so much more out of it!This book isn't so much about the software part of software engineering as it is about the human element.If you are a programmer with several years of experience, or if you are a manager on a growing software project, you will get a lot out of this book.

I made a resolution to myself at that time to read this book once every 5 years...both to get new material out of it, and to provide some kind of 'reflection' on what I have seen in my career in those past 5 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars So much better than "Code Complete" I can't believe it.
First if you are comparing "Code Complete" a book from MS which has yet to release a product that was complete, it is difficult to stop laughing.

Every new middle manager should read this book, and stop trying to ignore 50 years of experience. Oh yeah, we live in internet time, but we still can't make a project deadline, because human's haven't evolved much in the last 100 years. Yes extreme programming has its place. It's the mini team within the 7 person teams that Brooks outlines.

But its the communication issues within a project that kill bigger teams. Yes some programs and projects don't need this full scale project team. But try to write the flight control software for a modern jet, and you'd better be paying attention to the lessons in this book.

Yet managers still don't learn, go find "Programming Disasters" and see some examples of millions of dollars spent and no working project. People believe that there is some silver bullet instead of trying to work within the framework that they have. No one thinks that gravity doesn't apply to them for very long and neither will they think that communication issues don't apply once they see the disaster that unfolds. Usually though the money has been spent and the company folds/the project dies.

So pay attention! If you want "chief programmers" train them! It's not rocket science. The military trains generals and sargents with regularity, we can train our leaders if we care. To do it on the cheap well, we can see what happens when we try it. ... Read more

Isbn: 0201835959
Subjects:  1. Computer Bks - Languages / Programming    2. Computer Books: General    3. Computer Engineering    4. Computers    5. Microprocessors    6. Programming - Software Development    7. Software Engineering    8. Computers / Programming / Software Development   


The Inner Game of Tennis
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (27 May, 1997)
list price: $15.95 -- our price: $10.85
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Editorial Review

A phenomenon when first published in 1972, the Inner Game was a real revelation. Instead of serving up technique, it concentrated on the fact that, as Gallwey wrote, "Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game." The former is played against opponents, and is filled with lots of contradictory advice; the latter is played not against, but within the mind of the player, and its principal obstacles are self-doubt and anxiety. Gallwey's revolutionary thinking, built on a foundation of Zen thinking and humanistic psychology, was really a primer on how to get out of your own way to let your best game emerge. It was sports psychology before the two words were pressed against each other and codified into an accepted discipline.

The new edition of this remarkable work--Billie Jean King called the original her tennis bible--refines Gallwey's theories on concentration, gamesmanship, breaking bad habits, learning to trust yourself on the court, and awareness. "No matter what a person's complaint when he has a lesson with me, I have found the most beneficial first step," he stressed, "is to encourage him to see and feel what he is doing--that is, to increase his awareness of what actually is."

There are aspects of psychobabble and mysticism to be found here, sure, but Gallwey instructs as much by anecdote as anything else, and time has ultimately proved him a guru. What seemed radical in the early '70s is now accepted ammunition for the canon; the right mental approach is every bit as important as a good backhand. The Inner Game of Tennis still does much to keep that idea in play. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars How to Stop the Inner War
I am the person for which this book is written.I started tennis late but being athletic quickly could play above my experience.Eventually I hit the wall, getting beat repeatedly and having the complete inability to be a human on the court.This book simply showed me what was really going on in my mind.And, more importantly, that it goes on in everyone's mind to some extent.Not being a philosophical person nor a follower of Eastern Spirituality, these very basic concepts were Greek to me.But they make certain logical sense.

Having said all that, I'm still not sure exactly what I need to do for a complete change.I know I need to stop the Self 1 and 2 conflicts occurring in my mind and I need to concentrate on minor things like breathing rather than let my mind wander to failure.But how I will be able to apply this is still somewhat of a quandary as I am so regimented in my approach.One thing is for sure, I need to make the attempt.

Overall, I recommend this book highly whether a tennis player or not to look at your activity from a totally different light.To me the most compelling statement is that this book was written due to a "dumped" volley on match point to win the Boys National Championship.Having "dumped" and choked many points on a much lower level, I can understand the inspiration for the book.Read this book for a different perspective.

5-0 out of 5 stars Being the Ball
The Inner Game of Tennis, by Tim Gallwey, reflected early-70's Americans' growing interest in two things: tennis, and anything even vaguely associated with Eastern spirituality. This was the era when Transcendental Meditation hit big and yoga and tai chi booklets were available in grocery-store checkout lines. The Inner Game bolstered the appeal of the sport among hipsters by framing tennis as a path toward enlightenment. But the book was better than that: Gallwey's analysis of the struggle we face when we take to the court dealt with questions that anyone could identify with, and by aiming the spotlight on the mental game he helped fuel the field of existential psychology.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's a must have tennis book.
I bought this book to strenghten my mental game, but it also opened up a new world for me.It showed the path to enlightment by using the concept of self1 and self2. The author has been doing a very good job in explaining the relation of self1 and self2. I have read books written by Krisnamurti and Zen gurus but I never quite grasped the ideas.I wished those gurus using the concept of self1 and self2 as a key to depict their ideas. Now I know if I let self1 control self2 my life will be miserable, but if I use self2 to control self1 I will be in harmony with people and the world I am living in. ... Read more

Isbn: 0679778314
Subjects:  1. Psychological aspects    2. Psychology Of Sports    3. Sports    4. Sports & Recreation    5. Tennis    6. Sports & Recreation / Tennis   


Serious Creativity: Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas
by Edward De Bono
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 May, 1993)
list price: $14.00
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars I am impressed!
I recently attended an Optimal Thinking for Leaders seminar by Dr. Rosalene Glickman who referred to Dr. De Bono as the world authority on creativity. She recommended to the audience of 500to read this book and especially to take note of the "Small Map" and the "Big Map".Well, I have to say De Bono is a brilliant author, and I finally understand what creativity means and how to apply it most effectively during conflicts and other situations.I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterful explanation of creativity.
In my estimation, Edward de Bono is the world authority on creativity.I have read most of his books, and seen him speak at the International Conferences on Thinking. This book will not disappoint you.I was especialy impressed with his explanations of the creative pause, focus, and how to come up with alternatives.His sensitizing techniques are unique and a must read for anyone who wants to optimize their creativity.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterful explanation of creativity.
In my estimation, Edward de Bono is the world authority on creativity.I have read most of his books, and seen him speak at the International Conferences on Thinking. This book will not disappoint you.I was especialy impressed with his explanations of the creative pause, focus, and how to come up with alternatives.His sensitizing techniques are unique and a must read for anyone who wants to optimize their creativity. ... Read more

Isbn: 0887306357
Sales Rank: 349723
Subjects:  1. Business / Economics / Finance    2. Business Life    3. Business Life - General    4. Business/Economics    5. Creative Ability    6. Creative thinking    7. Entrepreneurship    8. Lateral thinking   

The Innovator's Dilemma
by Clayton M. Christensen
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (07 January, 2003)
list price: $17.95 -- our price: $12.21
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Editorial Review

What do the Honda Supercub, Intel's 8088 processor, and hydraulic excavators have in common? They are all examples of disruptive technologies that helped to redefine the competitive landscape of their respective markets. These products did not come about as the result of successful companies carrying out sound business practices in established markets. In The Innovator's Dilemma, author Clayton M. Christensen shows how these and other products cut into the low end of the marketplace and eventually evolved to displace high-end competitors and their reigning technologies.

At the heart of The Innovator's Dilemma is how a successful company with established products keeps from being pushed aside by newer, cheaper products that will, over time, get better and become a serious threat. Christensen writes that even the best-managed companies, in spite of their attention to customers and continual investment in new technology, are susceptible to failure no matter what the industry, be it hard drives or consumer retailing. Succinct and clearly written, The Innovator's Dilemma is an important book that belongs on every manager's bookshelf. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (130)

5-0 out of 5 stars Entrepreneurs - read this & gain the upper hand
In this revolutionary bestseller, Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen says outstanding companies can do everything right and still lose their market leadership, or worse, disappear completely. And he not only proves what he says; he tells others how to avoid a similar fate.

To be a successful entrepreneur you must be able to capitalize on change. "The Innovator's Dilemma" is all about dealing with change, from the incumbent's point of view. How valuable do you think it would be to understand how your larger competitors think? That's exactly what this book talks about.

Most large, established firms are inherently weak in one area - they cling to the status quo with a vengeance. While talk of innovation is commonplace, it is the attacker (entrepreneurs) who holds a definitive advantage. Without legacy systems and overbearing bureaucracy it is the entrepreneur who has the upper hand.

"The Innovator's Dilemma" consists of two major parts:

Part One: Why Great Companies Fail
Part Two: Managing Disruptive Change

This is one of the most insightful books on business that I have ever read. It explains a very important concept - how radically new (disruptive) technologies can overtake existing well-established (sustaining) technologies and in the process beat market leaders at their own game.

Large companies typically ignore small markets and instead look for growth in established markets. All too often executives of large companies are reluctant to take on challenges in small and unknown terrain since they are always trained to "think big" - which is good news for Aspiring Entrepreneurs.

Take heed, read this book and learn how to fully exploit disruptive technologies and become the next "great company."

Michael Davis - Editor, Byvation

5-0 out of 5 stars Fresh and insightful analysis
A great book with some very insightful ideas. Prior to reading this book, the term "disruptive technology" was foreign to me. I always thought that the large company's misfortunes were largely an indication of how short-sided or greedy their management have become. The more I read, the faster my previous assumptions disappear. We have had many companies come out of no-where and become a technological sensation over night, with products that are destined to become main stream. I never viewed those innovations as disruptive technologies but rather as fresh approaches to the same problems that have existed for sometime, which may seem sound to some, but to others who were focused on that core of business, they will see how some new innovations may spell the death-sentence for some companies as well as retire the current de facto products that are in that void. Christensen also discusses how companies can survive disruptive technology attacks and benefit from them to maintain their active participation as well as leadership in their respective industry. Foresight and the courage to invest in those disruptive technologies is key to keep the core business balanced as well as staying in touch with the new competitors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only the Paranoid Survive
In a landmark study, the author argues that the basis of competition among businesses undergoes a paradigm shift everytime a disruptive technology is born. So what is a disruptive technology? Remember what Walmart did to Sears? Of course you do, because disruptive technologies are usually products or services that are faster, cheaper, smaller, and more convinient. Ultimately, good companies must refrain from doing what got them to the top in the first place--listening to their customers and believing everything comes down to superior technology--in order to successfully compete with the onslaught of start-ups redefining both the buying hierarchies and value networks in which they are implicated.

This is without a doubt one of the best business books I have ever read. ... Read more

Isbn: 0060521996
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business/Economics    4. Creative ability in business    5. Customer services    6. Development - Economic Development    7. Economics - General    8. Economics - Theory    9. Entrepreneurship    10. Industrial management    11. Management - General    12. Success in business    13. Business & Economics / Economics / General    14. Reading Group Guide   


Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy
by Carl Shapiro, Hal R. Varian
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 November, 1998)
list price: $35.00 -- our price: $23.10
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Editorial Review

Chapter 1 of Information Rules begins with a description of the change brought on by technology at the close of the century--but the century described is not this one, it's the late 1800s. One hundred years ago, it was an emerging telephone and electrical network that was transforming business. Today it's the Internet. The point? While the circumstances of a particular era may be unique, the underlying principles that describe the exchange of goods in a free-market economy are the same. And the authors, Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, should know. Shapiro is Professor of Business Strategy at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and has also served as chief economist at the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. Varian is the Dean of the School of Information Management and Systems at UC Berkeley. Together they offer a deep knowledge of how economic systems work coupled with first-hand experience of today's network economy. They write:

Sure, today's business world is different in a myriad of ways from that of a century ago. But many of today's managers are so focused on the trees of technological change that they fail to see the forest: the underlying economic forces that determine success and failure.
Shapiro and Varian go to great lengths to purge this book of the technobabble and forecasting of an electronic woo-woo land that's typical in books of this genre. Instead, with their feet on the ground, they consider how to market and distribute goods in the network economy, citing examples from industries as diverse as airlines, software, entertainment, and communications. The authors cover issues such as pricing, intellectual property, versioning, lock-in, compatibility, and standards. Clearly written and presented, Information Rules belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who has an interest in today's network economy--entrepreneurs, managers, investors, students. If there was ever a textbook written on how to do business in the information age, this book is it. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more
Reviews (63)

3-0 out of 5 stars Approaches management problems from an economic standpoint.
The authors say that the circumstances of one era may be unique, but the underlying principles that govern the exchange of goods in a free-market economy are the same.The book is about the economy rather than managing information itself.

2-0 out of 5 stars Really?
The book starts by proclaiming that neo-classical economics is adequate for explaining the information economy. This claim is not backed up in the book. First, textbook neo-clasical equilibrium theory contains neither money nor 'information'. Second, the book merely discusses qualitatively and nonsystematically ideas like positive feedback and increasing returns that were better presented by Brian Arthur. Third, even asymmetric information is not discussed (Ackerlof and Stiglitz are not even mentioned). Fourth (or zeroth), there is not a single empirical graph in the entire book, and nothing of modern ideas of network theory. So I would say that the book is more or less on the same level as Kelly's (pre-bubble-bust) "New Rules for the New Economy". All of these books implicitly hype the unregulated free market, in the face of both qualitative and empirical evidence that unregulated markets are not only unstable but are detrimental to human health and well-being.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Among Analysis of Network Economy
It was astounded by what descriped in the opening of the book: at first, the events seem to be at the current, but then they were happened at the last turn of century!

It is still the best anlaysis of network economy among 5 books that I read about, though 2 of which are also from Harvard.This book just touches the heart of network economy, and it gives me a lot to further analyze the continuous economics events happening in the globe. ... Read more

Isbn: 087584863X
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business/Economics    4. Economic aspects    5. Economics - General    6. Information Management    7. Information society    8. Information technology    9. Management Information Systems   


High-Tech Ventures: The Guide for Entrepreneurial Success
by C. Gordon Bell, John E. McNamara
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 April, 1991)
list price: $35.00 -- our price: $35.00
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Advice - Highly Recommended
I read this book years ago shortly after it was first published.I had just worked for a startup which exhibited many of the issues, good and bad, addressed in the book.Gordon Bell was VP of engineering at DEC when they developed the VAX, and his insights into the technical development mind-set are good, even if they are not as poetic as those in "The Soul Of A New Machine" by Tracy Kidder.The Bell-Mason diagnostic is worth the time spent reading the book by itself.The discussion of where a high-tech venture should be at various stages in its development is highly insightful.

I think that "pedantic", as used in another review, is not entirely off the mark - but the insight I gained from this book was well worth it.We have experienced a ludicruous period in high-tech development in the late 1990s - as things return to a more businesslike basis, the approach in this book becomes more appropriate and even vital to survival.If you are considering starting, working at, or investing in a high-tech venture, this book will repay the cost and time spent reading it very, very well.

And I think this will be a timeless classic, much like Graham and Dodd did for value investing.The cases here are certainly dated - the mistakes and things to avoid are timeless.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pedantic, Self-Absorbed and a Waste of Money.
This book wasn't very good when it was written a decade ago and age hasn't helped it.The authors attempt to apply a scientific method to their analysis of start-ups and potentially succesfull ventures but lack the substance of true quality research.In the end it turns out to be a heuristic that could be summed up in less than a hundred pages if not for the authors' attempting to display their erudition.The book heads downhill when the authors put their "Program" for starting a high tech company in a pseudo-programming format and the book just continues to slide further into triteness.

There are much better books on entrepenuership.Do yourself a favor and get a business book written by businessmen not by engineers who aspire to be philosphers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Must-have reference guide for every high-tech enterpreneur
After 11 years this book remains a great resource for everyone who evaluates a starup's health or is thinking about starting a business. The book contains a very comprehensive set of really good questions that evaluate the business in every dimention critical to its success. The success is virtually assured if you have the right answers to all of the test questions presented in the book. Great resource for high-tech enterpreneurs, VCs, hires.

Word of caution though. This book isn't really about how to build a successfull business. It's more about how to tell if a given business (or a business decision) is to be successful. Most of the case studies in the book are really annotated examples of falures, as oppose to examples to follow.

Highly recommended.
-- ... Read more

Isbn: 0201563215
Sales Rank: 378145
Subjects:  1. Business / Economics / Finance    2. Business/Economics    3. Computer Industry (Economic Aspects)    4. Computer industry    5. Engineering - General    6. Entrepreneurship    7. Entrepreneurship Of Specific Groups    8. General    9. High technology industries    10. Management    11. New business enterprises    12. Small Business - General   


The Inner Game of Work : Focus, Learning, Pleasure, and Mobility in the Workplace
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (11 September, 2001)
list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars The "Inner Game" applied to the workplace
This is a descent book including a lot of good advice on how to improve your performance and success within a business and corporate environment.The advice flows naturally from the author's foundation established with his first book `The Inner Game of Tennis.'However, the themes and methods are not too repetitive.The book reads very well and easily.

5-0 out of 5 stars Observe your job and you will benefit!
Is your job boring or stressful? The author shows you how to overcome the obstacles and make it challenging and managable. By making your job into a game, you can let yourself enjoy your job more. Does that sound refreshing or what?

If you have had a bad manager... or if you want to be a good one... this book will encouage you toward motivating yourself and others in a way that will actually work.

The book's genius is in its observation about human beings, their work, and their motivational patterns. Through paying closer attention to the internal state of the worker and to the details of the job, the author brings the work into sharper focus. He advocates that workers also choose to notice details about their jobs; in this greater level of awareness, they can make better choices about the work... and can get past layers of defensiveness or fear in order to do better (more enjoyable!) work.

Not every chapter will speak to you, and not every concept will be just what you need. But I would bet money that somewhere in this book you will find a gem of insight into yourself or others you work with... and if you follow that insight, it will be worth the price of the book.

This book helped me sort out the logic behind my "good days" and "bad days" so I could make more of my days good. I sometimes struggle with being content with my job, and this book is giving me tools to use to enjoy my job more!

PS - I'm not the only one who thought this book was worthwhile. Go to the other edition of the book for more reviews. ... Read more

Isbn: 0375758178
Sales Rank: 13841
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business/Economics    4. General    5. Industrial & Organizational Psychology    6. Psychological aspects    7. Work    8. Business & Economics / General   


The Experience Economy
by B. Joseph Pine, B. J., II Pine, James H. Gilmore
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 April, 1999)
list price: $29.95 -- our price: $19.77
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Editorial Review

Sometime during the last 30 years, the service economy emerged as the dominant engine of economic activity. At first, critics who were uncomfortable with the intangible nature of services bemoaned the decline of the goods-based economy, which, thanks to many factors, had increasingly become commoditized. Successful companies, such as Nordstrom, Starbucks, Saturn, and IBM, discovered that the best way to differentiate one product from another--clothes, food, cars, computers--was to add service.

But, according to Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, the bar of economic offerings is being raised again. In The Experience Economy, the authors argue that the service economy is about to be superseded with something that critics will find even more ephemeral (and controversial) than services ever were: experiences. In part because of technology and the increasing expectations of consumers, services today are starting to look like commodities. The authors write that "Those businesses that relegate themselves to the diminishing world of goods and services will be rendered irrelevant. To avoid this fate, you must learn to stage a rich, compelling experience."

Many will find the idea of staging experiences as a requirement for business survival far-fetched. However, the authors make a compelling case, and consider successful companies that are already packaging their offerings as experiences, from Disney to AOL. Far-reaching and thought-provoking, The Experience Economy is for marketing professionals and anyone looking to gain a fresh perspective on what business landscape might look like in the years to come. Recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (29)

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful Look at Business Today
This book definitely makes you stop and think about what today's consumer wants and expects. (In fact, it's easy, just ask yourself what you would want - what you're offering or what Walt Disney is offering). Businesses that don't make a lasting impression, offer an experience for the consumer will eventually go the way of the dinosaur.

5-0 out of 5 stars a fresh and novel view of the current business trends
this book is definitely out of the ordinary: it proposes a novel (to me at least) view of the current economy trends and well illustrate an equivalence between the work environment and the stage of a theatrical play.
Worth reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nardelli-led bounce gives book its just due
As I write this review on July 29, 2003, I see 'The Experience Economy' is ranked at #624 in amazon.com's constantly updated sales rankings.Pretty heady for a fairly esoteric business book published in April 1999.

The reason has to do with the latest (August 2003) edition of 'Fast Company' magazine.The editors asked a series of business leaders to pick one "book that matters," noting that "one book can change the direction of a company -- or a career."Bob Nardelli, ex-of GE and now CEO of the Home Depot, chose 'The Experience Economy.'

That's a great thing, because this excellent piece of work really got the short shrift - with its April 1999 publication date, its message of capturing the full potential of face-to-face retail got buried in the tsunami of e-commerce hysteria.

Now that we all recognize the Internet as just another viable sales channel, this fine effort by Pine and Gilmore has a second life.The fact that Nardelli picked it as his one book that matters tells you all you need to know about his vision for the future of Home Depot. ... Read more

Isbn: 0875848192
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business/Economics    4. Customer services    5. Development - Business Development    6. Diversification in industry    7. Entrepreneurship    8. Marketing - Product Management    9. Product Management   


Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (13 March, 1991)
list price: $14.00 -- our price: $11.20
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Editorial Review

You have heard about how a musician loses herself in her music, how a painter becomes one with the process of painting. In work, sport, conversation or hobby, you have experienced, yourself, the suspension of time, the freedom of complete absorption in activity. This is "flow," an experience that is at once demanding and rewarding--an experience that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates is one of the most enjoyable and valuable experiences a person can have. The exhaustive case studies, controlled experiments and innumerable references to historical figures, philosophers and scientists through the ages prove Csikszentmihalyi's point that flow is a singularly productive and desirable state. But the implications for its application to society are what make the book revolutionary. ... Read more

Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars Allez à la source
Tant qu'à lire sur ce sujet, autant lire le livre du "père" du concept de Flow. J'ai eu la chance d'entendre une conférence de Mihaly et j'ai été soufflé.

Si vous trouvez que votre vie pourrait être plus satisfaisante, lisez Flow (ou Vivre en français)et prenez conscience de l'importance de choisir vos activités quotidiennes en fonction de ce que vous êtes vraiment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read
Both in terms of structure and content, this book scores very high. It is very well organized, lucid & full of interesting anecdotes. It does not get into unnecessary academic details about psychology, though it explains every aspect of each experience in thorough detail.

The topic itself is quite complex & inherently interesting & the skilful handling of the subject means that at no point the reader is bogged down by details she does not understand. The author gives a detailed breakdown of the characteristics of the optimal experience going on to elaborate on how such an experience can be lived in our relationships, work, leisure & the like.

The author does point out that this is not meant to be a self help book; however, my feeling is that it could, most definitely, be used as one because given the detailed explanations of each aspect of the optimal experience & various anecdotal examples, there remains only a matter of personalization in terms of which actions or activities for each one of us individually would lead to this optimal experience. There are odd flashes of humour; though, I feel, these could have been more frequent.

All in all, to borrow from sensationalist terminology, this one is unputdownable.


5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This book easily made the list of top 10 books of my life time. He simply explains "what is happiness in work and how do you achieve it". Don't miss this book. ... Read more

Isbn: 0060920432
Subjects:  1. Attention    2. General    3. Happiness    4. Personal Growth - Happiness    5. Psychology    6. Psychology & Psychiatry / General   


The Market Driven Organization : Understanding, Attracting, and Keeping Valuable Customers
by George S Day
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (10 November, 1999)
list price: $28.00 -- our price: $18.48
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
Expanding on the groundbreaking concepts first presented in Market Driven Strategy, George S. Day presents a detailed illustration of what a market-driven organization looks like and how it operates. This practical book provides many specific suggestions that executives can implement to get their companies in tune with their customers and their markets. Day also presents contrasting examples that show blunders, setbacks and outright failures among companies that stubbornly retain inward-looking cultures. This book joins Day's earlier work as a classic in the management field and we [...] recommend both books to business people at all levels.

5-0 out of 5 stars An easy-to-read book on the value of being market-driven
Too often, executives think that "being market-driven" is just a catch-phrase; this book explains the difference between being market-driven and being technology-, sales-, or finance-driven. It describes whymarket-driven organizations are more profitable, using clear examples ofsuccessful companies. It's a must-read for senior executives. ... Read more

Isbn: 0684864673
Sales Rank: 195131
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business/Economics    4. Consumer satisfaction    5. Customer Service    6. Customer relations    7. Entrepreneurship    8. Management    9. Management - General    10. Marketing    11. Marketing - General    12. Sales management    13. Business & Economics / General   


The Seven Steps to Nirvana: Strategic Insights into eBusiness Transformation
by Don Tapscott, Mohanbir S. Sawhney, Jeff Zabin
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (23 April, 2001)
list price: $24.95
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Editorial Review

While some might find the title's promise of transcendental beatitude a trifle overreaching, The Seven Steps to Nirvana nonetheless provides some excellent insight into the design and implementation of an e-business game plan at "low-tech, smokestack" companies that have heretofore shied away from cyber-strategies. Mohan Sawhney, the McCormick Tribune Professor of Electronic Commerce and Technology at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and Jeff Zabin, a consultant, writer, and speaker, have produced a thought-provoking yet practical entry point for senior managers and other leaders at these firms. The book progresses from creating an overarching initial vision and initiating other critical preliminary preparations to "putting your money where your mouth is, and getting people in the organization to embrace the oft-threatening new world of e-business." Particularly notable are sections on "thinking like an architect (to) open your mind to new possibilities for business innovation" and mitigating channel conflict--or "dissension among the existing institutions"--by making sure the electronic enhancements you are about to append are truly synchronized complements to what you already have. The ideas behind it all are solid and, perhaps most commendably, are anchored to the needs of a real-world customer base. --Howard Rothman ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best about e-business
After reading to many books I found this one, and I could say right now I have a better knowledge of e-business.

I consider my best book about e-business.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book for e business strategies
If you are looking for a book that talks about e business strategies, I advocate this should be your choice. It's not just b'cas this book is from the guy who is rated as 10 most influential people in E-business, but b'cas he know his audeince very well.

I am sure irrespective of your exposure to e-business, this would change the way you think of e-business.

1-0 out of 5 stars Ditto: Hiroo Yamagata
I'm an American and I too confirm Mr. Yamagata's review: the "quotes from zen or Buddha, or some folk story to make themselves sound profound" is highly irritating (straight talk will do just fine)... and, "Ah,we knew that all along!" borders on arrogance. The book seems to have come from the -publish or perish- world of academe. Need solid information to do the real work ahead, don't look for Nirvana. Sorry, but I could find no new insights from this book, just a contrived rehash of information clearly written elsewhere --in business language, backed by well defended assertions... my $2 mantra is just fine, thank you. ... Read more

Isbn: 0071375228
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business Enterprise    4. Business enterprises    5. Business/Economics    6. Computer Networks    7. Corporate & Business History - Strategies    8. E-Commerce - General    9. Electronic Commerce    10. Marketing - Multilevel   

The Venture Imperative
by Heidi Mason, Tim Rohner
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (16 May, 2002)
list price: $29.95 -- our price: $19.77
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Could Become a Business "Classic"
Mason and Rohner do indeed provide a "new model for corporate innovation" based on the assumption that if done right, venturing offers several substantial benefits to the mature corporation that, in combination, cannot be obtained elsewhere: "access to exceptional talent, the means to focus on important new opportunities that didn't fit into the established mold and culture, and the ability to experiment with different ways of organizing and operating that were more suitable to the issues at hand and to future growth." In turn, the mature corporation offers a great deal to fledgling start-ups that they couldn't obtain through any other method: "access to rich resources, including deep domain experience and knowledge, technology, established brand, supplier, and customer bases." After years of rigorous research and analysis, Mason and Rohner concluded that "the dual-value propositions for corporate venturing" offer a unique and compelling opportunity for a mutually beneficial codependency, one which "reveals a clear path for success -- a new model for corporate venturing, one that lives up to its potential and is sustainable over time." With precise and eloquence, Mason and Rohner explain HOW.

They organize their material within three Parts: Laying the Foundation for Innovation, A Guide for Venturing, and Capturing Strategic Value. Following the Afterword by Gordon Bell (author of High-Tech Ventures: The Guide for Entrepreneurial Success), there are seven especially valuable appendices whose subjects range from "VBO Business Plan Elements" to "Partner Profile Template." The acronym VBO refers to "Venture Business Office" which, as the authors explain in the Preface, is a demilitarized zone" which "connects the big company, the outside venture community, and start-ups. whether they emerge from inside or outside the corporate walls. The VBO is the logical conduit between [and among] these very different yet potentially synergistic worlds."

The authors provide in this single volume a comprehensive, cohesive, and cost-effective (four-stage, step-by-step) process by which to derive maximum value from the aforementioned "convergence." Along the way, they include dozens of charts ("Figures"), micro-case studies which illustrate various innovation initiatives, checklists, summaries, "Key Lessons," and (in the appendices) just about everything anyone would need to know about the design, establishment, and development of a VBO. Presumably, many of those who read this brilliant book are involved with organizations (including corporations) which either do not need or cannot afford a VBO worthy of the name. Nonetheless, there is an abundance of information and advice which would be of great value to them. I also highly recommend this book to others now involved in start-ups or not-yet--mature organizations as well as to venture capitalists, management consultants, and other service providers (e.g. bankers, attorneys, and accountants) who can -- and indeed should -- be included in venturing initiatives.

In their Preface, Mason and Rohner suggest that "there is an opportunity to learn from the successes of venturing and create tools, organizational structures, processes, and -- most important -- a point of view that will make venturing work for most companies that are willing to take the matter seriously -- as one that may ultimately amount to corporate life or death." They realize that a VBO may not be appropriate for many organizations. Make no mistake about it: Venturing worthy of the name requires rigorous and sustained communication, cooperation, and collaboration as well as sufficient resources. In that event, however, venturing not only permits but indeed assures innovation of a nature and to an extent otherwise unattainable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Essential tool in your corporate innovation kit
Innovate or evaporate seems to be the mantra of most management gurus. Asked how to facilitate innovation these gurus usually lack an answer. Mason and Rohner are different as they show in this excellent book. Combining a clear framework with interesting examples this is a must read.

To further develop your view on the topic of facilitating innovation in your organization I would recommend 'Webs of Innovation' by Alexander Loudon and 'Radical Innovation' by Leifer et.al.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Blueprint for Corporate Venturing
After leading an internal iniative to bring more innovation into a corporation, I found much of the task in selling your innovative idea depends greatly on convincing the "the suits" that the business plan is sound.The practical experience from the authors provides a solid blueprint for both internal and external innovators to map out their proposed venture to evaluate the likelihood of success.I frequently refer to the numerous examples while evaluating new business deals, both pre and post launch.

I also recommend the reader concentrate on the chapter, "Battling Corporate Antibodies".The greatest barrier is often from your own team, the "middle-manager" which will require much more time and effort to emotionally educate than is ever expected.Excellent insight is provided in dealing with the numerous approval stages and cultural hurdles that a new venture proposal must overcome within a corporation to survive beyond just an idea.

I do recommend this book for those brave innovators within a corporation and the bravest, those outside the safe womb of a corporation seeking to build a new idea into a business. ... Read more

Isbn: 1578513359
Sales Rank: 254650
Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business / Economics / Finance    3. Business/Economics    4. Corporate & Business History - Strategies    5. Development - Business Development    6. Finance    7. Leadership    8. Strategic Planning    9. Technological innovations    10. Venture capital   


The Making of Strategy : Rulers, States, and War
by Williamson Murray, Alvin Bernstein, MacGregor Knox
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (31 May, 1996)
list price: $28.99 -- our price: $28.99
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for the seriuos student of strategy.
The purpose of "The Making of Strategy" is to give the reader an insight into how strategy has been made in the past. This is done through various historical case studies which range from Ancient Greece to American Cold War nuclear policy. Each essay tries to show events from the perspectives of those who were involved and attempts to get inside the mindset of the people who had to forumlate and then implement the various strategies.

As has been stated, the essays span a considerable time period, though there is perhaps (definitely in fact) a weighting towards 20th century strategy. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is probably dependant upon the reader's personal taste but I didn't have a problem with it.

The quality of the essays is invariably of a very high quality and the contributors are leaders in the field of Strategic Studies (Colin Gray, Donald Kagan, Eliot Cohen, the late Michael Handel, Williamson Murray, Macgregor Knox etc). Standout chapters include Holger Herwig's withering analysis of Imperial German strategy in the post-Bismarck period and (by virtue both of quality and of the fact that it tackles a relatively obscure and much neglected power's policy) Brian Sullivan's chapter on Italian grand strategy in the build-up to the First World War.

The chapters (excluding the excellent and extensive introduction and conclusion) cover the following periods;

- Athenian Strategy in The Peloponnesian Wars
- Roman Strategy against Carthage
- Chinese Strategy from the 14th to the 17th centuries
- Spanish Strategy under Philip II
- English Strategy, 1558-1713
- French Strategy under Louis XIV
- The United States, 1783-1865
- Prussia-Germany 1871-1918
- British Strategy, 1890-1918
- Italian Strategy, 1882-1922
- Germany, 1918-1945
- British Strategy, 1918-1945
- U.S. Strategy, 1920-1945
- French Strategy in the inter-war period
- Soviet Strategy, 1917-1945
- Israeli Strategy
- U.S. Nuclear Strategy

Aside from the fact that the quality of the chapters is of a very high standard, the great virtue of this book is the way in which it looks into the way nations have made strategy, rather than dealing with specific strategic theories or trying to provide a guide on how strategy should be made (lessons drawn from history aside). It illustrates clearly the frustrations, the balancing of interests, the difficulty in seeing the big picture, the weighing up of ends and means and the FRICTION that plagues policymakers when they put the books away and actually have to make the magic happen.

This book should be read by anybody with a serious interest in Strategic/War Studies. It's a little gem. At over 600 pages, you get your money's worth too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for strategy in any field of action
The book brings back historically those features that are essential in any strategy for most activities, altgough is focused in war.Basic reading for bussines.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent & Easy reading
"The Making of Strategy" examines the strategy-making processes through the cultural, social, political, organisational and historical ( not just the military ) lenses, starting from the Peloponnesian Wars to theNuclear Age. The book is also excellent in inrtoducing the concept ofWeltanschauung; how a nation's strategic choices are often products of itsstrategic culture. This helps the reader to understand that despiteadvances in military technologies; why most wars are fought the way theyare fought. Very easy reading and excellent book on the little knownprocess of how strategy is often made. ... Read more

Isbn: 0521566274
Sales Rank: 74882
Subjects:  1. History    2. History - Military / War    3. History: World    4. Military - General    5. Military Science    6. Reference    7. World - General    8. Defence strategy, planning & research    9. History / World   


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