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Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  2,701 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Warner Books (NY) (first published January 1st 1999)
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May 21, 2013 Fahim rated it it was amazing
If you are a business person and would like to know how technology, specially computer and internet, can change and improve your business, you definitely need to read this book. Please don't think that this book will teach you stuff about computers because Bill Gates wrote it. This is not the case. This book teaches you how you can use computer and internet to save costs, improve performance, share knowledge and increase your sales and business operation.

Reading this book in this era of compute
Aaron Benarroch
Jun 10, 2015 Aaron Benarroch rated it it was ok
It doesn't seem to me the Oracle of Delphi, as many readers depicted it. Jules Verne was a visionary, Bill Gates is a successful entrepreneur with limited writing skills that wrote a book (how much did he himself actually write?) about the following 10 years. I sincerely don't think it was so hard to predict such span. Moreover, there's a hell of a banal material, like he ran out of arguments but he needed to get his 500 pages so he just filled them up with any trivial expression that crossed hi ...more
Jun 21, 2008 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book back when it came out around 99-00, but completely forgot about it. I found it while cleaning part of my house. The book is aimed at business managers and high-level executives and tries to push the idea of a digital office environment. What's funny is reading the author's (Bill Gates) predictions for the future of technology in the coming years, he is quite accurate for the most part, but also far off on a few.
Jul 08, 2008 Ed rated it did not like it
Shelves: business, technology
Couldn't finish it... every page was an ad for a Micro$oft product -- yuck!
Amith Guthi
Jul 06, 2014 Amith Guthi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did you know that the first product Sony created was a rice cooker ?
This book had the answer and reading this book helped me win a quiz competition years ago.

This book is definitely NOT for tech community.

I definitely don't like Microsoft products just because they dont have a soul. They have failed miserably in positioning their company ( which Apple successfully did ) , but take nothing away from this genius , Bill Gates. His passion is very apparent in the book - which makes it worthwhile
Anton Klink
Jan 09, 2013 Anton Klink rated it liked it
Bill Gates and Microsoft were at the height of their power when this book was released, so as an avid DOS, Windows and PC user, I was certainly intrigued. It has been 15 years now since I read the book, so can hardly remember anything, but I do remember thinking at the time that it was OK. Not spectacular and not horrible either but a good read. The use of @ in the title is certainly antiquated by today's standards but that was the trend of the day back then.
Jan 05, 2016 Groot rated it did not like it
At the dawn of the Internet, this book... mentions it not at all. Whoever wrote this for him was a blind cave-fish.
Apr 19, 2016 Hayden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A good book but it's old now and the insights are now well behind the times. However, it would have been brilliant at the time and the predictions he made were very accurate. I enjoyed the read but there isn't a lot of practical advice that we don't already do on a regular basis.
Jul 02, 2016 Alex rated it it was ok
It's a long and boring advertisement of Microsoft. The main idea is:
"If we look around we will find a lot of guys who have money but still don't spend it on our software. There are companies where all the processes can be improved with computers, and there are medical care system, and there are schools and universities, and armed forces, and governments of all levels, and all of them badly need different improvements. Humanity demands more computers to develop economics. And here we are: more co
Jan 08, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Words from the Messiah on business Microsoft & making money from a can do guy. Imagine him running a country. The man they had to make step down as CEO of Microsoft or he probably would be running the country.
Xulfiqar Haider
Jul 08, 2016 Xulfiqar Haider rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bill-gates
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Heiman
Nov 15, 2015 Don Heiman rated it it was amazing
Bill Gates and Collins Hemingway wrote "Business @ the Speed of Thought" in 1999. The book reflects Gates' vision of information technology (IT) for the 2000's. Their vision is based on velocity of change that drives organizational survival in an age of stability punctuated by brief periods of rapid change. The velocity of adaption to rapid change requires organizations to implement Internet, smart cards and encryption/authentication policies. The authors' case studies are full of insight and hi ...more
Krishna Kumar
May 04, 2015 Krishna Kumar rated it really liked it
Bill Gates explains how business can benefit from real-time information that flows freely through the organization and is accessible by everyone within it. The book is dotted with real-life examples from industry, government, education and health care. He also introduces good business concepts and shows how technology can be used to effectively implement them. For the already converted (like me), the arguments for better information management technologies can sound repetitive, but the details o ...more
Vinod Kaul
Jul 26, 2014 Vinod Kaul rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those in business at senior levels and those setting up their own business
I had this book on my shelf for a number of years. It was bought in my heyday in business as I grappled with a web-based start-up. Before selling it for its weight in paper, I thought I must respect the author and the written word by reading it. Bill Gates notwithstanding, I was afraid that the main plank of this book would be out of date. While building a ‘digital nervous system’ as Mr Gates terms it, is a serious and vital activity today, it is commonplace and no longer prophetical.

I can well
Kate Millin
Mar 06, 2011 Kate Millin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure why it says Italian edition - everything else is correct about this book!

So where do you want to go tomorrow? That's the question Bill Gates tries to answer in Business @ the Speed of Thought. Gates offers a 12-step programme for companies wanting to do business in the next millennium. The book's premise: Thanks to technology, the speed of business is accelerating at an ever-increasing rate and to survive, it must develop an infrastructure--a "digital nervous system"--that allows for th
Oct 19, 2012 Gabriela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of insight on how businesses can integrate core business functions with technology and ecommerce. Bill Gates' Business @ the Speed of Thought offers timeless lessons into the inevitability of business technology in a fast-paced world. The book asserts the need for businesses to look at technology not as an expense but as an asset that gives competitive advantage.

Gates also offers a twelve-step approach that businesses looking to integrate technology can take to prepare for the changes of th
May 31, 2015 Vidya rated it really liked it
I just happened to come across this book in the library shelf and I got it home to read one of Bill Gates. Though it's outdated for today, I just skimmed through to get a feel of what a visionary he is and how aptly he predicted the Web lifestyle that's going to come in a decades time. I liked his positive approach to business. Having worked for a product IT company myself, I could relate to the importance he lays for skunkworks /research kind of projects.
Jake Cohen
Oct 31, 2015 Jake Cohen rated it liked it
Almost 20 years later it's interesting to listen to predictions of how technology is going to change business and personal lives. Many of the predictions Bill Gates made came true more or less as he made them. Some took a bit longer. Overall this was a pretty interesting book from a historical interest perspective, though it has probably lost a lot of its original usefulness. This would have been a great book to read at the turn of the century.
I had this book in my hard disk but never occurred to listen to it. Over the weekend, while browsing came across this and thought of finding out what Bill Gates had to say 14-15 years ago about the future uses of technology. So far so good, it read like a de ja vu now that things have occurred what he predicted. This is perhaps one of those books with an expiration date and this had its expiry a few years ago
Lingam Tharsan
Sep 29, 2015 Lingam Tharsan rated it it was amazing
Gunnar Nelson
Jul 31, 2016 Gunnar Nelson rated it really liked it
Note, this book was discussing about the Internet age in the 90s. EverythingBiill Gates has said in this book of what will happen in the future ranging from smartphones, tablets, cloud storage, personalized Web content is all true. he was a 100% right of what would happen in the future and it did. bill Gates has stated, robots will be the next innovation after the Internet age. I will be researching for potential applications with robotics soon.
Sep 14, 2009 David rated it liked it
This book was originally published in 2000, and is a little dated now. But it was interesting to read what Gates was thinking at the time, and compare it to what has happened in the decade that followed. He talks a lot about the need for understanding and learning to manage and benefit from the pervasive data that marks our "information age", and gives examples of companies (including his own) starting to do that as the 21st century dawns. Using the analogy of a "digital nervous system" he expla ...more
Dwight Walker
A 1990s look at Internet economy with very good analysis of business cases for change using new technology. It has Vannevar Bush's Memex forefather to Web.
Amith Guthi
Feb 24, 2014 Amith Guthi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a prescient analysis of the ways in which technology can aid businesses, and its potential to transform the business landscape.
Suyash Agrawal
Jun 21, 2015 Suyash Agrawal rated it liked it
Had I read the book 15 years ago when it was first published I would have classified it as science fiction. But witnessing the increasing penetration of technology in all spheres of my life, I can't stop myself admiring Bill Gates' foresightedness.
In this books Bill Gates talks about how advent of information technology will transform the nature of business, health and education system, working of governments, military operations etc.
As this book was written one and a half decade ago today's re
Bjorn Hardarson
Feb 23, 2014 Bjorn Hardarson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Gates is of course one of those changemakers. This book is of course little bit old, but I decided I needed to read some of Gates work before reading the new book on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. The books are of course different and the guys seems to be as well. I belive Bill Gates is a great thinker and and a great entrepreneuer even though he does not have the same colorful personality as Steve Jobs did. Not sure after you read the Jobs book that would be a bad thing. Great book, now ju ...more
Chris Ross
I sometimes enjoy reading books that are a decade beyond their current business events prime and this is one of those books. I listened to the audio book and it was very interesting listening to all of the predictions Bill Gates made that have come true. I wish every business would go paperless or as paperless as possible and have forms available online. This book is packed with great business ideas that challenge the status quo as well as great marketing ideas too. I only gave it 3 stars becaus ...more
Mar 25, 2014 Javier rated it liked it
This book is outdated now. It was interesting to see how technology has changed businesses since this book's publication in 1999.
Mar 21, 2016 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about pre- Oculus Rift Era.

Here is my review
Hans Hoffmann
Feb 01, 2016 Hans Hoffmann rated it it was ok
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William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American entrepreneur, software executive, philanthropist and chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen. During his career at Microsoft he has held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and he remains the largest individual shareholder with more than 8% of the common stock.
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