I sure do like Bollux. I wish he made it into the movies somehow. Blue max, too. And this Gallandro chap seems pretty bad-ass. Sad to see him go.
I al...moreI sure do like Bollux. I wish he made it into the movies somehow. Blue max, too. And this Gallandro chap seems pretty bad-ass. Sad to see him go.
I also like how the author sort of half assedly tried to throw in a romantic angle but no one, not the author, not Han, and not the woman in question, could really work up much enthusiasm for it and the matter was quietly dropped, as it should be. (less)
I read this book when I was a kid and I really wondered what fluidics were. It's stuck with me my whole life. So I re-read this....moreThose damn fluidics!
I read this book when I was a kid and I really wondered what fluidics were. It's stuck with me my whole life. So I re-read this. I am shocked, in hindsight, at how small of a part those fluidics play in this book. I'm also slightly confused upon whom Han Solo is getting his revenge. It should really be called "Han Solo's trip to get paid that ten grand someone owed him." (less)
OMG Pixar PIxar Pixar! I have read three books about PIxar now, including this one. I'm obsessed. It's the only company I'd ever work at.
This is a gr...moreOMG Pixar PIxar Pixar! I have read three books about PIxar now, including this one. I'm obsessed. It's the only company I'd ever work at.
This is a great book. A good history of Pixar opens the book. It's nice to get this story from Catmull's POV rather than from third parties.
But really the two best parts of the book are:
1) Catmull's thoughts on managing a creative company, which really are quite stellar and practicably useful, unlike most management books. I'm truly impressed.
2) The story of Pixar's enculturation of Disney after Disney acquired Pixar and installed Catmull and Lasseter as heads of Disney animation. THAT was some ace management, right there, and his learnings and writings on it are invaluable, and a wonderful read.
I finished this book and immediately went to PIxar's jobs page. Alas, no job for me there. But boy what an amazing company. (less)
Shocked at some of the positive reviews on here. I found this book lacking in many respects. Firstly, for such an in-depth acknowledgements and overvi...moreShocked at some of the positive reviews on here. I found this book lacking in many respects. Firstly, for such an in-depth acknowledgements and overview of their reporting methods, there was almost nothing here that a talented college student couldn't have uncovered in the press. Really very little new reporting at all. Lots of weird referencing of tweets and non-notable blog posts.
Next, the central premise of the book is, essentially, crazy. The whole thesis is around how Apple has stopped innovating post-Steve Jobs. While I concede this is a worry, there's really no way to know if this has happened yet. And what's worse, the author effectively concedes it in several small ways. First, Kane mentioned the amount of time between Apple's last few tentpole innovations, the iPad, the iPhone, the iPod, etc. Simple math reveals that the amount of time from their last innovation till now is shorter than any of the previous gaps. That is, even if Apple was innovating on historical pace, there'd be no new invention yet. Elsewhere in the book, Kane acknowledges that Apple is WORKING on several new inventions. But they're not out yet. Nor, it seems clear from this. actual. book. would they be out even IF jobs were still alive. It literally makes no sense.
Next, Kane displays almost no understanding of how a CEO actually works, painting a picture where somehow Tim Cook's entire life is spent on the Samsung patent lawsuit, rather than, apparently, hunkering down and THINKING. One of the central conceits of this book is to use the patent lawsuit as an illustration of how Apple has gotten off track. When in reality... whatever. Apple writes a check, lawyers take care of things, and once in a great while someone has to spend part of a day testifying or being deposed. In reality this lawsuit has absolutely zero bearing on Apple's ability to innovate. I'm sure that lawsuit is really distracting the product designers at Apple.
Then we have the playing fast and loose with what Jobs may have done before he died and what Cook did. Somehow things Jobs did that Cook has continued are proof that Cook isn't Jobs. Apple's still cleaning up the mess Jobs made with the price fixing publishing imbroglio, but somehow current management's clean up of Job's mess is evidence that current management isn't as innovative as Jobs. What?? The same sort of illogical mental jujitsu is somehow used to paint Tim Cook's stellar testimony to congress as evidence of his lesser manliness than Jobs, who supposedly would never have bothered testifying at all?
If this book spent one tenth of the time talking about Apple's current work pipeline around television and wearables instead of their lawsuits and Foxconn's labor relations it might have been insightful. Alas, while the whole premise is that Apple doesn't innovate on product anymore, this book literally doesn't actually talk, at all, about their current product pipeline. Go figure.
It's not Apple who spends too much time on lawsuits. It's this book. (less)
Every bit as applicable now as when it was written. Reading this makes you feel the acute need to take a hard look at some of your life habits. Comple...moreEvery bit as applicable now as when it was written. Reading this makes you feel the acute need to take a hard look at some of your life habits. Completely worth it. No wonder it's a classic. (less)
Loved the history of Opsware, that was really great. I also liked a few of the essays around the stresses of being a CEO. Having read a good few, but...moreLoved the history of Opsware, that was really great. I also liked a few of the essays around the stresses of being a CEO. Having read a good few, but not all, of Horowitz's blog post, much of this was re-hashed. Also not sure I agree with 100% of the advice in here, especially around managing by emergency all-nighters etc. Opsware was a different time. Those people were happy to have a job in the crash. Much of that wouldn't fly in today's hypercompetitive environment. Still, though, a worthy read. Better than your average tech book. (less)
A bit dated, but a great history of a legendary business turnaround. If you're an AFOL, this goes through the turn to licensed sets, the dark days of...moreA bit dated, but a great history of a legendary business turnaround. If you're an AFOL, this goes through the turn to licensed sets, the dark days of Galidor, and the introduction of Chima and Ninjago. Despite it being Lego, though, it's really pretty much a straight up business management book. Personally I enjoy those, but be warned: there isn't actually that much about Legos the toys in the book after the intro/History. (less)
**spoiler alert** This is a frightening real vision of the future, if no one on the planet save one chandelier maker had any ethics. And if one of the...more**spoiler alert** This is a frightening real vision of the future, if no one on the planet save one chandelier maker had any ethics. And if one of the supposedly smartest people in the world left it up to a drone to save the world for him when he had the means in his own hands. If no other companies existed to counterbalance a single company. And if the government rolled over and stopped doing its job. And if.. Well. You get the idea.
I like and admire this speculative genre of fiction, but in order for it to work you have to create a plausible reality and universe for the fiction to exist in. The company described in the book is very cannily and accurately described as what would happen if such a company were allowed to run rampant. But the manner in which it runs rampant couldn't happen in THIS world, and there is little to no effort to explain how we got to that world from here. What happened to Apple? to Amazon? To Google and Facebook? To the US Government, to the European union? To CHINA? We get little snippets - I think we are to believe a single, frazzled, overworked young woman just took care of all that? Never mind the entire culture that this very book comes from - our society's concerns, fears, ethical wrangling.
This book as if you looked at a friend of yours and thought "if that person one twenty billion dollars, and god a special license from the whole planet to act like a complete tyrant, they would." It's kind of an intriguing thought, but it will never happen, because we exist in a world where such things have counterbalances. Where society has not completely broken down. For the reality in this book to come to pass, something major would have happened to our society to precipitate it. THAT would have been interesting to read about.
Started out strong then petered out and felt repetitive, but that's probably my fault since I put it down for 3 months at chapter 5 then picked it bac...moreStarted out strong then petered out and felt repetitive, but that's probably my fault since I put it down for 3 months at chapter 5 then picked it back up again. (less)