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The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison*: Inside Oracle Corporation; *God Doesn't Think He's Larry Ellison

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  311 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Mike Wilson has interviewed more than a hundred of Ellison's friends and enemies - as well as Ellison himself - to create an entertaining and provocative portrait of this enigmatic and visionary businessman. '
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 4th 1998 by Harper Perennial (first published November 5th 1997)
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3.89  · 
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 ·  311 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Lydia K.p
Feb 24, 2016 added it
Shelves: re-read
Before judging Larry Ellison, you need to learn about the beginning from his childhood, raised by an old aunt, to the start of the project "Oracle" to build the # 1 database used around the world; from the CIA to national and multinational organizations in more than 142 countries. The lesson to me is inspiring because Larry Ellison success is about being DIFFERENT and STANDING OUT in the crowd. Larry Ellison is a visionary. Indeed, he started with internet applications. How do you pay your utili ...more
Sep 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ya gotta admit, Lawrence Joseph Ellison, founder of Oracle Corporation, is a potentially fascinating subject for a novel, but not for this one. The title itself is a give-away, and I’d not have chosen this particular book myself rather it chose me...ending up in my book basket The author has a seemingly endless dislike for the charismatic Mr. Ellison, and this gloomy aura permeates the entire read. One wonders how author Mike Wilson ever had the privilege of speaking with Ellison once much less ...more
Mark Fallon
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How did they get away with it? While Wilson focuses on Ellison, this book is a great reminder of how much guys like him, Gates and Jobs promised - but didn't deliver with their products. Yet, in the 1990s, we put up with the shortfalls and poor software, and made them billionaires.
Martynas Petkevičius
I never imagined life inside an enterprise software company could be so interesting! Kudos to the author of Ellison's biography for his witty style and convincing research. One might argue that the book is biased, focusing too much on Oracle's shortcomings and Ellison's personality flaws, but I'm sure the author has his reasons, plus it makes for a more amusing read. Hopefully someday we'll see part II of this biography, because it stops at year 1997.
Inti Willka
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow! It's 369 pages are very inspirational and captivating bio of one my favorite entrepreneurs.
I amazed reading about his first years, forward about his journey to Japan.

Hes an confrontational and agressive business man. His divorce and and his endless willingness of being number one... hardworking and very rough man.

Mr Wilsons book has written a master piece on the life of L Ellison....a real must to read book
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting read about an unlikeable guy with craters of money and tastes to match.
Bryan Higgs
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: computing, databases
This book was very interesting. It wasn't as good as the book about Steve Jobs (see my review at: I found Steve Jobs to be arrogant and driven, and he certainly had major issues with personal relationships, including his family. I don't think I would have liked him as a person, but while definitely flawed he certainly was a genius. It seems that all such senior executives are driven, have abrasive personalities, and are motivated by control and power (a ...more
Sull Mcintyre
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Ignore the horrific 90s cover. Picked this up because it was recommended to understand how Oracle got started and the ballsy way they seized their early breaks. Larry is the closest thing tech has to a bond villain and regardless of the fact he's a piece of work, the way he capitalized on the academic efforts of IBM and turned it into a real product is interesting to read about. One staffer sums it up as: "We took the [IBM] book, and we typed it in, and we shipped it".

Lots of amusing anecdotes,
Steven Oxley
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very interesting and written in a very engaging way. I appreciated it because it presents Larry Ellison's founding and running of Oracle in a very matter-of-fact light. It does not set him on a pedestal, but it praises his good qualities and is blunt about his shortcomings. It also has a fair amount of detail about Oracle's other executives through the years. I recommend this book to the reader that enjoys reading history about the technology industry and those that might be interes ...more
Neeraj Shukla
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a good book on the history of Oracle and its founder. Gives you a rather complex picture of Larry Ellison, but he does seem like a complex person.

I wanted to read the book Softwar to read the history of Oracle corporation, but could not get my hands on it, but this was a good starting point.

You get to see that Larry is a great salesperson, good at strategy, but has shades of grey around a few areas. The fact that author had interviewed Larry Ellison many times was also helpful in provid
Kaye Sivori
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was well-written, considering all the people he had to talk to and since we moved to the Silcon Valley shortly after this all started it felt like a piece of puzzle from my life.
Rahul Mahindru
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was really awesome and inspiring. What a man he is. He is stupid sometimes but some of things was astonishing ' he didn't ever care about past. He always talked about future'. He was daring to take risks. He had guts. He always believed, ' work is act of creation.'

I loved some of things about him
1). Always optimistic and thought in future never about past.
2). He didn't sell shares and took loan on them because he always believed in his work. He knew his shares or work will be more worth in fu
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read a chapter or two before giving up on this book. He's written some juicy stuff no doubt but I wasn't gaining more interest on the subject. I feel like I couldn't care less whether he did X or did Y. What's in it for me? And besides the juicy gossip (about which I found what he had written to not be true) there's nothing else that answers the question.

I kept it on my shelf for a long time hoping that someday I would pick it up again. But nopes. It's not happening. So I'm dropping this book.
Die Biographie von Larry Ellison ist im wesentlichen eine Biographie der Datenbankfirma Oracle. Davor gab es wenig, was im Leben von Mr. Ellison eone größere, wichtige Rolle spielte. Nach Lektüre der Biographie versteht man den Software-Giganten Oracle und kann nachvollziehen, woher manch unpopuläre Entscheidung getrieben wird. Das Buch erschien bereits 1997, ergo bleiben die Ereignisse der letzten 10+ Jahre leider unberücksichtigt.
Charlane Brady
He was unquestionably the entertainer of Silicon Valley for years and not sure if anyone else has reached his level of *self-promotion*. The only parts I found interesting were the parts regarding the beginning of Oracle.

Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I'm mighty thrilled to be working at Oracle! The current edition ends with 2003. A humungous lot happened after that--for instance, major takeovers! I wait with baited breath to see what Mike Wilson has to say about all that.
Shalabh Bindal
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think this is an interesting book to read.
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
So anti-Larry that I'd like to hear the other side. But lots of juicy details about this supposed megalomaniac.
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Epitome of master marketing stuff where you screwed up everything and still ends to be a billionaire.....But in the hindsight you lost to Bill Gates.
James Mishra
rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2017
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Mar 30, 2017
Alex Lyashok
rated it it was ok
Jul 13, 2016
Dan Pinto
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Jun 02, 2018
Rishabh Saxena
rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2014
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