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

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,666 ratings  ·  116 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 March 1st 1999)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  3,666 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Jun 24, 2016 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
May 12, 2013 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
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was little boring for me, but if you are a business person and if you are interested about how technology improved then the book is really good.
Jul 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: technology, business
Couldn't finish it... every page was an ad for a Micro$oft product -- yuck!
Shitiz Srivastava
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Coming from Bill Gates, I didn’t find this book an interesting read. I tried picking it several times but it always bored me until one day I decided to pick it up and finish it. There are two problems with the book. First instead of instances, there is more of the philosophy of Bill Gates and second, the stories of Jobs and gates have already flooded the internet, start-up office and friend conversations that you feel you already know so much about them that reading a book feels like reading a ...more
Aaron Benarroch
Oct 03, 2011 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 ...more
May 12, 2008 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.
Amith Guthi
Jul 06, 2014 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 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 08, 2011 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.
Jan 05, 2016 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.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazing book about the future of technology in the next few decades looking ahead from the year 1999.
1. Businesses need to develop its own digital nervous system, without which it wont succeed
2. Talks about a lot of innovations now which we take for granted such as email, word processing, excel, databases, internet servers, which we take for granted and don’t even think about.
3. Talks about applications of computers in businesses, schools, medicine, government, all of which has come true.
4. Some
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book was written twenty years ago, it still hold many redeemable qualities. Obviously, the technology discussions are tremendously outdated (even 10 years ago this was the case). That being said, Gates’s grasp of technology and his forward-thinking mind still shines through.

Some takeaways:
1). Change NEVER stops and continues to evolve. If you are keeping an eye on new trends, then you will be hopelessly behind, especially in business.
2). NEVER stop learning. He holds in high
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
α - having a digital nervous system sounds cool - i want one

Ω - The business advice seems sound, but i'm no CEO. Gates seems to have a firm grasp on the limitations of group interactions - the example in the book was that if he was meeting with more than 4 people than that sector was over managed & in need of restructuring to reduce complexity.

I've always viewed Gates as a megalomaniac - pushing Microsoft onto anything & everything. Mono-culture isn't very flexible, but even Google is
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is twenty years old and therefore reads a little dated when it comes to the wonders of the internet and the benefits that the coming digital age will bring. Still, Gates treats several areas where Information Technology can disrupt and improve, and it’s telling that most of his predictions have come true.
Maybe read as a historical text, to provide some context and get a better understanding of where we’ve come from these past two decades.
Shashank Malviya
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Toby Bond
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Its a bit dated now, but if you had invested $100 in Amazon when this book was published itd be worth $3500 yesterday & $4k at peak. Its an interesting analysis, the broad lines of collaboration, communication and IT systems as an investment, streamlining etc are clearly valid but with hindsight not much that isnt known. Wish id read this book when it was published & invested $10k in amazon.
Ali Danish
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The guy predicted the technology roadmap in 2000. We can see all that today. The book not only teaches you technology but also the impact it will create on our daily life. How helpful the technology is in all walks of life.

This book will enrich your experience in doing business by using state of the art technology.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Somewhere between a dated advertisement for specific (long dead) Microsoft products and some actually good points, this book is one I'd wanted to read for ages.

Not sure I'd recommend it, in general.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book hasn't aged well in regards to technology, but then again it's 20 years old.

Key take away
* technology should be streamlining process
* new technology should coincide re-evaluating existing processes
* CEO is ultimately responsible for
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Old book but one of my first and favorite books on what the future might look like.
Grocery Store Guy
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I guess you can say selling several hundred million Xbox games could be called "succeeding in the digital economy."
Matt Reynaud
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book appears to have been wrote in the late 90’s yet despite the advances in digital technology mr Gates insights are every bit as insightful and relevant today as they were then.
Adel Algbawi
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Even this book outdated but will gives an overview of how information technology and Internet have changed the way companies work and how Bill Gates have foresight about the future!
Jadav Mehul
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Repository for IT ideas for developing nations.
Gavin Kirk
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Interesting historical view on the then coming digital age.
Karl Niebuhr
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book to understand how PCs and the internet revolutionized knowledge workers. Check out a complete summary on my blog
Neerav Jain
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good book. It gives an overview of how IT and Internet have changed the way companies operate. IT and Internet is now the backbone of processes and analysis providing insights that can change how companies do various activities and increase efficiency.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Haven't even finished. I was more skimming it because it felt outdated for me. I'm technical guy, working in IT and it's clearly visible that those facts, suggestions and arguments were really valid at the tine book was published, but nowadays... most of the things sounds obvious. Was expecting something like this would happen, so not that sad just moving to the next book.
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