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Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  317 ratings  ·  43 reviews
An acclaimed tech reporter reveals the inner workings of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, showing how to compete with the tech titans using their own playbook.

At Amazon, "Day One" is code for inventing like a startup, with little regard for legacy. Day Two is, in Jeff Bezos's own words, "stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by excruciating, painful decl
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Portfolio
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  317 ratings  ·  43 reviews


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Wendy Liu
An accessible and insightful look at the management practices & culture of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft.
Himanshu Upreti
"Day One at Amazon is code for inventing like a startup, with little regard for legacy. It’s an acknowledgment that competitors today can create new products at record speeds—thanks to advances in artificial intelligence and cloud computing especially—so you might as well build for the future, even at the present’s expense." Day Two in Bezos' own words is "stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by excruciating, painful decline, followed by death.”

Always Day One is a gripping narrative of the
...more
Sambasivan
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of the best books on the culture of the current behemoths. Extremely well researched and hits the bull’s eye on what drives these companies.
Lessons for the entire corporate world are strewn throughout.
Must read.
Jessica Dai
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really well-written and well-researched! I think this is quite a fair, nuanced approach to evaluating what makes big tech cos tick, pinpointing the particular elements of org culture that have driven success while also highlighting that it's these same elements that have made them so often exploitative, dangerous, etc.

I read most of this after reading ben tarnoff's piece on the tech worker movement, which was an interesting lens on the content to say the least.
...more
Ezra Katz
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It's a well-written and captivating book about the cultures of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple. It takes you inside these companies and describes how their culture allows it to grow or stumble. For those interested in tech or management, this is a must read. ...more
Ryan
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reasonable short mainstream summary of management culture at Facebook/Google/Apple/Amazon/Microsoft. Nothing really new or insightful if you understand how these companies work, but a good summary for outsiders. The "black mirror" dark potential chapters about tech were sort of grafted on at the end (I think to flesh out an already short book), but were also done adequately well. ...more
Vivek Srivastava
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
How can corporates develop competitive advantages and stay relevant with changing business environment of today and tomorrow? One way to find answer is to get into the inner workings of today's successful technological giants; and that's where "Always Day One" comes handy. This book is an abridged version of cultures developed in Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft. These cultures help these companies to build advantage for success. But as the common proverb goes "Excess of everything ...more
Ricali Ebejer
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting think pieces on the innovative or lack their of practices at Amazon, Facebook, Google Apple and Microsoft.

Each chapter talks of their operational structures, their success and some critiques of the companies. The end of the book speaks to AI and the future of work.

It was entertaining but the structure the book was written in became a bit predictable and monotonous making the final chapters a little bit of a laboured read. However it’s full of entertaining stories, gems of managerial
...more
Umair
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Meh for me, likely because I understand the companies discussed much better than the average lay-person.
Alexandre Santos
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adds a lot of relevant information. I liked most the part about Jeff Bezos, Microsoft culture change and the last chapter on changes for the future.
I think the first part of it is more engaging and interesting than the last. An interesting read, definitely worth it to anyone that likes to understand how companies evolve and what they have to do to stay relevant on an ever changing sector
Manas Saloi
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the first two chapters around Amazon and Facebook. Learned quite a few things about their style of work. Microsoft, Google, and Apple chapters did not have many new things

The biggest takeaway was the bit around how Amazon treats future projects like science fiction. Dreaming the future, writing memos about them, then working backwards to make them a reality. The author gives a lot of examples around automation in their factories as well as how Amazon Go launched

Rating: 3.5/5
Amit Verma
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is very Interesting.
It gets in close contact with giant tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple.
Then it details recent happenings in them.
Their mistakes, changes, achievement, culture. Change, strenghths and weaknesses.
Book tries to answer how they manage to stay at top for so long.
Writing is smooth, simple and engaging.
It is very Interesting to learn recent events in these behemoths.
All companies are covered one by one and an unbiased account of their recent ups and
...more
Shyue Ping Ong
Basically a summary of many articles and books written over the years by others. Worse, the author lack any objective analysis. Gushing over Bezos, Pichai and Nadyella like a fan boy and doing the fashionable dumping on Cook. To say that Apple “only” has the iPhone while Google is innovative is rather ridiculous to any objective observer. What was the last innovative profitable thing Google did? Apple in the meantime is whipping Intel with the M1 chip and basically outinnovating all other phone ...more
Mike
Jul 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
If you like the free magazine you get in domestic business class then you'll love this book. ...more
DearBookClub
Feb 05, 2021 rated it liked it
"Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever"
Author: Alex Kantrowitz
226 pages

"Always Day One," by technology journalist Alex Kantrowitz gives a deep dive of the culture of IT & Engineering teams at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. He introduces the reader to Amazon's next CEO in 2021, Andy Jassy. Andy is Jeff Bezos first Technical Advisor and he founded Amazon Web Services.

Amazon has had a tumultuous relationship with how corporate culture is developed at it's
...more
Lindsay Mack
Easy read with some fun anecdotes about our tech titans - Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple - but not many novel insights, and perhaps dated or bad timing given the events of recent months. I had hoped for more new inspiration along the lines of cultivating and keeping a culture of innovation live and well. The themes and pointers were valid but not that new, although many companies and organizations can still learn from them. Some of the key themes:

- Create a culture of feedback in
...more
Steve Anderson
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book certainly caught my attention. It is always Day 1 is a phrase that I most associate with Amazon. It is principle #14 in my book The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon and I was very curious how the author would apply this principle to other tech LC companies. While the chapter on Amazon reinforced my own research, I was especially interested in how Kantrowitz applied it to the re-birth of Microsoft. I thought his treatment of the “engineering mi ...more
Ella Shepherd
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Good overview, nothing ground breaking. Accessible to read although headings were annoying
- breaking up the big tech companies will help both the consumer and the ability to innovate
- always look forward, no one is irreplaceable
- culture is everything
- just because you can doesn’t mean you should

It was disappointingly retrospective. It spoke to the culture that made it successful and how it had recovered from failures in the past. I was expecting something a bit more forward looking, about ne
...more
Jordan Guiao
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was ok
I expected way more from this book which purported to generate “deep insights” into the Big Tech companies. It reads like nothing more than an updated version of the gushing books about tech culture and innovation from the early 2000’s. Of course it had to acknowledge all the issues around Big Tech (otherwise it would lose all credibility) but these were mere footnotes in an otherwise breathy exultation of Big Tech “leadership”. What a disappointment.
Chris
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting look into the biggest players in the tech space. The Amazon chapter in particular is really well done, and one of the few times I have gone back and reread a chapter of a book. The book tails off a bit toward the end, but is still worth a read as almost anyone can apply some of the methods these companies use to their own work day.
Darwin
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The story telling from the other side shows how even the giants of tech company is struggling to change and keep things working. This is a good angle to show that no matter how big you are, there will always be issues that needed to be solved. The survival of the fittest comes with great power to change and adapt in this era
Cem Birler
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this book introduces the inner working of these tech giants (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft) very well to people who are outside of these communities. I think the concept of Engineer's Mind is well explained and plays an important role in these companies' and other startups' success. ...more
Darya
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
How a company can stay innovative and customer focused? This is a question that many employees and managers are puzzled with. It seems easier than it is in the reality. The book will give you an overview of Amazon, Facebook and Google and let you explore how they keep on track with innovation.
Juarez  Poletto Jr.
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Nothing new, but a good overview of today's major tech companies. A good option if you don't have time to read a full book for each one of them: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. I wish I knew that before as I've already read them :D ...more
Daniil Lanovyi
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was interesting to learn the differences in culture and leadership at top tech companies.

“What does Day Two look like?” Bezos asked. “Day Two is stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by excruciating, painful decline, followed by death.”
Rahul Baliga
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Unfortunately nothing new in this book. Regurgitated information from various technology books over the last several years. Further more, did not go into any level of depth into the technology, processes or leadership of these companies.
Valery Zelixon
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into the most influential companies of today with focus on culture, innovation, creativity and the impact a leader has on the companies they create. Every tech leader and future entrepreneur should read it.
Cara Wood
Feb 24, 2021 added it
Shelves: 2021
Useful framework to not only compare the big tech giants -- but also think about company culture and leadership as a whole. One of my take aways was how it takes an entire organization, not just the leadership to navigate continuous change at scale.
Tomasz Piotrowski
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-english, audiobook
Alex Kantrowitz has written a very interesting analysis of the great four tech companies' organizational culture and rather objectively. Definitely worth reading! ...more
Jeremy Ray
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Microsoft chapter was the most interesting
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“Day One” at Amazon is code for inventing like a startup, with little regard for legacy. It’s an acknowledgment that competitors today can create new products at record speeds—thanks to advances in artificial intelligence and cloud computing especially—so you might as well build for the future, even at the present’s expense.” 0 likes
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