Last night I finished Robert X Cringely’s Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date (published in the 1990s).
I much preferred Founders at Work: Stories of Startup’s Early Days by Jessica Livingston (published in 2007).
I think what I liked about Livingston’s book was that since it was in interview-format, it was straightforward.
But Cringely’s book felt very gossipy.
Of course, Livingston had the benefit of writing her book a decade.
My opinion, don’t read this book — it’s more reflective of the time the book was written than of the computer industry.
I’ve been very slowly reading Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date by Robert X Cringely.
So far I’m really not enjoying this book (published in the 1990s) about the start of the personal computer industry.
Click here to view the table of contents or here to read an excerpt.
Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success was a very quick read.
I was not thrilled to read this book but decided to read it only after a friend loaned it to me.
I would rank the quality Gladwell’s books in the same order they were published: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, and way behind is Outliers: The Story of Success.
Outliers just seemed so contrived.
While each story was interesting, they didn’t seem to quite fit into a coherent argument. It felt like Gladwell was trying to turn what should have been a simple article for the New York Times (not even an article for the New York Times Magazine) into a bestselling book.
Also, some of the stories — particularly the one about the health of residents of Roseto, PA — are well known to the public, which made it seem like Gladwell was trying even harder to make a book out of a simple essay.
So while I think that folks should read The Tipping Point and maybe even Blink for the educational value, I highly recommend that you not bother with Outliers.