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.
I went to the library the other day and picked up a copy of Stephen Baker’s The Numerati, which I first wrote about here.
The book is organized into seven chapters which describe ways that data is being analyzed in mass quantities: Worker, Shopper, Voter, Blogger, Terrorist, Patient, and Lover.
You’d think that Lover would be the most interesting but it had the least substance; Voter (about Josh Gotbaum of Spotlight Analysis) was by far the most interesting chapter.
The Numerati was such a quick read that I finished it in just a few short disappointing hours.
I felt Baker was stretching to fill out his book with examples of how mathematicians are dangerously invading our privacy by quantifying and analyzing our lives.
Still, it was entertaining; just keep your expectations low.