Book picks similar to
Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace by James Wallace
iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It
Steve Wozniak - 2006
individual whose contributions to the scientific, business and cultural realms are extensive."—BookpageBefore slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange, alien vending machines. But in "the most staggering burst of technical invention by a single person in high-tech history" (BusinessWeek) Steve Wozniak invented the first true personal computer. Wozniak teamed up with Steve Jobs, and Apple Computer was born, igniting the computer revolution and transforming the world. Here, thirty years later, the mischievous genius with the low profile treats readers to a rollicking, no-holds-barred account of his life—for once, in the voice of the wizard himself.
Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age
Michael A. Hiltzik - 1999
And they did it without fanfare or recognition from their employer. Hiltzik's Dealers of Lightning provides a fascinating look at technohistory that sets the record straight. In Dealers of Lightning, Hiltzik describes the forces and faces behind the revolution that the Xerox PARC team single-handedly spawned. The Xerox PARC group was composed solely of top technical minds. The decision was made at Xerox headquarters to give the team complete freedom from deadlines and directives, in hopes of fostering a true creative environment. It worked perhaps too well. The team responded with a steady output of amazing technology, including the first version of the Internet, the first personal computer, user-friendly word-processing programs, and pop-up menus. Xerox, far from ready for the explosion of innovation, failed to utilize the technology dreamed up by the group. Out of all the dazzling inventions born at Xerox PARC, only a handful were developed and marketed by Xerox. However, one of these inventions, the laser printer, proved successful enough to earn billions for the company, therefore justifying its investment in the research center. Most oftheteam's creations would go on to be developed and perfected by other companies, such as IBM, Apple, and Microsoft. Drawing from interviews with the engineers, executives, and scientists involved in the Xerox PARC, Dealers of Lightning chronicles an amazing era of egos, ideas, and inventions at the dawn of the computer age.
Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet
Katie Hafner - 1996
Today, twenty million people worldwide are surfing the Net. Where Wizards Stay Up Late is the exciting story of the pioneers responsible for creating the most talked about, most influential, and most far-reaching communications breakthrough since the invention of the telephone. In the 1960's, when computers where regarded as mere giant calculators, J.C.R. Licklider at MIT saw them as the ultimate communications devices. With Defense Department funds, he and a band of visionary computer whizzes began work on a nationwide, interlocking network of computers. Taking readers behind the scenes, Where Wizards Stay Up Late captures the hard work, genius, and happy accidents of their daring, stunningly successful venture.
Steve Jobs & the NeXT Big Thing
Randall E. Stross - 1993
This period was the nadir of Jobs’s professional life, as NeXT’s products failed to find a welcome in the marketplace. The company burned through more than $250 million without managing to eke out a profit. It would eventually be rescued by Apple and Jobs would return there after the close of the book’s narrative. When he did, he took with him lessons learned during his NeXT years in how not to manage a company.
In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
Steven Levy - 2011
How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works.While they were still students at Stanford, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin revolutionized Internet search. They followed this brilliant innovation with another, as two of Google’s earliest employees found a way to do what no one else had: make billions of dollars from Internet advertising. With this cash cow, Google was able to expand dramatically and take on other transformative projects: more efficient data centers, open-source cell phones, free Internet video (YouTube), cloud computing, digitizing books, and much more.The key to Google’s success in all these businesses, Levy reveals, is its engineering mind-set and adoption of such Internet values as speed, openness, experimentation, and risk taking. After its unapologetically elitist approach to hiring, Google pampers its engineers—free food and dry cleaning, on-site doctors and masseuses—and gives them all the resources they need to succeed. Even today, with a workforce of more than 23,000, Larry Page signs off on every hire.But has Google lost its innovative edge? With its newest initiative, social networking, Google is chasing a successful competitor for the first time. Some employees are leaving the company for smaller, nimbler start-ups. Can the company that famously decided not to be evil still compete?No other book has ever turned Google inside out as Levy does with In the Plex.
Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
Nick Bilton - 2013
In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company. Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways. Now Nick Bilton of the New York Times takes readers behind the scenes with a narrative that shows what happened inside Twitter as it grew at exponential speeds. This is a tale of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles as the four founders—Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass—went from everyday engineers to wealthy celebrities, featured on magazine covers, Oprah, The Daily Show, and Time’s list of the world’s most influential people. Bilton’s exclusive access and exhaustive investigative reporting—drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails—have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of fame, influence, and power. He also captures the zeitgeist and global influence of Twitter, which has been used to help overthrow governments in the Middle East and disrupt the very fabric of the way people communicate.
Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
Peter Seibel - 2009
Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
Paul Graham - 2004
Who are these people, what motivates them, and why should you care?Consider these facts: Everything around us is turning into computers. Your typewriter is gone, replaced by a computer. Your phone has turned into a computer. So has your camera. Soon your TV will. Your car was not only designed on computers, but has more processing power in it than a room-sized mainframe did in 1970. Letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, and even your local store are being replaced by the Internet.Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls “an intellectual Wild West.”The ideas discussed in this book will have a powerful and lasting impact on how we think, how we work, how we develop technology, and how we live. Topics include the importance of beauty in software design, how to make wealth, heresy and free speech, the programming language renaissance, the open-source movement, digital design, internet startups, and more.
Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
Kevin D. Mitnick - 2011
While other nerds were fumbling with password possibilities, this adept break-artist was penetrating the digital secrets of Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment Corporation, Nokia, Motorola, Pacific Bell, and other mammoth enterprises. His Ghost in the Wires memoir paints an action portrait of a plucky loner motivated by a passion for trickery, not material game. (P.S. Mitnick's capers have already been the subject of two books and a movie. This first-person account is the most comprehensive to date.)
A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age
Jimmy Soni - 2017
He constructed a fleet of customized unicycles and a flamethrowing trumpet, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots. He also wrote the seminal text of the digital revolution, which has been called “the Magna Carta of the Information Age.” His discoveries would lead contemporaries to compare him to Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. His work anticipated by decades the world we’d be living in today—and gave mathematicians and engineers the tools to bring that world to pass.In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman reveal Claude Shannon’s full story for the first time. It’s the story of a small-town Michigan boy whose career stretched from the era of room-sized computers powered by gears and string to the age of Apple. It’s the story of the origins of our digital world in the tunnels of MIT and the “idea factory” of Bell Labs, in the “scientists’ war” with Nazi Germany, and in the work of Shannon’s collaborators and rivals, thinkers like Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Vannevar Bush, and Norbert Wiener.And it’s the story of Shannon’s life as an often reclusive, always playful genius. With access to Shannon’s family and friends, A Mind at Play brings this singular innovator and creative genius to life.
Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-And Revolutionized an Industry
Marc Benioff - 2009
Showing how salesforce.com not only survived the dotcom implosion of 2001, but went on to define itself as the leader of the cloud computing revolution and spark a $46-billion dollar industry, Benioff's story will help business leaders and entrepreneurs stand out, innovate better, and grow faster in any economic climate. In Behind the Cloud, Benioff shares the strategies that have inspired employees, turned customers into evangelists, leveraged an ecosystem of partners, and allowed innovation to flourish.
How Google Works
Eric Schmidt - 2014
As they helped grow Google from a young start-up to a global icon, they relearned everything they knew about management. How Google Works is the sum of those experiences distilled into a fun, easy-to-read primer on corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption.The authors explain how the confluence of three seismic changes - the internet, mobile, and cloud computing - has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers. The companies that will thrive in this ever-changing landscape will be the ones that create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom the authors dub 'smart creatives'. The management maxims ('Consensus requires dissension', 'Exile knaves but fight for divas', 'Think 10X, not 10%') are illustrated with previously unreported anecdotes from Google's corporate history.'Back in 2010, Eric and I created an internal class for Google managers,' says Rosenberg. 'The class slides all read 'Google confidential' until an employee suggested we uphold the spirit of openness and share them with the world. This book codifies the recipe for our secret sauce: how Google innovates and how it empowers employees to succeed.'
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
Antonio García Martínez - 2016
Infrastructure engineers use a software version of this “chaos monkey” to test online services’ robustness—their ability to survive random failure and correct mistakes before they actually occur. Tech entrepreneurs are society’s chaos monkeys, disruptors testing and transforming every aspect of our lives, from transportation (Uber) and lodging (AirBnB) to television (Netflix) and dating (Tinder). One of Silicon Valley’s most audacious chaos monkeys is Antonio García Martínez.After stints on Wall Street and as CEO of his own startup, García Martínez joined Facebook’s nascent advertising team, turning its users’ data into profit for COO Sheryl Sandberg and chairman and CEO Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg. Forced out in the wake of an internal product war over the future of the company’s monetization strategy, García Martínez eventually landed at rival Twitter. He also fathered two children with a woman he barely knew, committed lewd acts and brewed illegal beer on the Facebook campus (accidentally flooding Zuckerberg's desk), lived on a sailboat, raced sport cars on the 101, and enthusiastically pursued the life of an overpaid Silicon Valley wastrel.Now, this gleeful contrarian unravels the chaotic evolution of social media and online marketing and reveals how it is invading our lives and shaping our future. Weighing in on everything from startups and credit derivatives to Big Brother and data tracking, social media monetization and digital “privacy,” García Martínez shares his scathing observations and outrageous antics, taking us on a humorous, subversive tour of the fascinatingly insular tech industry. Chaos Monkeys lays bare the hijinks, trade secrets, and power plays of the visionaries, grunts, sociopaths, opportunists, accidental tourists, and money cowboys who are revolutionizing our world. The question is, will we survive?
The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media and Technology Success of Our Time
David A. Vise - 2005
The Google Story takes you deep inside the company's wild ride from an idea that struggled for funding in 1998 to a firm that rakes in billions in profits, making Brin and Page the wealthiest young men in America. Based on scrupulous research and extraordinary access to Google, this fast-moving narrative reveals how an unorthodox management style and culture of innovation enabled a search engine to shake up Madison Avenue and Wall Street, scoop up YouTube, and battle Microsoft at every turn. Not afraid of controversy, Google is expanding in Communist China and quietly working on a searchable genetic database, initiatives that test the founders' guiding mantra: DON'T BE EVIL.