Summary of Business @ the Speed of Thought

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  • Overview


"Words are like leaves; and where they most abound / much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found," wrote Alexander Pope, hundreds of years before critics said roughly the same thing about Bill Gates’s Business @ the Speed of Thought. But when the words in question come from the pen of Microsoft’s chairman, businesspeople and technophiles the world over rush to read them in search of whatever enlightening morsels might be hidden within. Indeed, the strength of this book, which sometimes reads like a Windows operating manual, is not in the grace of its prose. Rather, its value lies in the glimpse it gives of the world through the eyes of one of its richest and most influential men. As Gates sees it, the migration of data to the electronic state from paper was the seminal event of our age, and his book gives his take on its implications - hardly an irrelevant picture coming from the head of the world’s dominant software company. getAbstract recommends this book to any executive charged with developing a digital strategy.

About the Author

Bill Gates, a college dropout, is the chairman of Microsoft Corp. and has more money than anyone else in the world (over $100 billion). His previous book was The Road Ahead. He lives with his wife and daughter in Seattle, WA. The U.S. Justice Department plans to take a wrecking ball to his company, but he’ll still have more money than anyone else in the world.



 Tools for Knowledge Workers

Computers are really important. They have changed business by making it possible to work faster than ever before. But this is only the beginning of what they can do. Most companies merely use computers to speed up things they used to do manually, but do them faster. They don’t recognize that computers are powerful tools that knowledge workers can use to analyze and work with information. Most business problems are in fact information problems, but few people now use information well. The potential of computers will only begin to be realized when businesses use computers to do new things with information.

The Internet is really important too. It has changed business by creating a shared space where knowledge workers can exchange information and ideas. Companies are only beginning to tap the potential of the Internet. Internet technology allows companies to create a “digital nervous system” analogous to the human physiological nervous system. When new information stimulates the digital nervous system the organization reacts fast as a reflex.

The Digital Nervous System

Companies can only build digital nervous systems if ...

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