Summary of High Noon

The Inside Story of Scott McNealy and the Rise of Sun Microsystems

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High Noon book summary
A cautionary tale to start-ups: Sun Microsystem boomed only after its founder was replaced as CEO by the now ubiquitous Scott McNealy.


8 Overall

6 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Author Karen Southwick reveals how a few kids from Stanford University turned Sun Microsystems into a $10 billion industry powerhouse. This incredibly detailed book revisits many of the key moments in Sun’s history, leading up to the recent excitement over the Java programming language. The author shows how Scott McNealy’s unique personal style played an instrumental part in Sun’s direction. Despite McNealy’s prominence in the book, this is really a saga about Sun Microsystems and the technology economy. While she makes some effort to provide McNealy’s biography, the author is clearly more interested in the strategic corporate moves Sun made to position itself for the future. getAbstract recommends this book as essential reading for anyone in the early stages of a technology start-up, and fascinating reading for anyone even slightly interested in business.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Sun Microsystems became a successful start-up;
  • How it prospered under CEO Scott McNealy; and
  • Why Sun achieved hyper-growth in the mid-80s.


In the Beginning
Even as a teenager in New Delhi, India, Vinod Khosla knew he wanted to start his own company. After failing with a start-up in his homeland, Khosla brought his electrical engineering degree to the United States. He arrived during the late 1970s, when Silicon Valley was...
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About the Author

Karen Southwick is a managing editor at Forbes ASAP She is the author of Silicon Gold Rush.

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