In light of the recent declines in tech stocks, you must give author Karen Southwick credit - for the most part she’s profiled companies that are still around, although they’ve taken some hits. Southwick synthesizes her observations of Silicon Valley over the last decade or so. She takes a broad and sustained look at the practices of such companies as Ascend, Audodesk, Ciena, Cisco, Crossworlds, Net Noir, Open Market, Peoplesoft, Yahoo and others. Using an anecdotal, feature-story style, Southwick dissects these firms, covering CEOs’ personal histories, corporate funding and corporate culture - down to dress code and wilderness team-building exercises. Some stories aren’t new (insiders know Yahoo’s culture is wacky) and there are some small inaccuracies (i.e. you could challenge Crossworlds CEO Katrina Garnett’s argument that turnover is still a massive problem). Nonetheless, whether you’re an insider or just an observer seeking an overview of Silicon Valley and its players, getAbstract recommends this accessible, reader-friendly compilation.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why companies must always be prepared to capitalize on the next great opportunity,
- What “ten commandments” the next generation of high-technology companies should follow, and
- What “mind share” is and how to develop it.
About the Author
Karen Southwick of San Francisco, California, has covered technology and Silicon Valley for more than a decade, working for The San Francisco Chronicle, Upside magazine and Forbes ASAP. She is also the author of High Noon: The Inside Story of Scott McNealy and the Rise of Sun Microsystems.