Summary of Piloting Palm

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Piloting Palm book summary


7 Overall

5 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


If you like your corporate biographies short on technological details and long on struggles for survival and success, Piloting Palm is the book for you. Andrea Butter, Palm’s marketing director in the early days, provides backstage access to Palm’s evolutionary drama, complete with political infighting, searches for cash and the simple quest for survival. The story is told largely from the point of view of Jeff Hawkins, whom Butter and co-author David Pogue dub the father of handheld computing. The involvement of such dynamic firms as Casio, Tandy, GeoWorks, America Online, Intuit and various venture capitalists makes the story all the more interesting. recommends this book for its straightforward - although not all too objective - account of the creation of a modern technological phenomenon.

In this summary, you will learn

  • The story of Palm Computing Co. and it most famous product, the PalmPilot;
  • How a group of engineers led by Jeff Hawkins developed the PDA technology that revolutionized computing, and
  • How Palm executives raised funds, plotted strategy and finally marketed their handheld products.

About the Authors

Andrea Butter worked as Palm’s marketing director in the early days of Palm’s development, starting in 1993, when Palm just had 16 employees. Before then she had held various marketing positions with Apple and Claris. David Pogue has written and co-authored numerous computing manuals.



Palm: The Beginning
The beginnings of Palm Pilot and the handheld industry go back to 1991, when Jeff Hawkins, later called the father of handheld computing, was trying to create a new kind of computer. He lived in Silicon Valley at a time before the dot-com boom, when venture capitalists...

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