The books every web marketer
should have on their shelf
In the Company of Giants : Candid Conversations with the Visionaries of the Digital World
If you like sitcoms with laughter tracks, you'll love this book... virtually every interview is punctuated by frequent italicised references to laughter at the interviewees' poor attempts at humour. ("He laughed", "We all laughed" etc.) It's nice to see the authors enjoying themselves but beyond that, is the book actually worth reading?
In a nutshell, yes. Although it is a little dry in places, this is a highly readable series of interviews with luminaries of the "Digital World", as well as a few washed-up ex-digerati that had already had their day well before the printing presses rolled. Still, the high and mighty are fairly well-represented, from the ubiquitous BillG (dodging every question like an X-Wing weaving towards the reactor core) to Steve Jobs (voluble and affable). What's more, what they have to say is actually worth listening to.
There's lots of good advice for would-be entrepreneurs, although perhaps the subtext of this book should be "Don't ask a dozen or so successful people for advice or you're sure to receive conflicting answers." The speakers are divided into two clear camps: the "take-the-money people" (but only the best venture capital will do) and the "go-it-alone crowd" (venture capital pah! what were credit cards invented for?)
Perhaps most out of place in the book is Bill Hewlett of HP fame. Although HP is a highly successful company, his wholesome stories seemed at odds with the tales of high-pitched battles for survival offered by many of the other entrepreneurs featured in this book. In short, he comes over as too nice. Still, it's refreshing to see there's still room for civility on the way to the top of the food chain!
I give this book an 8/10 rating. Read it and dream... [BUY THE BOOK]