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Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy

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In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. Companion Web site.


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In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. Companion Web site.

30 review for Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    It's a long and boring advertisement of Microsoft. The main idea is: "If we look around we will find a lot of guys who have money but still don't spend it on our software. There are companies where all the processes can be improved with computers, and there are medical care system, and there are schools and universities, and armed forces, and governments of all levels, and all of them badly need different improvements. Humanity demands more computers to develop economics. And here we are: more co It's a long and boring advertisement of Microsoft. The main idea is: "If we look around we will find a lot of guys who have money but still don't spend it on our software. There are companies where all the processes can be improved with computers, and there are medical care system, and there are schools and universities, and armed forces, and governments of all levels, and all of them badly need different improvements. Humanity demands more computers to develop economics. And here we are: more computers - more Microsoft software, more income. Buy new device every 3 years, be modern, help society to develop technically. Buy new device every 3 years and make some money for our company with each of those devices. I'm even ready to write a book to encourage people to support technical progress of that kind."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fahim

    If you are a business person and would like to know how technology, specially computer and internet, can change and improve your business, you definitely need to read this book. Please don't think that this book will teach you stuff about computers because Bill Gates wrote it. This is not the case. This book teaches you how you can use computer and internet to save costs, improve performance, share knowledge and increase your sales and business operation. Reading this book in this era of compute If you are a business person and would like to know how technology, specially computer and internet, can change and improve your business, you definitely need to read this book. Please don't think that this book will teach you stuff about computers because Bill Gates wrote it. This is not the case. This book teaches you how you can use computer and internet to save costs, improve performance, share knowledge and increase your sales and business operation. Reading this book in this era of computer and internet is not so exciting, but when you think about 1999 when internet was growing and computers were making their ways into businesses, you would realize what a visionary person Bill Gates was. Reading this book, you will understand that Bill Gates really knew about the future use of computers and different applications in the businesses and other areas of life. He talks about so many detailed examples of computer use in businesses, schools and medicine in 1999, but we see all these things today. This book is highly recommended for business students who are perusing a degree in information technology or knowledge management. A great read and a lot to learn from this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sneha

    It was little boring for me, but if you are a business person and if you are interested about how technology improved then the book is really good.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shitiz Srivastava

    Coming from Bill Gates, I didn’t find this book an interesting read. I tried picking it several times but it always bored me until one day I decided to pick it up and finish it. There are two problems with the book. First instead of instances, there is more of the philosophy of Bill Gates and second, the stories of Jobs and gates have already flooded the internet, start-up office and friend conversations that you feel you already know so much about them that reading a book feels like reading a d Coming from Bill Gates, I didn’t find this book an interesting read. I tried picking it several times but it always bored me until one day I decided to pick it up and finish it. There are two problems with the book. First instead of instances, there is more of the philosophy of Bill Gates and second, the stories of Jobs and gates have already flooded the internet, start-up office and friend conversations that you feel you already know so much about them that reading a book feels like reading a documented version of what you already know. However, I do agree that I was reading the book for entertainment purposes and I am not an entrepreneur. But people who are seriously looking to make a career as a software engineer, open their own company and need some motivation and right direction of thinking, then you must go through it this book. The intention behind reading this book matters a lot. I didn’t find it entertaining like most Jobs biographies because Jobs was a nutcase and did weird things but Gates is calmer, composed and Discipline. There are not much in the name of stories in his life. Recommended for start-up owners.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    Couldn't finish it... every page was an ad for a Micro$oft product -- yuck!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Benarroch

    It doesn't seem to me the Oracle of Delphi, as many readers depicted it. Jules Verne was a visionary, Bill Gates is a successful entrepreneur with limited writing skills that wrote a book (how much did he himself actually write?) about the following 10 years. I sincerely don't think it was so hard to predict such span. Moreover, there's a hell of a banal material, like he ran out of arguments but he needed to get his 500 pages so he just filled them up with any trivial expression that crossed hi It doesn't seem to me the Oracle of Delphi, as many readers depicted it. Jules Verne was a visionary, Bill Gates is a successful entrepreneur with limited writing skills that wrote a book (how much did he himself actually write?) about the following 10 years. I sincerely don't think it was so hard to predict such span. Moreover, there's a hell of a banal material, like he ran out of arguments but he needed to get his 500 pages so he just filled them up with any trivial expression that crossed his mind. It's barely acceptable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    I bought this book back when it came out around 99-00, but completely forgot about it. I found it while cleaning part of my house. The book is aimed at business managers and high-level executives and tries to push the idea of a digital office environment. What's funny is reading the author's (Bill Gates) predictions for the future of technology in the coming years, he is quite accurate for the most part, but also far off on a few.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Groot

    At the dawn of the Internet, this book... mentions it not at all. Whoever wrote this for him was a blind cave-fish.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amith Guthi

    Did you know that the first product Sony created was a rice cooker ? This book had the answer and reading this book helped me win a quiz competition years ago. This book is definitely NOT for tech community. I definitely don't like Microsoft products just because they dont have a soul. They have failed miserably in positioning their company ( which Apple successfully did ) , but take nothing away from this genius , Bill Gates. His passion is very apparent in the book - which makes it worthwhile Did you know that the first product Sony created was a rice cooker ? This book had the answer and reading this book helped me win a quiz competition years ago. This book is definitely NOT for tech community. I definitely don't like Microsoft products just because they dont have a soul. They have failed miserably in positioning their company ( which Apple successfully did ) , but take nothing away from this genius , Bill Gates. His passion is very apparent in the book - which makes it worthwhile to read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anton Klink

    Bill Gates and Microsoft were at the height of their power when this book was released, so as an avid DOS, Windows and PC user, I was certainly intrigued. It has been 15 years now since I read the book, so can hardly remember anything, but I do remember thinking at the time that it was OK. Not spectacular and not horrible either but a good read. The use of @ in the title is certainly antiquated by today's standards but that was the trend of the day back then.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Words from the Messiah on business Microsoft & making money from a can do guy. Imagine him running a country. The man they had to make step down as CEO of Microsoft or he probably would be running the country. Words from the Messiah on business Microsoft & making money from a can do guy. Imagine him running a country. The man they had to make step down as CEO of Microsoft or he probably would be running the country.

  12. 5 out of 5

    William

    Prescient and agnostically enlightening. Chapter on dealing with bad news is excellent. Much of what he forecasts has come to pass and we are only 21 years since publication. The tone is very much like his persona: the cheeky smiling geek sitting at a congressional hearing or standing on the Great wall of China. His pitch is all about how great things will be and how dreamers can dream. Okay but there is a dark side that he doesn’t cover in much detail: crime, terrorism, dictatorship, bullying. Prescient and agnostically enlightening. Chapter on dealing with bad news is excellent. Much of what he forecasts has come to pass and we are only 21 years since publication. The tone is very much like his persona: the cheeky smiling geek sitting at a congressional hearing or standing on the Great wall of China. His pitch is all about how great things will be and how dreamers can dream. Okay but there is a dark side that he doesn’t cover in much detail: crime, terrorism, dictatorship, bullying. Gates mentions nothing much about contemporary security issues: hackers, cyberthieves, intellectual property theft, and national security vulnerabilities. Such are the current dangers of global networking and myopic thinking about “universal” (for every aspect of life) globalism. There is brief mention of personal privacy but Gates suggests that individuals will be able to control how much info others obtain through encryption, leaning more heavily on the benefits of tailored offerings and service. To be fair, Gates does open the door to discussion in his treatment of health care information processes. There is efficiency, immediacy, and accuracy in providing emergency and follow-up care. There is fraud prevention, bill verification and auditing capability. There is for the client a single portal to input and subsequently the system notifies every department and database. Doctors can identify trends, movement of disease, and risk factors for patients. Unfortunately for clients the capability exists for insurance companies or employers to use the information against them. Gates also discusses the issue of ever-expanding or runaway definitions: in this case information management. Runaways in the 21st century are destroying the language and dumbing down logic, argumentation, and discourse in a manner not Gates’ fault but not foreseen by him either. The book does get better as it progresses and many of Gates’ predictions have come true.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Amazing book about the future of technology in the next few decades looking ahead from the year 1999. 1. Businesses need to develop its own digital nervous system, without which it wont succeed 2. Talks about a lot of innovations now which we take for granted such as email, word processing, excel, databases, internet servers, which we take for granted and don’t even think about. 3. Talks about applications of computers in businesses, schools, medicine, government, all of which has come true. 4. Some Amazing book about the future of technology in the next few decades looking ahead from the year 1999. 1. Businesses need to develop its own digital nervous system, without which it wont succeed 2. Talks about a lot of innovations now which we take for granted such as email, word processing, excel, databases, internet servers, which we take for granted and don’t even think about. 3. Talks about applications of computers in businesses, schools, medicine, government, all of which has come true. 4. Some people claim in the reviews that it’s a marketing for Microsoft. But you have to remember that Microsoft wasn’t what it today in 1999. These were ideas which he was brave enough to put out and then build Microsoft to implement his ideas. 5. Doesn’t seem to be a particularly gifted writer or speaker, but he is definitely a visionary as well as somebody who can execute on that vision. The ideas in the book seem too obvious now, however that was not the case in 1999. Its too easy to see the success of ideas in hindsight. Hindsight is 2020 as they say. 6. Is there a book similarly written for 2017 onwards?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Oussama El Marsani

    Normally i would give it 3 Stars since it waysnt a very fun/enjoyable read but i gotta give it 4 stars for Bill Gates Foreseeing and predicating back in 1999 the future of Digital Technology and its crucial role in the development of information flow in the medicine field, scientifical researches, Teaching and Studying, Banking and many more. Here are some things i've found interesting in the book and that i wannit to pinpoint : •The importance of fact finding trips. •The information work and how i Normally i would give it 3 Stars since it waysnt a very fun/enjoyable read but i gotta give it 4 stars for Bill Gates Foreseeing and predicating back in 1999 the future of Digital Technology and its crucial role in the development of information flow in the medicine field, scientifical researches, Teaching and Studying, Banking and many more. Here are some things i've found interesting in the book and that i wannit to pinpoint : •The importance of fact finding trips. •The information work and how it contributes to half of the total value of the product. •Making the companys data available for all with moderation for secrecy. •Using emails prior to face to face meetings. •Benefits of a paperless office and the "self-boiled egg" rule. •How Adam smith's "perfect market" is possible with a web lifestyle. •How Middlemen can add value by using internet. •The web being an early-warning system for errors and problems. •Data mining and CRM (customer relationship management). •The use of knowledge management and sharing in planning, customer service, training and teamwork.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John

    Although this book was written twenty years ago, it still hold many redeemable qualities. Obviously, the technology discussions are tremendously outdated (even 10 years ago this was the case). That being said, Gates’s grasp of technology and his forward-thinking mind still shines through. Some takeaways: 1). Change NEVER stops and continues to evolve. If you are keeping an eye on new trends, then you will be hopelessly behind, especially in business. 2). NEVER stop learning. He holds in high rega Although this book was written twenty years ago, it still hold many redeemable qualities. Obviously, the technology discussions are tremendously outdated (even 10 years ago this was the case). That being said, Gates’s grasp of technology and his forward-thinking mind still shines through. Some takeaways: 1). Change NEVER stops and continues to evolve. If you are keeping an eye on new trends, then you will be hopelessly behind, especially in business. 2). NEVER stop learning. He holds in high regard intellectual curiosity, as should we all. 3). Continually look to upgrade your business and thought processes. ‘Is there some way to do this faster, more efficiently.’ 4). To achieve #3, you need to have a great understanding od the governing dynamics of whatever processes you hope to change. 5). Step out of your box and embrace something different. Obviously, this is a short list and one can garner much more on a personal basis while reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    mm

    α - having a digital nervous system sounds cool - i want one Ω - The business advice seems sound, but i'm no CEO. Gates seems to have a firm grasp on the limitations of group interactions - the example in the book was that if he was meeting with more than 4 people than that sector was over managed & in need of restructuring to reduce complexity. I've always viewed Gates as a megalomaniac - pushing Microsoft onto anything & everything. Mono-culture isn't very flexible, but even Google is adopting t α - having a digital nervous system sounds cool - i want one Ω - The business advice seems sound, but i'm no CEO. Gates seems to have a firm grasp on the limitations of group interactions - the example in the book was that if he was meeting with more than 4 people than that sector was over managed & in need of restructuring to reduce complexity. I've always viewed Gates as a megalomaniac - pushing Microsoft onto anything & everything. Mono-culture isn't very flexible, but even Google is adopting the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish strategy. I wonder after Ballmer's lackluster CEO run what Gates would've recommended seeing as he's back on the board supporting Satya Nadella. History will be the ultimate judge on whether Gates is a philanthropist or if it’s just an elaborate tax evasion scheme.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    This book is twenty years old and therefore reads a little dated when it comes to the wonders of the internet and the benefits that the coming digital age will bring. Still, Gates treats several areas where Information Technology can disrupt and improve, and it’s telling that most of his predictions have come true. Maybe read as a historical text, to provide some context and get a better understanding of where we’ve come from these past two decades.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ali Danish

    The guy predicted the technology roadmap in 2000. We can see all that today. The book not only teaches you technology but also the impact it will create on our daily life. How helpful the technology is in all walks of life. This book will enrich your experience in doing business by using state of the art technology.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Toby Bond

    Its a bit dated now, but if you had invested $100 in Amazon when this book was published itd be worth $3500 yesterday & $4k at peak. Its an interesting analysis, the broad lines of collaboration, communication and IT systems as an investment, streamlining etc are clearly valid but with hindsight not much that isnt known. Wish id read this book when it was published & invested $10k in amazon. Its a bit dated now, but if you had invested $100 in Amazon when this book was published itd be worth $3500 yesterday & $4k at peak. Its an interesting analysis, the broad lines of collaboration, communication and IT systems as an investment, streamlining etc are clearly valid but with hindsight not much that isnt known. Wish id read this book when it was published & invested $10k in amazon.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shashank Malviya

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Book is more like a one way lecture on importance of Information on business. Motivating reader or listeners, to start using information and set up process (MS software, it was obvious as it was coming out from founder).. Book has no plot or something like knowledge sharing but just some practices used by some great companies including Microsoft....

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book hasn't aged well in regards to technology, but then again it's 20 years old. Key take away * technology should be streamlining process * new technology should coincide re-evaluating existing processes * CEO is ultimately responsible for

  22. 5 out of 5

    MBybee

    Somewhere between a dated advertisement for specific (long dead) Microsoft products and some actually good points, this book is one I'd wanted to read for ages. Not sure I'd recommend it, in general.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Adel Algbawi

    Even this book outdated but will gives an overview of how information technology and Internet have changed the way companies work and how Bill Gates have foresight about the future!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Phesighyo

    Repository for IT ideas for developing nations.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    Old book but one of my first and favorite books on what the future might look like.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt Reynaud

    This book appears to have been wrote in the late 90’s yet despite the advances in digital technology mr Gates insights are every bit as insightful and relevant today as they were then.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jadav Mehul

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Good

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gavin Kirk

    Interesting historical view on the then coming digital age.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Coffee Store Guy

    I guess you can say selling several hundred million Xbox games could be called "succeeding in the digital economy."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Iain

    This book is rather out of date, now, but it's fascinating to see how a lot of Gates's predictions have come true. The ones that haven't come true are probably still in our future.

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