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Apple: The inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders Hardcover – Oct 1997

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Hardcover, Oct 1997
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 463 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; 1 edition (Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812928512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812928518
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 17.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,213,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DJ Bez on 29 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
In one of the internet's more spooky moments, a website relating to a 1998 game is not only still online but has some emails from Douglas Adams writ as if he were still alive - in one he recommends this book and says that he loves Apple technology but hates the company itself - [...]

On that recommendation I easily found the book here on Amazon, and can highly recommend it; if, and only if, you find these kind of business books of interest. Please trust me that when another reviewer says its 'like Dan Brown', don't worry, it isn't that bad!
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By A Customer on 1 Jun. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Jim Carlton manages to make a corporate history sound interesting, leaving chapters on cliffhangers a bit like DAN BROWN would ; he describes characters and meetings in such a funny, accurate way that your TV soaps pale in comparison... and then there is the story of the company that deserved to go bust at least three times, each time saved by the bell.
For anyone interested in the history of modern personal computers, a must read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 61 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good insights... lousy writing... 4 Dec. 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As an Apple employee I liked Jim Carlton's book because of the behind-the-scenes glimpses at a company that I love. But, geez, I've never read a book that needed a good editor more... there are literally sections that repeat themselves word for word (and how many times can we read a gushing description of Steve Jobs' "long flowing hair and rock-star good looks"? Give me a break. I also disagree with people here who say that he gives Apple a "fair shake". I found his portrayal quite biased and one-sided. Carlton's history of Apple is one that is full of major blunders that would have saved the company (his view). The reality is that, for all its missteps, Apple did a lot of things amazingly well... but you won't find that history in this biased book.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Jim Carlton Was Wrong 2 Jun. 2002
By Troy Dawson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Useful history and inside looks, but reading his 1998 back-of-the-hand dismissal of Apple's chances of survival is pretty humorous nowadays. His opinion that Apple should have licensed earlier is similarly wrong-headed and lacking in any technical appreciation of the downsides of licensing (dilution of brand,difficult QA processes, cherry-picking, loss of platform homogenieity ).
He similarly doesn't understand the silliness of Apple developing an x86 MacOS in the early 90's, and again reveals his technical ineptitude by failing to pursue the ramifications of an Apple-brand x86 offering (ie a Mac with an x86 CPU) vs a software-only offering like Windows or NeXT's Yellow Box.
He also repeatedly blows the 5300 battery issue out of proportion.
But I think the weakest theme in the book is that an alternative platform with less than 10% "marketshare" is automatically doomed to failure. While there is a strong positive network effect for the 'standard' and a negative effect for the alternatives, in his near-hagiography of Gates & Co he simply missed the bigger picture that the lamosity of the Wintel platform's inherent legacy issues is and was a countervening force.
5-10% of the total market is sufficiently large for Apple, given a) it's the top 5-10% and b) Micros~1 continues to [stink] as it always has.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This book gave me the answers I was looking for...and more. 16 Oct. 1997
By - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Apple Computer, in its heyday, was one of the most respected growth companies of this century. As a devoted Mac user, it's always been hard for me to comprehend how Apple managed to take one of the most innovative products of our time, the user-friendly personal computer, and fail to compete effectively long-term in the mass market.
This book gave me the answers I was looking for...and more. Not a dry corporate history book, Jim Carlton has gone to the heart of what went wrong in Apple by focusing on the personalities that shaped this company...and later led it to the brink of ruin.
The leaders of Apple could have come out of a Shakespearean play. As Shakespeare knew, hubris, or excessive pride, is the undoing of man. In the swollen egos of Apple's leaders, we see evidence of hubris with a capital "H".
Although we may fool ourselves into thinking that technological prowess and All-American competitiveness has lifted us above the men of Shakespeare's day, Jim Carlton's Apple brings us back to earth and reminds us that, above all else, it's the human element that makes or breaks a company.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Interesting to see the accumulation of "could haves" 8 Dec. 2004
By Robert Pratte - Published on
Format: Paperback
While others have noted the writing style (tolerable - I've seen far worse), the book as a whole is rather thorough and interesting. Granted, it was published before Apple's comeback, so there is (perhaps) too much emphasis upon the failures. However, the accumulated "could have" stories are interesting fare, things that may have been overlooked in the tale of a successful company's history. Here we see the flirtations with Sun, with Apollo, the AIM alliance and PowerPC, porting to x86 hardware, the Newton, and the spin-offs: webTV, Be, etc. Using hindsight 20/20, it seems that Jobs is under-represented. Yet, at the time of publication, I think that this book provided an accurate picture of how things seemed to line up.

I recommend this book, particularly to Apple fans and those interested in the history of computing. Additionally, this book is prime material for those interested in business blunders, particularly related to technology. For the latter group, this book makes a fine companion to the history of Xerox PARC, Dealers of Lightning. The works together provide a chilling view of how tecnhological innovation is often antithetical to business interests. I think that Carlton's work alone can make one consider the fate of technology in the hands of "big business".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5 Stars on Information, 1 on Writing Quality 4 Aug. 2009
By Amazonman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Interested in all things Apple, I obtained this book to add to my existing corpus of knowledge on the subject of Apple. While I would recommend the book simply because it contains some information you won't readily find anywhere else, the writing quality is poor. I don't mean that the writer is inept, just that, like others have mentioned, the author repeats himself and jumps around from different dates, which gets confusing. Also, it reads like it was just quickly pieced together from a set of loosely organized notes, and then edited for grammar, spelling, etc.

But those who say he takes too negative a tone... I don't agree. He highlights something important that 90% of other writers on the subject don't: the failure of John Sculley. He is spot on with his view on Sculley, and how Sculley made a series of bad decisions and was generally wrong for Apple. For instance, the Apple Newton project bled Apple of over $500 million. It was because of projects like these, in part, that Apple, as a company, was facing the threat of going bankrupt. To be sure, Sculley approved many projects without knowing much about them, and was not involved with product development to any great extent. What was clear from this book is that Sculley was tired, and wanted to leave Apple. It's not hard to derive from this that if a company's leader is no longer motivated, the company can and will suffer.
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