Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

High Stakes, No Prisoners: A Winner's Tale of Greed and Glory in the Internet Wars Paperback – Dec 2000


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£0.01
Paperback, Dec 2000
£2.56


Product details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publications; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (Dec 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 060980698X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609806982
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,680,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Amazon Review

If you've ever gone out to lunch with a coworker and suddenly found yourself witness to a savage stream of unflattering assessments of bosses, wicked gossip, and the-emperor-has-no-clothes analysis of your industry, you'll know what it's like to read High Stakes, No Prisoners. Ferguson, an MIT PhD., started up a company called Vermeer Technologies in 1994, a rough time for start-ups in Silicon Valley. The country was coming out of a recession, the stock market was stagnant, and the Internet wasn't yet taken seriously by those with money to invest. Vermeer had a software program called FrontPage that only someone who understood the coming power of the Net could appreciate. Even in Silicon Valley, few were so prescient.

Most of High Stakes is the story of Vermeer, from its start-up to its sale to Microsoft. (Now bundled with Microsoft Office, FrontPage is used by more than 3 million people worldwide.) Along the way, Ferguson met the players in the Valley and formed strong opinions of them. He describes Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale as an egomaniac and technological dolt in way, way over his head. Oracle founder Larry Ellison is "severely warped." One of his best lines sums up Silicon Valley as a place where "one finds little evidence that the meek shall inherit the earth."

But this isn't just the technological equivalent of WWF trash-talking. Ferguson is very tough on himself, too, and details his own shortcomings as a person and a businessman. Mostly, it's a gloves-off account of how things really get done in high technology today, as refreshingly honest and acerbic an account as you'll ever read. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A very interesting read. Not often there is a book written by someone high up on the 'inside' about the life of an Internet start-up. -- M2 Best Books, February 16, 2001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Start-ups, says Charles Ferguson, author of High Stakes, No Prisoners, are the intellectual equivalent of driving a small, fast convertible with the top down, the stereo playing Keith Jarrett, Bach or JJ Cale very loud, doing 100 miles an hour on an empty road at sunset. "You might crash, but the experience is visceral, immediate, and intense."
Anyone considering taking that ride would be well advised to read Ferguson's book before they set out. High Stakes is a witty, acerbic, and detailed account of how he grew Vermeer from a germ of an idea into a world leader in web site authoring technology. It was a painful but highly lucrative exercise. Vermeer was sold to Microsoft for $113 million after just two years.
What makes this different from other Silicon Valley start-up tales is that Ferguson doesn't hold anything back. He recounts the endless meetings with venture capitalists and the internal struggles that almost brought the company down. He is also quick to criticise both himself and others, resulting in a book that is both educational and entertaining.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
A book full of facts, stories and cause-effect relations. Do you want to know why Netscape didn't make it ? How can you put vendor lock-in in your software ? What are the surprises when partnering with a VC ? Insider stories of software product strategies, critical views of "industry leaders", vaporware competition etc., told by someone able to point at his own mistakes.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
An inspiring and fascinating book which is a must-read for all aspiring high-tech entrepreneurs and CEOs. Charles Ferguson relates how he founded Vermeer, created Frontpage, and within two years sold it to Microsoft for $130m. He comes across as smart, arrogant, paranoid and brilliantly perceptive. He admits his mistakes and pulls no punches in describing the people he dealt with.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
This book has been a real page turner, and is guilty of keeping me up FAR too late at night in recent days.
It's a fascinating insight into how the Internet has taken off in the past 6 or 7 years, and having been using for that period myself I can relate the author's insights and behind-the-scenes experience to the news headlines I've followed over the years.
He's blunt and says what he thinks of the movers and the shakers in the industry and is an absolutely invaluable guide for anybody with an idea who wishes to start their own company since it documents what his company did, and what mistakes they believe they made.
Anybody interested in 'net history, s/w development, or Internet start-ups should make a point of reading this.
Absolutely one of the best books I've read recently.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
He has a healthy contempt for mechanistic VCs, fussy lawyers - and self-serving, careerist CEOs. Like them, he wanted to get rich. Unlike them, he was passionate about building a successful product/company and making sure his mates benefitted to some extent as well; whereas professional businessmen view business as a cynical game in which large sums of money are passed between people of "the right sort".
His contempt for bandwagon-hopping careerist businessmen who subordinate entire companies to their rampaging egos is amusing, particularly if, like most people, you've encountered such rats yourself. Polemical in parts, of course, but a splendid book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback