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Secrets of Silicon Valley: What Everyone Else Can Learn From the Innovation Capital of the World Hardcover – 30 Apr 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (30 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230342116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230342118
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.4 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,150,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Piscione offers a bird's-eye view of one of the most exceptional economic ecosystems in the U.S., which is sure to interest entrepreneurs and leaders alike. "Publishers Weekly" A valuable glimpse of a mecca of innovation. "Kirkus Reviews" A mixture of captivating history and thought-provoking anecdotes. Perry Piscione gives you an appreciation for both the legends that built Silicon Valley and the visionaries who continue to reinvent it all over again. "Barbara Corcoran, Investor, Co-host ABC Shark Tank" Perry Piscione shows how innovation is the religion Silicon Valley believes in, the sport they play and the air they breathe. "Secrets of Silicon Valley" shows how living and working in Silicon Valley creates a culture that celebrates success like nowhere else. "Vijay Govindarajan, professor at Tuck at Dartmouth and author of NYT and WSJ Best Seller Reverse Innovation" A must read. Deborah Perry Piscione captures the importance of unregulated freedom and the societal pride around Silicon Valley's entrepreneurial heroes. "Tim Draper, Founder & Managing Partner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson" A powerful combination of history, original reporting and anthropological observation, Perry Piscione dares every politician in America -- or better, the world -- to discover the secrets of Silicon Valley's success and its continuous cycles of innovation. "U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia" Perry Piscione has opened a window into the great mystery of what moves Silicon Valley's engine. Every corporate executive, policymaker, and entrepreneur should take a peek into how this prolific community does its business. "Eric Dezenhall, CEO, Dezenhall Resources and author of Damage Control" The only way to describe Jamis (perhaps Silicon Valley's version of Donald Trump) and how powerful Buck's restaurant is, is to share that on any given day it is the gathering of the most powerful venture capitalists to CEO's to the over 100 media outlets that visits per year to the foreign delegations who will hang out at Buck's for days to figure out how Silicon Valley works. "Jamis MacNiven, owner of Buck's restaurant, Woodside California""

Book Description

An inside look at the unique world of Silicon Valley, and a call to replicate the culture that makes it an incubator for entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the world

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Gentle Reader on 21 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The content of this book is the same you find in the weekend section of any business magazine. Except for the first chapter which is all about the author herself.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 58 reviews
90 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Trite - 4 April 2013
By George Bush - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The author knows as much about Silicon Valley secrets as the Man in the Moon. Readers are instead given pages of useless driven about her formerly working in Republican politics, moving to Silicon Valley and a smaller home, lots of rah-rah for Stanford, background on the farmer that used to own the land, and 'insights' from a VC software funder (an area that's full of fluff and hyped-up P/E ratios). Not surprising, since her 'real' background seems to be in P.R. (hype).

Interesting also how the supporting reviews are so uniformly maximally positive and full of nothing but similarly superficial generalities; further, most don't use their real name or list their geographic locations, and this is the only review they've published on Amazon. Something's fishy here -
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Is this book an elaborate joke? 27 May 2013
By D N - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The author writes about Silicon Valley like someone who saw a time-share commercial about it, a long time ago. Entire chapters look like they were copied-and-pasted from a 'lonely planet' travel guide, but with inferior writing. I'm not kidding. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 11:

"Silicon Valley lies inland and is surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges. The area, from San Jose in the south to Palo Alto in the north, has some of the most optimum weather in the world, with more than 300 sunny days a year. The average temperature in Silicon Valley ranges between 42 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit in January, and between 57 and 84 degrees in July. Temperature fluctuations between night and day can vary as little as 10 to 12 degrees, meaning that its climate does not experience huge temperature drops or rises like some other parts of California. The highest temperature ever recorded in San Jose was 114 degrees in June 1961; the lowest was 20 degrees Fahrenheit in December 1990."

Yes, this is what the rest of the world needs -- to build a weather machine and copy our climate. The rest of the book is all about geography, government institutions (not surprising for someone who spent so much time in and around the government), and lots of quotes from business school professors who never actually founded any companies.

How much screen time do the 20-something engineers and entrepreneurs who actually run the valley get? Very, very little. This book isn't for them, or for anyone striving to replicate some of the wealth creation here. It's a way to flatter 60-year-olds into thinking that they 'get it'.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
No secrets given here 12 Sept. 2013
By fanoplane - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Atrocious book. For someone with any background on the bay area, the ideas brought up here are obvious. I hoped the book would give some insight into the sociological aspects that make Silicon Valley, but instead the book just focuses on the outcomes which are well known. Many of the summaries of local businesses and big corporations look like they come from a travel guide, or are pasted from PR material from the companies own websites. As the book progresses it feels like the author's writing gets sloppy. Grammar mistakes and nonsensical sentences become a regular occurrence.

Towards the end of the book, the author makes an personal anecdote to a local preschool. She first informs the reader that the school has a great reputation. She then proceeds to mention one of the instructors informed the author that the author's son (who attends the preschool) is gifted, as a form of verifying the preschool's reputation while also touting her own child's abilities. I didn't buy this book to learn about the author's child's talents, and the story doesn't help to explain why the school is so great.

Unfortunately, as has been pointed out by other reviewers, there seem to be a majority of reviews for this book which give a 5-start rating with absolutely no justification. I wish I had not wasted my time or money on this book.
39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Beware of robotic supporting reviews 14 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's a shame to use robot reviewers to promote a book. It may get some attention at search result page, but readers will soon find out.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Is this book a joke? 16 Feb. 2014
By Victoria Anderson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm from Indiana and I know more about startups, real estate in the Silicon Valley and technology than the author, who claims her "bubble" of washington left her clueless about innovations from California. One only had to pick up a single issue of Forbes, watch five minutes of CNBC or surf any news channel to know more than this author does. How she failed to know about the stock market crash from the tech bubble years before moving to an area she claimed to know nothing about caused me to stop reading after the second chapter. She's either an idiot or trying to find a reason to write a book. If she truly was in Washington as an "insider" she would have been aware of something about the Silicon Valley. Do not waste your time on this silly book and equally idiotic author.
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