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5.0 out of 5 stars See the creatures and laugh
I discovered Po Bronson when reading "Bombardiers", his Michael Lewis like account of the trading floor but far more hilarious and with more attention being paid to the characters and inner self of the main protagonists. Mr Bronson repeats this anthropologist in a "study" of Silicon Valley. He observes the City species - Valley immigrants, intra-Valley migrants,...
Published on 29 Jun. 2000

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An investment banker's guide to Silicon Valley
I bought this book thinking it would be of interesting tales about the information technology culture in what must be one of the most dynamic computing environments on earth. Instead I was regaled with a narration of depressing "J.Crew" losers seeking to strike into a million or twenty. I'm not interested in following those pursuing greed as a means to an...
Published on 28 July 2000


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An investment banker's guide to Silicon Valley, 28 July 2000
By A Customer
I bought this book thinking it would be of interesting tales about the information technology culture in what must be one of the most dynamic computing environments on earth. Instead I was regaled with a narration of depressing "J.Crew" losers seeking to strike into a million or twenty. I'm not interested in following those pursuing greed as a means to an end, but rather individuals who have offered some striking thoughts and initiatives into the industry. Mr. Bronson doesn't seem to have left the investment bank - his former employer. Pity. Real characters evolve out of strange places, and Silicon Valley sounds strange enough indeed. Too bad this tale is relegated to the size of their overdraft limits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars See the creatures and laugh, 29 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Nudist on the Late Shift and Other Tales of Silicon Valley (Paperback)
I discovered Po Bronson when reading "Bombardiers", his Michael Lewis like account of the trading floor but far more hilarious and with more attention being paid to the characters and inner self of the main protagonists. Mr Bronson repeats this anthropologist in a "study" of Silicon Valley. He observes the City species - Valley immigrants, intra-Valley migrants, Vallgroupies and Valley affiliates (NY banks, unwitting investors). In a series of portraits, I felt the Valley was as mad as I could have imagined it. But as this book tells you, you can't imagine the Valley - you "do" the Valley.
Bronson introduces us to the kid-programmers intent on making their code triumph (never mind profitability?), the aspiring French entrepreneur getting funding on the edge of starvation and stranding, the CEO's Calvary during the flotation process, Yahoo!'s Filo bumped out of his below-desk sleeping place (he did pay the rent but can't file his in-tray any longer), the shallow salesman and, Gilder, the idealistic futurist in search of any validation at all of his visions. Of each figure, Bronson brings us the hope, misery, undying belief in self, fatalism in rejection and above all the urge to be there, to try to "make IT". Thoroughly enjoyable, this book is a great read and gives some practical insights into the travails of setting up one's internet business.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a classic, 29 July 2001
One's instant response to Bronson's tale of the highs and lows of silicon valley's cycle of creativity and production is that it perfectly defines, as well as captures, the "Zeitgeist". Within the body of this book is the evidence of the rapidity of change which characterises this industry of driven men, women and ideas. Entrepreneurs who were not fast, clever or well-connected enough to read the last passing wave are chasing deals too small to interest the venture capitalists who had moved from investing $5 million to $50 million, leaving those with a small idea bereft of the means of realisation. The style of writing is intense and forensic - character assessments are the equivalent of the 25 word pitch, and just as effective. The chapters deal with generic groupings - "The Programmers", "The Entrepeneurs", "The Salespeople" - Bronson kept my interest by moving from the often superficial personages adorning the pages of "The Newcomers" to "The IPO" - a riveting inside view of the public floatation of Actuate which is a platform for a description of the evolution of CEO Nico Nierenberg from internally effective, to publicly impressive cyber-industry magnate. It is this privileged access to the guts and personalities of software product development and commercialisation which maintains the readers' interest. If that sounds dry - just take a risk and read it. Bronson's description of the Java programmers who have become the essential generators of companies' web products fascinates. Kevin, Max and Jason are rebels, live for the moment, fly by the seats of their pants (sometimes literally in Max's case) and articulate their dominance by the elegance and robustness of of their code. Of course, these be-earringed non-conformists might have been surfers or musicians in another age. Now they are just too talented and too highly paid to be mired in the world of the truly alternative. When Max goes squirrel hunting shortly before a crucial demonstration deadline, the freedom of the late 20th Century pieceworker earns its ultimate expression.
This was written a year ago - with hindsight it is truly a classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best New Technology accounts of the past 2 years, 28 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
Although Po Bronson is well known for slipping into pseudo-economic technobabble in his regular Wired magazine features, this book manages to cobble together many of the best Internet stories.
Amusingly written and with some of the most exciting tales from Silicon valley interweaved with the harsh reality of this environment, The Nudist is one of the best books of this type around.
Definitely more compelling than "Net Slaves", for those people who have read tat similar title.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading!, 19 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Nudist on the Late Shift and Other Tales of Silicon Valley (Paperback)
I've just read it and rushed out and ordered "The First $20 million..." and "Bombardiers", the 2 other books by Po Bronson. Sometimes funny, sometimes cynical, sometimes tender, always sharp, this book is a must for all those who want to know (more) about Silicon Valley. I especially liked the 3 last chapters/essays of the book. Po, if you're reading this, when can we expect for the sequel?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly entertaining- Brilliantly written- Exemplary!!!, 20 Sept. 1999
For a nerdy, geeky and young industry this book puts a lot of humanity, commedy and life into an alien place- most of us only dream about!
A truly unique marriage of a business book and a novel!
If you don't read this book and absorb its tales, your grandchildren may disown you because you weren't a part of the Silicon Valley revolution near the end of the 20th century.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A mind-changer, 15 Jun. 2000
Although nominally out-of-date this is an essential handbook for anyone structuring themselves, or their company, to compete in the digital economy. Its a well written insight full of 'cut-out-and-keep' examples of the spirit of the new-reality.
It is a must-have book for the internet-business generation
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 11 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
Anyone with the slightest interest in the computer industry (and its "change the world and become a multimillionaire at the same time" mindset) will find this book enlightening,funny,shocking,inspiring,but above all a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this then move., 31 Oct. 1999
Po Bronson takes a trip to the valley to find out what make it and the people who work there tick. He suceeds, find out why people are willing to give up everything just to try and grab a bit of the action. Buy this book, then think about joining them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars just love it..., 26 Jan. 2000
I agree with everything that is said already, the book is funny, gripping, and i have bought it again and again for anyone with even a passing interest in what is happening in the technology business.
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