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Business at the Speed of Thought: Using a Digital Nervous System (Penguin business) Hardcover – 24 Mar 1999
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So where do you want to go tomorrow? That's the question Bill Gates tries to answer in Business @ the Speed of Thought. Gates offers a 12-step programme for companies wanting to do business in the next millennium. The book's premise: Thanks to technology, the speed of business is accelerating at an ever-increasing rate and to survive, it must develop an infrastructure--a "digital nervous system"--that allows for the unfettered movement of information inside a company. Gates writes: "The most meaningful way to differentiate your company from your competition ... is to do an outstanding job with information. How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose."
The book is peppered with examples of companies that have already successfully engineered information networks to manage inventory, sales, and customer relationships better. The examples run from Coca-Cola's ability to download sales data from vending machines to Microsoft's own internal practices, such as its reliance on e-mail for company-wide communication and the conversion of most paper processes to digital ones (an assertion that seems somewhat at odds with the now-infamous "by hand on sheets of paper" method of tracking profits that was revealed during Microsoft's antitrust trial).
While Gates breaks no new ground--dozens of authors have been writing about competing on a digital playing field for some time, among them Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian in Information Rules and Patricia Seybold in Customers.com--businesses that want a wakeup call may find this book a ringer. With excerpts in Time magazine, a dedicated Web site and an all-out media assault, Microsoft is working hard to push Business @ the Speed of Thought into the international dialogue and for many it will be difficult to see the book as anything but a finely tuned marketing campaign for the forthcoming versions of Windows NT and MS Office. Nevertheless, as Gates has shown time and time again, he, Microsoft, and perhaps even this book you may ignore at your own peril. --Harry C. Edwards, Amazon.com
"A road map for managers...effectively walks the reader through the business and life improvements the wired world presents....Plenty of specific tips and advice". -- USA Today --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Although much of the information contained in the book is well recognised within the IT industry, the message still hasn't hit home for many business owners and managers.
Working in systems development, I still find that senior managers barely have a grasp of IT at all, let alone how it is going to shape their industry.
The message from this book is very timely, and is directed at the right audience. The limiting factor in business today is not IT, but people's ability to exploit it. I think that this has been true for a long time now !
Bill has a knack for predicting changes, even people who are anti-gates cannot deny this. He predicts in this book that businesses need to change the way they work and gives a solid foundation of why and how they should go about it.
Afet reading the book, I have no doubt that Bill has got it right again and in 10 years time you won't see the businesses that chose to ignore him.
Aviod at your peril!
Bill Gates is attempting to empart his intellectual, common sense, and welath of knowledge in this book tailoring it for an automated electronic marketplace. This book is a must for any ambitious high-tech professional who refuses to accept "second best".
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