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Book of the Month

Every month, the library will be sharing books that we think you might be interested. We hope you enjoy reading them. If you would like to share your book review with other users, please email us at library

 

 

 

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Title: To Pixar and beyond : my unlikely journey with Steve Jobs to make entertainment history

 

Author: Lawrence Levy

 

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

 

Introduction

The never-before-told story of Pixar's improbable success

After Steve Jobs was dismissed from Apple in the early 1990s, he turned his attention to a little‑known graphics company he owned called Pixar. One day, out of the blue, Jobs called Lawrence Levy, a Harvard‑trained lawyer and executive to whom he had never spoken before. He hoped to persuade Levy to help him pull Pixar back from the brink of failure. 

This is the extraordinary story of what happened next: how Jobs and Levy concocted and pulled off a highly improbable plan that transformed Pixar into one of Hollywood’s greatest success stories. Levy offers a masterful, firsthand account of how Pixar rose from humble beginnings, what it was like to work so closely with Jobs, and how Pixar’s story offers profound lessons that can apply to many aspects of our lives. (Source)

 

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Title: The everything store : Jeff Bezos and the age of Amazon

 

Author: Brad Stone

 

Publisher: Little Brown and Co.

 

Introduction

The definitive story of the largest and most influential company in the world and the man whose drive and determination changed business forever.

Though Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail, its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, was never content with being just a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become 'the everything store', offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To achieve that end, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that's never been cracked. Until now...

Jeff Bezos stands out for his relentless pursuit of new markets, leading Amazon into risky new ventures like the Kindle and cloud computing, and transforming retail in the same way that Henry Ford revolutionised manufacturing.
Amazon placed one of the first and largest bets on the Internet. Nothing would ever be the same again. (Source)

  

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Title: Shoe Dog : A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

 

Author: Phil Knight

 

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

 

Introduction

 

Fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his car in 1963, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world.


But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. In Shoe Dog, he tells his story at last. At twenty-four, Knight decides that rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, new, dynamic, different. He details the many risks he encountered, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs. Above all, he recalls the relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.

Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the transformative power of sports, they created a brand—and a culture—that changed everything. (Source)

 

 

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Title: That will never work : the birth of Netflix and the amazing life of an idea

 

Author: Marc Randolph

 

Publisher: Endeavour

 

Introduction

In the tradition of Phil Knight's Shoe Dog comes the incredible untold story of how Netflix went from concept to company-all revealed by co-founder and first CEO Marc Randolph.


Once upon a time, brick-and-mortar video stores were king. Late fees were ubiquitous, video-streaming unheard was of, and widespread DVD adoption seemed about as imminent as flying cars. Indeed, these were the widely accepted laws of the land in 1997, when Marc Randolph had an idea. It was a simple thought-leveraging the internet to rent movies-and was just one of many more and far worse proposals, like personalized baseball bats and a shampoo delivery service, that Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning.

What emerges,though, isn't just the inside story of one of the world's most iconic companies. Full of counter-intuitive concepts and written in binge-worthy prose, it answers some of our most fundamental questions about taking that leap of faith in business or in life: How do you begin? How do you weather disappointment and failure? How do you deal with success? What even is success?

From idea generation to team building to knowing when it's time to let go, That Will Never Work is not only the ultimate follow-your-dreams parable, but also one of the most dramatic and insightful entrepreneurial stories of our time. (Source)

 

  

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Title: Alibaba : the house that Jack Ma built

 

Author: Duncan Clark.

 

Publisher: Ecco Press

 

Introduction

An engrossing, insider’s account of how a teacher built one of the world’s most valuable companies—rivaling Walmart & Amazon—and forever reshaped the global economy.

In just a decade and half Jack Ma, a man from modest beginnings who started out as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into one of the world’s largest companies, an e-commerce empire on which hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend. Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the largest global IPO ever. A Rockefeller of his age who is courted by CEOs and Presidents around the world, Jack is an icon for China’s booming private sector and the gatekeeper to hundreds of millions of middle class consumers.

 

How did Jack overcome his humble origins and early failures to achieve massive success with Alibaba? How did he outsmart rival entrepreneurs from China and Silicon Valley? Can Alibaba maintain its 80% market share? As it forges ahead into finance and entertainment, are there limits to Alibaba’s ambitions?  How does the Chinese government view its rise?  Will Alibaba expand further overseas, including in the U.S.?

 

Clark tells Alibaba’s tale in the context of China’s momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before. (Source)

 

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Title: How Google works

 

Author: Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, with Alan Eagle.

 

Publisher: NY Grand Central Publishing

 

Introduction

Both Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google as seasoned Silicon Valley business executives, but over the course of a decade they came to see the wisdom in Coach John Wooden's observation that 'it's what you learn after you know it all that counts'. As they helped grow Google from a young start-up to a global icon, they relearned everything they knew about management. How Google Works is the sum of those experiences distilled into a fun, easy-to-read primer on corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption.

The authors explain how the confluence of three seismic changes - the internet, mobile, and cloud computing - has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers. The companies that will thrive in this ever-changing landscape will be the ones that create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom the authors dub 'smart creatives'.

'Back in 2010, Eric and I created an internal class for Google managers,' says Rosenberg. 'The class slides all read 'Google confidential' until an employee suggested we uphold the spirit of openness and share them with the world. This book codifies the recipe for our secret sauce: how Google innovates and how it empowers employees to succeed.' (Source)

 

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Title: Elon Musk : how the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our future

 

Author: Ashlee Vance

 

Publisher: Virgin Books

 

Introduction

South African born Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things; and he wants us all to know about it. He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey Junior.

The personal tale of Musk’s life comes with all the trappings one associates with a great, drama-filled story. He was a freakishly bright kid who was bullied brutally at school, and abused by his father. In the midst of these rough conditions, and the violence of apartheid South Africa, Musk still thrived academically and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he paid his own way through school by turning his house into a club and throwing massive parties.

He started a pair of huge dot-com successes, including PayPal, which eBay acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002. Musk was forced out as CEO and so began his lost years in which he decided to go it alone and baffled friends by investing his fortune in rockets and electric cars. Meanwhile Musk’s marriage disintegrated as his technological obsessions took over his life ... (Source)

 

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Title: Facebook : the inside story

 

Author: Steven Levy

 

Publisher: Blue Rider Press

 

Introduction

As a college sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg created a simple website to serve as a campus social network.
 
Today, Facebook is nearly unrecognizable from its first, modest iteration. In light of recent controversies surrounding election-influencing “fake news” accounts, the handling of its users’ personal data, and growing discontent with the actions of its founder and CEO—who has enormous power over what the world sees and says—never has a company been more central to the national conversation.
 
Millions of words have been written about Facebook, but no one has told the complete story, documenting its ascendancy and missteps. There is no denying the power and omnipresence of Facebook in American daily life, or the imperative of this book to document the unchecked power and shocking techniques of the company, from growing at all costs to outmaneuvering its biggest rivals to acquire WhatsApp and Instagram, to developing a platform so addictive even some of its own are now beginning to realize its dangers.

Based on hundreds of interviews from inside and outside Facebook, Levy’s sweeping narrative of incredible entrepreneurial success and failure digs deep into the whole story of the company that has changed the world and reaped the consequences. (Source)

 

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Title: Samsung rising : the inside story of the South Korean Giant that set out to beat Apple and conquer tech

 

Author: Geoffrey Cain

 

Publisher: Currency

 

Introduction

Forty years ago, Samsung was a rickety Korean agricultural conglomerate that produced sugar, paper, and fertilizer, located in a backward country with a third-world economy. With the rise of the PC revolution, though, Chairman Lee Byung-chul began a bold experiment: to make Samsung a major supplier of computer chips. The multimillion- dollar plan was incredibly risky. But Lee, wowed by a young Steve Jobs, who sat down with the chairman to offer his advice, became obsessed with creating a tech empire. And in Samsung Rising, we follow Samsung behind the scenes as the company fights its way to the top of tech. It is one of Apple’s chief suppliers of technology critical to the iPhone, and its own Galaxy phone outsells the iPhone.

Today, Samsung employs over 300,000 people (compared to Apple’s 80,000 and Google’s 48,000). The company’s revenues have grown more than forty times from that of 1987 and make up more than 20 percent of South Korea’s exports. Yet their disastrous recall of the Galaxy Note 7, with numerous reports of phones spontaneously bursting into flames, reveals the dangers of the company’s headlong attempt to overtake Apple at any cost.

A sweeping insider account, Samsung Rising shows how a determined and fearless Asian competitor has become a force to be reckoned with. (Source)

 

 

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Title: The creative economy : how people make money from ideas

 

Author: John Howkins

 

Publisher: Penguin Books

 

Introduction

Creativity is the fastest growing business in the world. Companies are hungry for people with ideas—and more and more of us want to make, buy, sell, and share creative products. But how do you turn creativity into money? In this newly rewritten edition of his acclaimed book, leading creative expert John Howkins shows what creativity is, how it thrives, and how it is changing in the digital age. His key rules for success include: Invent yourself. Be unique. Own your ideas. Understand copyright, patents, and IP laws. Treat the virtual as real, and vice versa. Learn endlessly: borrow, reinvent, and recycle. Know when to break the rules. Whether in film or fashion, software, or stories, by turning ideas into assets anyone can make creativity pay. (Source)