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Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy

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In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. Companion Web site.


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In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. In his new book, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates discusses how technology can help run businesses better today and how it will transform the nature of business in the near future. Gates stresses the need for managers to view technology not as overhead but as a strategic asset, and offers detailed examples from Microsoft, GM, Dell, and many other successful companies. Companion Web site.

30 review for Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fahim

    If you are a business person and would like to know how technology, specially computer and internet, can change and improve your business, you definitely need to read this book. Please don't think that this book will teach you stuff about computers because Bill Gates wrote it. This is not the case. This book teaches you how you can use computer and internet to save costs, improve performance, share knowledge and increase your sales and business operation. Reading this book in this era of compute If you are a business person and would like to know how technology, specially computer and internet, can change and improve your business, you definitely need to read this book. Please don't think that this book will teach you stuff about computers because Bill Gates wrote it. This is not the case. This book teaches you how you can use computer and internet to save costs, improve performance, share knowledge and increase your sales and business operation. Reading this book in this era of computer and internet is not so exciting, but when you think about 1999 when internet was growing and computers were making their ways into businesses, you would realize what a visionary person Bill Gates was. Reading this book, you will understand that Bill Gates really knew about the future use of computers and different applications in the businesses and other areas of life. He talks about so many detailed examples of computer use in businesses, schools and medicine in 1999, but we see all these things today. This book is highly recommended for business students who are perusing a degree in information technology or knowledge management. A great read and a lot to learn from this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    It's a long and boring advertisement of Microsoft. The main idea is: "If we look around we will find a lot of guys who have money but still don't spend it on our software. There are companies where all the processes can be improved with computers, and there are medical care system, and there are schools and universities, and armed forces, and governments of all levels, and all of them badly need different improvements. Humanity demands more computers to develop economics. And here we are: more co It's a long and boring advertisement of Microsoft. The main idea is: "If we look around we will find a lot of guys who have money but still don't spend it on our software. There are companies where all the processes can be improved with computers, and there are medical care system, and there are schools and universities, and armed forces, and governments of all levels, and all of them badly need different improvements. Humanity demands more computers to develop economics. And here we are: more computers - more Microsoft software, more income. Buy new device every 3 years, be modern, help society to develop technically. Buy new device every 3 years and make some money for our company with each of those devices. I'm even ready to write a book to encourage people to support technical progress of that kind."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    Couldn't finish it... every page was an ad for a Micro$oft product -- yuck!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Un libro ideal para que lea cualquier persona que quiera informarse como nos afecta la velocidad del cambio en la tecnología y los beneficios que podemos adquirir de adaptar a ellas

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Benarroch

    It doesn't seem to me the Oracle of Delphi, as many readers depicted it. Jules Verne was a visionary, Bill Gates is a successful entrepreneur with limited writing skills that wrote a book (how much did he himself actually write?) about the following 10 years. I sincerely don't think it was so hard to predict such span. Moreover, there's a hell of a banal material, like he ran out of arguments but he needed to get his 500 pages so he just filled them up with any trivial expression that crossed hi It doesn't seem to me the Oracle of Delphi, as many readers depicted it. Jules Verne was a visionary, Bill Gates is a successful entrepreneur with limited writing skills that wrote a book (how much did he himself actually write?) about the following 10 years. I sincerely don't think it was so hard to predict such span. Moreover, there's a hell of a banal material, like he ran out of arguments but he needed to get his 500 pages so he just filled them up with any trivial expression that crossed his mind. It's barely acceptable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    I bought this book back when it came out around 99-00, but completely forgot about it. I found it while cleaning part of my house. The book is aimed at business managers and high-level executives and tries to push the idea of a digital office environment. What's funny is reading the author's (Bill Gates) predictions for the future of technology in the coming years, he is quite accurate for the most part, but also far off on a few.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amith Guthi

    Did you know that the first product Sony created was a rice cooker ? This book had the answer and reading this book helped me win a quiz competition years ago. This book is definitely NOT for tech community. I definitely don't like Microsoft products just because they dont have a soul. They have failed miserably in positioning their company ( which Apple successfully did ) , but take nothing away from this genius , Bill Gates. His passion is very apparent in the book - which makes it worthwhile Did you know that the first product Sony created was a rice cooker ? This book had the answer and reading this book helped me win a quiz competition years ago. This book is definitely NOT for tech community. I definitely don't like Microsoft products just because they dont have a soul. They have failed miserably in positioning their company ( which Apple successfully did ) , but take nothing away from this genius , Bill Gates. His passion is very apparent in the book - which makes it worthwhile to read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anton Klink

    Bill Gates and Microsoft were at the height of their power when this book was released, so as an avid DOS, Windows and PC user, I was certainly intrigued. It has been 15 years now since I read the book, so can hardly remember anything, but I do remember thinking at the time that it was OK. Not spectacular and not horrible either but a good read. The use of @ in the title is certainly antiquated by today's standards but that was the trend of the day back then.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Words from the Messiah on business Microsoft & making money from a can do guy. Imagine him running a country. The man they had to make step down as CEO of Microsoft or he probably would be running the country.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Groot

    At the dawn of the Internet, this book... mentions it not at all. Whoever wrote this for him was a blind cave-fish.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Amazing book about the future of technology in the next few decades looking ahead from the year 1999. 1. Businesses need to develop its own digital nervous system, without which it wont succeed 2. Talks about a lot of innovations now which we take for granted such as email, word processing, excel, databases, internet servers, which we take for granted and don’t even think about. 3. Talks about applications of computers in businesses, schools, medicine, government, all of which has come true. 4. Some Amazing book about the future of technology in the next few decades looking ahead from the year 1999. 1. Businesses need to develop its own digital nervous system, without which it wont succeed 2. Talks about a lot of innovations now which we take for granted such as email, word processing, excel, databases, internet servers, which we take for granted and don’t even think about. 3. Talks about applications of computers in businesses, schools, medicine, government, all of which has come true. 4. Some people claim in the reviews that it’s a marketing for Microsoft. But you have to remember that Microsoft wasn’t what it today in 1999. These were ideas which he was brave enough to put out and then build Microsoft to implement his ideas. 5. Doesn’t seem to be a particularly gifted writer or speaker, but he is definitely a visionary as well as somebody who can execute on that vision. The ideas in the book seem too obvious now, however that was not the case in 1999. Its too easy to see the success of ideas in hindsight. Hindsight is 2020 as they say. 6. Is there a book similarly written for 2017 onwards?

  12. 4 out of 5

    MBybee

    Somewhere between a dated advertisement for specific (long dead) Microsoft products and some actually good points, this book is one I'd wanted to read for ages. Not sure I'd recommend it, in general.

  13. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book hasn't aged well in regards to technology, but then again it's 20 years old. Key take away * technology should be streamlining process * new technology should coincide re-evaluating existing processes * CEO is ultimately responsible for

  14. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Skilbeck

    Outdated

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephendedalus

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Un gran ideólogo y economista en este libro. Su clave está en la organización.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jared Emry

    It scurries between utopian visions and heartless promotions. The advice goes no deeper than the cover and the title speaks of it's reductionist dream.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Freburg

    enjoyable

  18. 4 out of 5

    Phesighyo

    Repository for IT ideas for developing nations.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adel Algbawi

    Even this book outdated but will gives an overview of how information technology and Internet have changed the way companies work and how Bill Gates have foresight about the future!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Greenkey

    Niente roba tecnica, lo presi per fare da contrappeso a "Rivoluzionario per caso" ma sono due libri completamente diversi.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Neerav Jain

    A good book. It gives an overview of how IT and Internet have changed the way companies operate. IT and Internet is now the backbone of processes and analysis providing insights that can change how companies do various activities and increase efficiency.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ignas

    Haven't even finished. I was more skimming it because it felt outdated for me. I'm technical guy, working in IT and it's clearly visible that those facts, suggestions and arguments were really valid at the tine book was published, but nowadays... most of the things sounds obvious. Was expecting something like this would happen, so not that sad just moving to the next book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vinod Kaul

    I had this book on my shelf for a number of years. It was bought in my heyday in business as I grappled with a web-based start-up. Before selling it for its weight in paper, I thought I must respect the author and the written word by reading it. Bill Gates notwithstanding, I was afraid that the main plank of this book would be out of date. While building a ‘digital nervous system’ as Mr Gates terms it, is a serious and vital activity today, it is commonplace and no longer prophetical. I can well I had this book on my shelf for a number of years. It was bought in my heyday in business as I grappled with a web-based start-up. Before selling it for its weight in paper, I thought I must respect the author and the written word by reading it. Bill Gates notwithstanding, I was afraid that the main plank of this book would be out of date. While building a ‘digital nervous system’ as Mr Gates terms it, is a serious and vital activity today, it is commonplace and no longer prophetical. I can well imagine that in the year 2000 when this book first came out and Bill Gates was the centre of the digital universe, this book would have been gobbled with abandon. The boast of being on the New York Times Bestseller list in the business section, is no empty boast. Surprisingly, I did read through the over 500 pages of the book. Even if somewhat dusty, it was quite readable. The case-studies both at Microsoft and other leading Usonian corporates makes for fascinating reading. Of course, the interest will be primarily for those with one leg in the business world. The book is not so much of prediction as one of recommendation on how to do business in a ‘turbo-ized’ world. Of course the read is also great publicity for Microsoft which has put its resources behind building a digitally enabled world in practically all aspect of business. Of course, Bill Gates has too great a stature to be accused of such petty posturing. To its immense credit, the book is well researched and, having a glossary and index, can be used as a semi-text book. What is disappointing is that the book does not go beyond being a well researched guide on how to build a digital network in every corporate. Having placed Bill Gates on the tallest platform, I expected the final chapter, at least, would expound Mr Gates grander world vision and life perspective. However, he felt short of looking over the horizon. All in all, I am happy to have read it in spite of withdrawing from hard-core web-based business as a living and weathering my wife’s snide remarks about going back to the past!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate Millin

    Not sure why it says Italian edition - everything else is correct about this book! 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 th Not sure why it says Italian edition - everything else is correct about this book! 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). I found it interesting to compare what he was saying 10 years ago against what is happening now. This was linked to some frustration at how far behind some public services are now from the companies as described then.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gabriela

    Full of insight on how businesses can integrate core business functions with technology and ecommerce. Bill Gates' Business @ the Speed of Thought offers timeless lessons into the inevitability of business technology in a fast-paced world. The book asserts the need for businesses to look at technology not as an expense but as an asset that gives competitive advantage. Gates also offers a twelve-step approach that businesses looking to integrate technology can take to prepare for the changes of th Full of insight on how businesses can integrate core business functions with technology and ecommerce. Bill Gates' Business @ the Speed of Thought offers timeless lessons into the inevitability of business technology in a fast-paced world. The book asserts the need for businesses to look at technology not as an expense but as an asset that gives competitive advantage. Gates also offers a twelve-step approach that businesses looking to integrate technology can take to prepare for the changes of the current millennium. I found this book a simpler read than I actually thought it might be. Gates peppers his premise with numerous examples of how big businesses have managed to use technology to improve profits and to better engage with their customers. This is a good read for managers who might be looking for ways to leverage technological advances to improve business functions. While Gates offers adequate examples of big business and their use of technology, he doesn't discuss too much the impact of technology in the years to come. As such, the book may not impress those who are more technologically inclined and looking for current or future trends in technology. Comment

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vaiibhav Nigam

    I found this book rather interesting to read. If you would like to run your own company, or you are just interested in reading about big business... then you will be satisfied with this book. Gates (if he really wrote most of the book...which I highly doubt ) does a great job of citing examples of how technology is impacting business in today's economy. It might even give you a few ideas for making your own business more efficient. However, this book has a major down side. I purchased this book h I found this book rather interesting to read. If you would like to run your own company, or you are just interested in reading about big business... then you will be satisfied with this book. Gates (if he really wrote most of the book...which I highly doubt ) does a great job of citing examples of how technology is impacting business in today's economy. It might even give you a few ideas for making your own business more efficient. However, this book has a major down side. I purchased this book hoping that it can give me insight of where the high tech industry is headed. Gates did not do a good job of presenting this. Instead, I found a book filled with hundreds of examples of how companies integrate computers into their business. It shows how the internet helped big companies move information and expand their customer service, but it does not show what's on the road ahead. I recommend this book because it can help you make the most out of your company using computers. However, if you are looking for the next killer application, don't expect to find it in this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Johnny

    Must read for IT Pros The book is informative and easy to read. Bill Gates recalls stories working at Microsoft. The case study are slightly outdated. However, they remain relevant today. Overall I enjoyed reading.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Xulfiqar Haider

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bill gate is such a nice person . I also want to become a software engenieer.i know about bill Gates , bill gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion that has in some cases been upheld by numerous court rulings.[12][13] Later in his career Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organiz Bill gate is such a nice person . I also want to become a software engenieer.i know about bill Gates , bill gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion that has in some cases been upheld by numerous court rulings.[12][13] Later in his career Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    This book was originally published in 2000, and is a little dated now. But it was interesting to read what Gates was thinking at the time, and compare it to what has happened in the decade that followed. He talks a lot about the need for understanding and learning to manage and benefit from the pervasive data that marks our "information age", and gives examples of companies (including his own) starting to do that as the 21st century dawns. Using the analogy of a "digital nervous system" he expla This book was originally published in 2000, and is a little dated now. But it was interesting to read what Gates was thinking at the time, and compare it to what has happened in the decade that followed. He talks a lot about the need for understanding and learning to manage and benefit from the pervasive data that marks our "information age", and gives examples of companies (including his own) starting to do that as the 21st century dawns. Using the analogy of a "digital nervous system" he explains the critical challenges of information flow. He foresees developments that could enhance that process including handheld technologies, which have now become commonplace.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Krishna Kumar

    Bill Gates explains how business can benefit from real-time information that flows freely through the organization and is accessible by everyone within it. The book is dotted with real-life examples from industry, government, education and health care. He also introduces good business concepts and shows how technology can be used to effectively implement them. For the already converted (like me), the arguments for better information management technologies can sound repetitive, but the details o Bill Gates explains how business can benefit from real-time information that flows freely through the organization and is accessible by everyone within it. The book is dotted with real-life examples from industry, government, education and health care. He also introduces good business concepts and shows how technology can be used to effectively implement them. For the already converted (like me), the arguments for better information management technologies can sound repetitive, but the details of every implementation is a treasure of ideas and concepts.

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