Everyone Else Must Fail : The Unvarnished Truth About Oracle and Larry Ellison
||Author: Karen Southwick|
List Price: $27.50
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Publisher: Crown Business (11 November, 2003)
Sales Rank: 35,279
Average Customer Rating: 3 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 1 out of 5
Adventures in LarryLand
If you haven't figured out that Larryland is run like a private empire and the founder has an ego to match his billion dollar bank account, then this book is a good place to start. Karen Southwick, a former Forbes ASAP editor has written this book without any direct access to Ellison. Ok, at least it's not the softball co-authored love letter that SoftWar is, but unfortunately, not by much.
The book covers the history of Oracle from its development of the first commercial relational database (written for the CIA based on published articles by IBM) to its present day situation as a multi-billion dollar behemoth that is hated by both competitors and, in Southwick's views, customers. The book covers the rise of Oracle in the go-go 80's when it paid sales reps in gold coins to sell software that wasn't ready, to its adolescent financial crisis, the unceremonial firing of every known Oracle executive other than Ellison himself, and finally the resurgence of Oracle as a major industry force. Unfortunately the book has less drama than the average hair-band "Behind the Music" episode on MTV.
I admit when I read excerpts, I had high expectations for the rest of the book. There may be an interesting story about Larry Ellison and Oracle, but this isn't it. On the other hand, if you're eager to compile a who's-who list of fired Oracle execs (Bennioff, Bloom, Conway, Jarvis, Lane, Nussbaum, Scholes, Siebel, Sumner...) and you want to hear them dish, hey it's cheap.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Unbalanced yet interesting
I was expecting a more balanced account of Larry Ellison and the rise of Oracle as a software giant. As an unauthorized biography, I expected the author to dish some dirt. However, other than praise for being a technical visionary, Ellison is portrayed as the Darth Vader of Silicon Valley. That being said, the text is a compelling read. On the business side, the text focuses on problems and solutions within sales and customer service. Very little was presented on Oracle's development practices.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Hard-hitting and fast-paced
The book seems to accurately portray Larry Ellison's strengths and weaknesses, especially his arrogance in dealing with other people. Too bad the author couldn't have gotten Ellison himself to say more.
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· Softwar : An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle
· The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison : *God Doesn't Think He's Larry Ellison