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Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders Paperback – October 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887309658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887309656
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,040,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Computer users who favor Macintosh products are truly enthralled with their machines. But after reading Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders, even the most zealous may be hard-pressed to defend the company that produces them. Here, Wall Street Journal technology reporter Jim Carlton chronicles the missteps that have befuddled the fallen giant of Cupertino between the initial and current regimes of cofounder Steve Jobs. Carlton combines a keen sense of observation with a slew of previously undisclosed facts to produce a damning history that will leave many wondering how the firm has managed to survive. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

How many companies were started in a garage by a couple of whiz kids, went on to a global presence with multibillion dollar sales, and within 20 years came close to bankruptcy? Meet Apple Computer. Wall Street Journal reporter Carlton follows Apple from when it produced the first Macintosh personal computer, designed for those with little or no technical knowledge. Sales rocketed and Apple became the darling of computer enthusiasts. But Carlton also points out lost opportunities along the way, involving insufficient licensing efforts, mergers allowed to fail, unwillingness to permit products to evolve, lack of interest in exploiting the Internet, and blindness to competitors. Carlton lays much of the blame with Apple's board of directors. An epilog on recent changes at Apple is being added at the last minute. Recommended for larger nonfiction collections and special libraries with an information technology clientele.?Richard S. Drezen, Washington Post News Research Ctr., Washington,
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

I regret wasting money on this book.
Gabriel Morales
Unfortunately, though, the book is so poorly written -- and doesn't at all hide the disdain the author feels for Jobs -- that it's nearly unreadable.
Gary Pageau
The Jim Carlton's book is an amazing account of the turbulent history of the American icon, Apple Co.
fgarciab

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1997
Format: Hardcover
As an Apple employee I liked Jim Carlton's book because of the behind-the-scenes glimpses at a company that I love. But, geez, I've never read a book that needed a good editor more... there are literally sections that repeat themselves word for word (and how many times can we read a gushing description of Steve Jobs' "long flowing hair and rock-star good looks"? Give me a break. I also disagree with people here who say that he gives Apple a "fair shake". I found his portrayal quite biased and one-sided. Carlton's history of Apple is one that is full of major blunders that would have saved the company (his view). The reality is that, for all its missteps, Apple did a lot of things amazingly well... but you won't find that history in this biased book.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Troy Dawson on June 2, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Useful history and inside looks, but reading his 1998 back-of-the-hand dismissal of Apple's chances of survival is pretty humorous nowadays. His opinion that Apple should have licensed earlier is similarly wrong-headed and lacking in any technical appreciation of the downsides of licensing (dilution of brand,difficult QA processes, cherry-picking, loss of platform homogenieity ).
He similarly doesn't understand the silliness of Apple developing an x86 MacOS in the early 90's, and again reveals his technical ineptitude by failing to pursue the ramifications of an Apple-brand x86 offering (ie a Mac with an x86 CPU) vs a software-only offering like Windows or NeXT's Yellow Box.
He also repeatedly blows the 5300 battery issue out of proportion.
But I think the weakest theme in the book is that an alternative platform with less than 10% "marketshare" is automatically doomed to failure. While there is a strong positive network effect for the 'standard' and a negative effect for the alternatives, in his near-hagiography of Gates & Co he simply missed the bigger picture that the lamosity of the Wintel platform's inherent legacy issues is and was a countervening force.
5-10% of the total market is sufficiently large for Apple, given a) it's the top 5-10% and b) Micros~1 continues to [stink] as it always has.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By tmex@qni.com on October 15, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Apple Computer, in its heyday, was one of the most respected growth companies of this century. As a devoted Mac user, it's always been hard for me to comprehend how Apple managed to take one of the most innovative products of our time, the user-friendly personal computer, and fail to compete effectively long-term in the mass market.
This book gave me the answers I was looking for...and more. Not a dry corporate history book, Jim Carlton has gone to the heart of what went wrong in Apple by focusing on the personalities that shaped this company...and later led it to the brink of ruin.
The leaders of Apple could have come out of a Shakespearean play. As Shakespeare knew, hubris, or excessive pride, is the undoing of man. In the swollen egos of Apple's leaders, we see evidence of hubris with a capital "H".
Although we may fool ourselves into thinking that technological prowess and All-American competitiveness has lifted us above the men of Shakespeare's day, Jim Carlton's Apple brings us back to earth and reminds us that, above all else, it's the human element that makes or breaks a company.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Pratte on December 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
While others have noted the writing style (tolerable - I've seen far worse), the book as a whole is rather thorough and interesting. Granted, it was published before Apple's comeback, so there is (perhaps) too much emphasis upon the failures. However, the accumulated "could have" stories are interesting fare, things that may have been overlooked in the tale of a successful company's history. Here we see the flirtations with Sun, with Apollo, the AIM alliance and PowerPC, porting to x86 hardware, the Newton, and the spin-offs: webTV, Be, etc. Using hindsight 20/20, it seems that Jobs is under-represented. Yet, at the time of publication, I think that this book provided an accurate picture of how things seemed to line up.

I recommend this book, particularly to Apple fans and those interested in the history of computing. Additionally, this book is prime material for those interested in business blunders, particularly related to technology. For the latter group, this book makes a fine companion to the history of Xerox PARC, Dealers of Lightning. The works together provide a chilling view of how tecnhological innovation is often antithetical to business interests. I think that Carlton's work alone can make one consider the fate of technology in the hands of "big business".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Aside from some negatives described below, I really enjoyed this book. Jim Carlton has obviously assembled an extensive history of Apple and it's people. You really get an inside look at Apple.
On the negative side, there are endless criticisms of Apple's blunders that are all too easy to make in hindsight.
It's also interesting to see how far Jim Carlton was off the mark in predicting Apple's demise. Since the book was completed Apple has made a tremendous turnaround. His book gives the impression that Apple's collapse was just around the corner. Now his book can be subjected to some 20/20 hindsight!
But this is still an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
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