Wolff's story could easily have been bitter but is instead both fascinating and hilarious. Wolff's money-losing company's negotiations with Magellan--a search-engine company that Wolff eventually discovers is also financially unstable--are comical. The scene where key big shots from a major publisher fall all over Wolff in their eagerness to buy an all-but-worthless name and database are a complete farce. Wolff is by no means above showing his own foibles. Some of the book's best parts are where he shows himself swept up in the intoxicating flow of a deal and calls home to report developments to his wife. She promptly translates the nonsense into sobering reality.
Wolff takes plenty of time off from his personal journey to explore significant events in the development of cyberculture, such as the transition of Louis Rosetto from a least-likely-to-succeed publisher into the creator of the revolutionary Wired magazine. He chronicles the emergence of America Online from dark horse to dominance, while the efforts of companies expected to be major contenders fade into the background.
His candid view shows it all--the oddball characters in expensive shirts and T-shirts, the crazy dealing, the exhilaration, the heartbreak, and the fear. This would be a wonderful work of satirical fiction if it weren't actually true. --Elizabeth Lewis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The Burn Rate " starts quite slow for the first half of the book. Things pick up a little, but the big problem is no one knows really understands where the whole internet... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Carol Schreiber
It's about that time about ten years ago - those thrilling days of yesteryear - when the Web was new, that's the time well captured in Burn Rate by Michael Wolff. Read morePublished on August 25, 2006 by Jack Vaughan
While I don't know the whole story, Wolff seems to have a lot of experience, and little business smarts. Read morePublished on April 6, 2006 by themblues
I really liked this book and got to learn about the hardships entrepreneurs go through in a startup. Read morePublished on January 29, 2004 by Romin Cyrus Irani
Next up: How Donald Trump survived his Daddy's money, How Nelson Rockefeller survived the shadow of his family's name, how George Bush survived his years of failing oil... Read morePublished on August 16, 2003 by Phil O'Gnosis
As a former worker in the Internet world, I found this book both a juicy read, and laugh-out-loud (lol) funny. Wolff spares no one in this account, least of all himself. Read morePublished on June 12, 2003 by Julia L. Wilkinson
The main thing I took away from this book was how impressed I was by Wolff's writing skills. He has a very absorbing way to describe people and events. Read morePublished on April 18, 2002 by brazos49
This book, written in 1998 about a company that collapsed in 1997, is quite prescient in many aspects except in the implicit assumption in the subtitle that the "gold rush... Read morePublished on March 23, 2002 by Amazon Customer
This is a great book. The author has a great view of the industry and, more importantly, a well-founded self view.
Though written in 1998 (i.e. Read more