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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison
I found out about this book in an Oracle training class two years ago but put off reading it until now. THIS BOOK KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF! The most fascinating thing about this story was that I had witnessed almost all the book's events in my own experiences working for other high-tech startup companies here in the Denver area. I was constantly saying to myself, as I...
Published on April 2, 2000 by Aero Nut

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading
It's a very good book in terms of the history of the computing giants that shaped the world. It kept my attention long enough to dedicate 2 days to reading it cover to cover. As an Oracle programmer, it helped me understand some of the thoughts I had of the company since working with their product since the early 90's.

The author tried the address the book as a...
Published on March 10, 2005 by Bert


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading, March 10, 2005
It's a very good book in terms of the history of the computing giants that shaped the world. It kept my attention long enough to dedicate 2 days to reading it cover to cover. As an Oracle programmer, it helped me understand some of the thoughts I had of the company since working with their product since the early 90's.

The author tried the address the book as a novel, skipping around in time and making it difficult to follow. You go from 1977 to 1989 to 1991 to 1984 to 1996 to ... (you get what I mean). Confusing.

This is the type of book that needed to be more linear in timeline or overlapping in timeline, but not arranged the way it was. Still, very enjoyable and worth the read for those that enjoy the behind the scenes action that shaped technology as we know it today.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great history of Oracle from many different perspectives, September 16, 1998
This review is from: The Difference Between God And Larry Ellison*: Inside Oracle Corporation (Hardcover)
Yes, I liked it. As an Oracle UK employee it filled in information on many of the myths that float around the company. It would make good reading for anyone who would like to get an insight into what drives Larry and how he views himself (and wants others to view him as well).
The book is well written but compared to other biographies that I have read, does not capture and hold the reader. I found some of the chapters very hard going (particularly the discussions of in depth finance) but others held my attention well.
The book is worth reading merely for the information that it contains from realtives, friends and even interviews with Larry.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison, April 2, 2000
By 
Aero Nut (Denver, CO USA) - See all my reviews
I found out about this book in an Oracle training class two years ago but put off reading it until now. THIS BOOK KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF! The most fascinating thing about this story was that I had witnessed almost all the book's events in my own experiences working for other high-tech startup companies here in the Denver area. I was constantly saying to myself, as I read, "That's exactly what happened when I was working at (fill in the blank) Inc!". The same personalities (some even worse), the same marketing pressures, the same technical problems, the same product support problems, the same legal problems, the same IPOs, and some of the same rewards (but I didn't receive as many stock options ;^).
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to any (technical) person who is considering working for a high-tech startup for the first time. This is the greatest and most accurate tale (at least in my experience) that is available of day-to-day life in a startup company. Some of the stuff that happens at these types of companies is SO WEIRD that you usually have to see it for yourself to believe it. This book gives a VERY GOOD look at "the weird stuff".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Primer for Business, March 3, 2012
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I always recommend this book to people starting their own firms when they ask me what they should do to build their business. I like this book because it gives a glimpse at what really goes on out there instead of motivational BS so many books throw around. Before Oracle, Larry was working at another firm but he wanted to set up his own company. He stayed at his job but rented an office in the same building to launch his own firm at the same time without telling anybody. I thought that was brilliant. He would ride the elevator a few floors to his own firm but still have access to the resources of the larger company while maintaining his salary and building his business the whole time.

Academics are always shocked when I mention what really goes on in the business world and this book gives an up close look.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Larry is a piece of work., August 26, 1999
By A Customer
Having worked for Oracle as a technical support rep, back when there were only five of us in the US and seven worldwide (we kept our support database on paper because the database was too slow and prone to corruption!), I too recommend book.
"The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison" is a 'must-read' for anyone considering buying a relational database management system, working in the industry, or for anyone who is simply wants to mercilessly crush their competition with mediocre products and high pressure sales tactics. Larry Ellison makes Machievelli look like Saint Francis. However, like Ghengis Khan, you have to admire his accomplishments.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remember to wipe your nose Mr. Wilson., February 15, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Difference Between God And Larry Ellison*: Inside Oracle Corporation (Hardcover)
Remember Igor? The ever faithful servant of the Dr. Frankenstein: "Yes, Master. Yes Master." Well, the reader gets the disturbing, yet comical, feeling that Mike Wilson is playing the literary Igor to the real-life success story of software mogul Larry Ellison.
From the title onward, the disjunctive narrative is generously sprinkled with Wilson's "Yes, Master. Yes, Master." rationalizations and cooing adorations of Ellison. Be it Ellison's incessant prevarications and half-truths or be it Ellison's extravagant lifestyle, Wilson cannot even pretend to be objective about his subject.
This Igor-like devotion to Mr. Ellison, strains the credibility of the writer and the sensibilities of the reader if taken seriously. It should be obvious to Mr. Wilson, that the story of how Ellision made his billions in the software industry is one which worthy of being reported and one which people would want to read.
However, if the reader can suspend his/her annoyance at the predictably unctious and serflike writing style, the tale of Larry Ellison and Oracle's rise is one which unfolds with the all classical ingredients of the business start-up tale. There was the complementary business partnership between Ellison's marketing wizardry and Bob Miner's technical genius. There was the bit of luck that the entrepreneurs were able to bring IBM's own relational database research to market before IBM and parlay that into lucrative government sales. There were the problems with hyper growth and consequent setbacks, as well as Oracle's resilient comeback from apparent failure.
All in all, the subject matter manages to carry this software success story despite the narrator. Just a suggestion Mr. Ellison. The next time you commission an authorized biography about yourself, leave Igor behind. Check if Wallace and Erickson are available.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Textbook case of Attention Deficit Disorder?, December 1, 2000
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A fascinating read, but I was quite surprised to find no discussion of Attention Deficit Disorder in this book. Much of Mr. Ellison's behavior is quite 'understandable' assuming he 'suffers from' / 'is blessed with' ADD. Read 'Driven to Distraction' along with this book and see if you agree.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars informative, entertaining, April 9, 2002
By A Customer
I found the book a fairly easy read. It was informative and each quote was marked with a 'who said it' reference in the back of the book. The book paints a grand picture of Larry but also gives you the sense that you may not want to buy a used car from him. Overall the book gives you the insight that Larry got to be a billionaire due to a crafty ability to sell to people, and a complete determination to win. Many of the stories within the book are interesting and entertaining even if some of them may be fabrications of the people who told them. I recommend this book if you know anything about Larry and Oracle already.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful view, May 3, 2004
The book flows well, is interesting to read, and gives good insight into Larry Ellison himself as well as Oracle. There is considerable background material that all seems relevant as the book progresses. Ellison was interviewed 4 times for this book, and while the book reflects overall a favorable opinion of him, it also seems very truthful and frank. I gained a better insight of the software and database industry from reading the book. Was also helpful in analyzing Ellison and his leadership strategies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book and you'll realize how many Larrys there are!, March 31, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Difference Between God And Larry Ellison*: Inside Oracle Corporation (Hardcover)
This book has repercussions beyond the Rise-and-Fall-and-Rise story of Oracle. The portrait of Ellison rings especially true for those of us who work in high-tech: reading it, I realized how many other, albeit less successful, Larry Ellisons are out there. A fascinating account of the Machiavellian mind at work, this book should be required reading for everyone on his/her way up the corporate ladder.
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