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The Oracle of Oracle: The Story of Volatile CEO Larry Ellison and the Strategies Behind His Company's Phenomenal Success Hardcover – January 15, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1st edition (January 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814406394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814406397
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stone (Coaching, Counseling & Mentoring) sets out to discuss the business strategies that have made Oracle, the world's leading database software company, so successful. And occasionally she succeeds. She points out that Oracle has, from the very beginning, made every effort to lock customers into long-term contracts, both to guarantee a continuing revenue stream and as a way to lock out competitors. She also notes that Oracle Founder Larry Ellison started his company because he learned early on that he could not work for anyone else. However, like most who have written about Ellison, Stone too often gets caught up in talking about his elaborate Japanese-inspired houses, countless cars and seemingly endless socializing. And when she does turn to the business side of the company, most of her commentary tends toward platitudes, such as that the company tries to hire people with "intelligence and ambition" and that it tries to sell by understanding its customers' businesses. There's nothing wrong with those assertions, but they can be said about most companies, as can the fact that the business was built "with chutzpah, ceaseless work, unrelenting optimism, and ruthless determination." More in-depth analysis, which could have come about through firsthand reporting instead of relying heavily on previously published books and articles, would have helped a great deal. The true business story of Oracle has yet to be written.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Larry Ellison is a playboy, sportsman, and founder of Oracle, currently the world's second-largest software company. Oracle, which specializes in managing databases for businesses, has made Ellison one of the ten richest men on earth. Many in the business and software worlds would also consider him a lightweight, a liar, a braggart, a bully, a hypocrite, and a promoter. Stone (Coaching, Counseling and Mentoring) acknowledges Ellison's "P.T. Barnum" factor and admits that she would not want to work for him, yet she respects his business acumen and makes a good case for others to reconsider their appraisal. As befits a publication of the American Management Association (AMACOM), this is less a traditional biography than a management and strategy guide for software companies using Ellison and Oracle as the model. Like most AMACOM titles, it is both well written and well organized, portraying an excellent manager, fine corporate leader, and industry visionary. A good purchase for academic and public library management collections. Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical Coll. Lib., LaCrosse
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Diego Banducci on June 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
At the outset, it should be pointed out that the publisher of this wretched little book is the American Management Association. There are those who consider their publications to represent the height of business sophistication; others should consider spending their time and money elsewhere.
According to biographical information on the flyleaf, Florence Stone is the "editorial director of Web management communications" at the AMA, "and previously served as the organization's group editor of newsletters and journals." In other words, a glorified administrative assistant. No other qualifications for writing this book are stated, and the content does not suggest otherwise.
Ms. Stone lives in a remarkably simple world. Her basic premise is "Larry Ellison is rich; therefore he is a genius." She totally ignores the more interesting question of how someone who thumbs his nose at conventional business wisdom (much of which is merchandised by the AMA) could have achieved Mr. Ellison's level of success. Here is a man who routinely violates the law, intentionally misleads his customers, abuses and ultimately fires his key employees, and knifes his business associates in the back, yet new candidates for abuse keep pounding on the door, seeking the opportunity to feed Larry's insatiable ego. Why?
That is the key question that Ms. Stone's sycophantic little book fails to address.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book was a huge disappointment. The author does not appear to have any previous background on this dynamic industry. This book is not even suitable for a primer as much of Ms. Stone's analysis is not accurate. Having worked for the company, I can attest to the fact that its history is not as simple as portrayed in the book. Stone seems bent on proving that Ellison - despite his rock star ego - is the epitome of a true leader.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Fessler on March 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A remarkably shallow read. Failed to live up to the cover hype of "packed with must-read insights" and ultimately delivered a surprisingly little amount of information about Oracle and/or Ellison.
Skip this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was very disappointed by the Oracle of Oracle. Much of the book is the author's arguement for why Ellison is a great CEO. If you are interested in an in-depth look at Oracle, read something else. If you are a member of the Larry Ellison fan club and are looking for some fluff to put in this month's newsletter, this may be a good title. Also, watch out for the typos.
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By Glenn D. Robinson on September 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dated. Nothing new in here that one has not picked up countless times in the WSJ or magazones.There are manynew books on Oracle and Larry Ellison. Go for them first."
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By ALVARO on February 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you read Stuart Read`s"Oracle Edge" and Mike wilson`s "The difference between God and Larry Ellison" don`t bother to read this one.The only new fact is that relates to pos-September 11th facts in the company and the general economy.
Following the tradition of the other books under the pen name Rebecca Saunders, it is a very superficial description with magazine-type titles.
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