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West of Eden: The End of Innocence at Apple Computer Paperback – April 7, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Rose tells in interesting detail how two blue-jeaned Californians, electronic hobbyists Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, developed the desktop computer in a home laboratory; founded Silicon Valley's Apple Computer Co.; became Wall Street darlings and multimillionaires; then were ousted, once Apple became big business, by the very management they had recruited," wrote PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

It is impossible to separate Steve Jobs from Apple, and as a result this work is as much about him as the company he started. Journalist Rose's account reads like a best seller--a story of intrigue, secret meetings, and far too often, childish behavior. In reading it, one can see the difficulties in moving an entrepreunerial company, whose young founder has a strong vision of the future, into a mainstream company. It's a wonder Apple was able to survive. There is less detail on Jobs and more on Apple than in Lee Butcher's Accidental Milionaire: The Rise and Fall of Steve Jobs at Apple Computer ( LJ 9/15/87) and greater detail and more objectivity than in John Sculley's Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple . . . A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future ( LJ 12/87). This is fun to read. Recommended for all business collections.
- Michael D. Kath man, St. John's Univ., Collegeville, Minn.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Stuyvesant Street Press; Updated edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615278841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615278841
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,910,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is going to be a tough book to get but for anyone wanting to understand Apple Computer, this makes a perfect companion book to Jim Carlton's book, Apple The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders.
Frank Rose takes the reader from the startup of Apple to the many misadventures during the Macintosh era of Steve Jobs and John Sculley. Sadly the book ends in 1989 when mismanagement had long since become part of Apple's culture.
To understand why bringing back Steve Jobs to save the day at Apple can only cause more misfortune, the reader only needs to turn to page 160 where Rose writes, "Andy was reading a book about Atari that had just come out, and when they were on their way to Florida he passed it on to Woz. As he read it, Woz learned something he didn't like: Years earlier, before they'd started Apple, when he was working at Hewlett-Packard and Jobs had gotten him to design "Breakout" for Atari for a fifty-fifty split, the fee wasn't $700, as Jobs had said, but $5,000."
END
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By A Customer on November 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
West of Eden reads like a novel which makes me wonder if it's all true. After having it gather dust on my shelves for years I finally decided to read it and it's fascinating. I had a hard time tearing myself away in order to get my final progamming assignment done. Whether it's all fact or not one thing's for sure: now that Steve Jobs has been back at Apple for a while I hope Mr. Rose writes a followup!
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Format: Paperback
I doubt there could be a more definitive history of this Apple era. West of Eden is a very thorough review of Apple's "fall from grace" period from 1983 to 1986. The book is gripping yet surprisingly attainable in its approach to the topic of the tech industry, a subject that could universally draw yawns and lead the reader down nerdy ratholes. Thankfully this book avoids the potential pitfalls and makes a great read.

Currently Steve Jobs is held is awe by so many, and often rightfully so particularly in the 21st century, however this book outlines a period of success, hubris and occasional growth for Jobs, then-CEO John Sculley and the other Apple executives from the mid 1980s. As Apple was introducing the Macintosh, indisputably a revolution that changed the way the world used personal computers, Steve Jobs was at the top of his game. Author Frank Rose has spoken to many of the Apple senior management from that period and put together a timeline of events, conversations, interactions, alliances and blow-ups that started a cycle that nearly killed off Apple. The book is wonderfully written and so interesting, I finished it in a matter of days.

West of Eden is also a great book for people managers, particularly ones in the tech industry. The story provides many examples of how management interference and infighting can destabilize an organization. As a people manager myself, it's good to understand some of these interactions and hopefully learn by the mistakes of others. Even though it was nearly a quarter century ago, the lessons are still quite relevant.

It's a great read, even if you're not in the industry or tech-savvy person; Steve Jobs is brilliant, no doubt, however this story shows how a young-Steve, complete with great successes peppered with naivete and poor communication, could not only create a Fortune 500 company but almost bring it down as well.
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By A Customer on July 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Incredibly fascinating book that takes you on an intense and vivid tour of how Apple was started and what went on behind the scenes. Highly readable and very tough to put down.
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