- Hardcover: 232 pages
- Publisher: Sand Hill Publishing (January 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0972182225
- ISBN-13: 978-0972182225
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,181,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Real Story of Informix Software and Phil White: Lessons in Business and Leadership for the Executive Team Hardcover – January 15, 2005
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Top Customer Reviews
This book will be most appreciated by those who have lived and worked in Silicon Valley during the days immediately preceding the Internet boom and subsequent bust, as well as those not intimidated by a fairly heavy dosage of product-related technical jargon.Read more ›
As far as Informix and its failure, this book does make the case that it was not so much the famed accounting issues, as it was a failed business and sales strategy. Few if any are aware of the true reasons why Informix slipped. The author does an accurate and important deed in setting the record straight.
So is it any wonder that few software companies prosper in the long run?
This book seems to be primarily aimed at correcting the public record about how and why Informix Software tanked in 1997 and how the company's CEO ended up pleading guilty to a count of securities fraud and spending two months in jail.
If I take the book's material at face value, it does look like Mr. White was more guilty of being naive than of securities fraud. The explanation of the rebooking of revenues to follow more conservative accounting seems to make it abundantly clear that there was no massive fraud at Informix, despite what the newspapers said to the contrary at the time.
Any new software CEO would benefit from reading this book. Investors who are thinking about buying software stocks should also read this book and lie down until the urge to buy goes away.
People who want a serious history of Informix or its industry will find the book to be superficial and incomplete.
Also, Martin really makes Phil "come to life". In the book he's colorful, whereas in my memory he is bloodless - all stark steel and blonde. (That's probably because he struck terror in me and I tried to avoid him at all costs!!) It's actually a flattering portrait of the man - Martin is able to vindicate Phil even as he criticizes his mistakes.
The prose is crisp, clear and descriptive. Even though Martin is the narrator and a first-hand observer of the action recounted, he does not over tread the story. I like how he embedded contemporaneous quotes from magazine and newspaper articles. The technique allows the author to seamlessly traverse among many "voices" in the narrative. Also, the simple but cohesive structure of the year by year chronology works. Plus I liked the use of analogy. For example, comparing Informix to Oracle and Sybase via their similarity to a Chevy (reliable), a Mercedes (first class) and a Porsche (fast!, fun!) provides imagery as to how customers viewed the companies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The word "boring" comes to mind when trying to describe this book. It is obvious that much of it is filler material with very little "business" oriented material. Read morePublished on September 16, 2006 by Amazon Customer
Without a doubt, this is the most interesting Silicon Valley book I have ever read. Irregardless if you work at HP, Sun, IBM, Oracle, SAP, or any other hi-tech company, I strongly... Read morePublished on November 15, 2005 by Silicon Valley Sales Rep