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Book Club – Accidental Empires

Posted by Author, Curator, Visually Impared Squirrel Literacy Advocate & Dynamics AX Technical Solution Professional (TSP) at Microsoft on

Welcome to the first issue of the my book club.  I thought that I would start off this project by introducing a book that was suggested to me by a good friend of mine when it was first published, and I just re-purchased it to re-read after I couldn’t find my original.  Although Accidental Empires was written in 1996, and has to be read old-school style since it’s not available on the Kindle, this is a great history of how all of the major tech companies that are still around got their start.

It talks about Microsoft, Apple, and IBM and the birth of Windows, the Mac, and the modern PC during the wild west of the computer industry.  Did you know that:

Microsoft started off by buying DOS, and then rebranding it to MS-DOS, with the initial goal of dominating the workplace.

Bill Gates demonstrated Word himself in the early days, and it only crashed once, even though there were eventually 300+ bugs reported in the version that he shows (he only knew of 6)

Apple was not always profitable, and almost went belly up after a number of failed computer systems (Apple III, and Lisa).

IBM initially built the first PC in less than a year.

If you are interested in how our industry started, and want to see that some of our modern day billionaires were poor just like us then fork out the $17.29 ($13.30 + S&H), and check out this book.

Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date
By Robert X. Cringely
Publication Date: 1996

Please don’t make me read alone, and join the group.  Then you will be able to use the cool club crest that I created.

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