Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyKaplan founded GO Corp. in 1987 to develop a pen-based portable computer. He lost control of the company to an investor group that included AT&T in late 1993 after spending nearly $75 million in a failed effort to create a marketable product, and GO's successor company was closed down by AT&T in July 1994. What separates Kaplan's tale from other start-up stories is the insight he provides about dealing with two of America's largest computer companies-IBM and Microsoft. Kaplan negotiated with layers of IBM bureaucracy to get the company to invest tens of millions of dollars in GO, and yet with the downsizing that rocked IBM, Kaplan doubted whether anyone remaining at IBM knew or cared about its GO involvement. GO's relationship with Microsoft evolved from a potential partnership to a fierce competition. As the two companies became more competitive, the pressure Microsoft exerted on the industry to support its own pen-based efforts over those of GO makes one think that federal judge Stanley Sporkin is right in trying to reopen the antitrust investigation of the software powerhouse. Readers interested in entrepreneurial adventurism will find Kaplan's tale entertaining, but the book will appeal most to those familiar with the computer industry. (May)
Library JournalKaplan, a well-known figure in the computer industry, dreamed of creating a new kind of computer. Startup, based on a diary he kept, tells how in 1987 he gathered a team of engineers, software designers, and investors; developed a hand-held computer; and ended six years later selling his GO Corporation to AT&T. This entertaining story is the first insider's account of the cutthroat competitive soap opera known as the computer business. A glossary explains acronyms and technical terms that are used throughout the book. Kaplan is starting a new company devoted to reinventing online shopping. Business, academic, and public libraries should consider.-Susan Awe, Jefferson Cty. P.L. System, Arvada, Col.
Gilbert TaylorRemember "Newton," the Edsel of the computer industry? It was Apple's pen computer that flopped in the marketplace, but that visible failure wasn't the only attempt to revolutionize personal computers. Kaplan strove for seven years to beat Apple with a competing contraption he marketed as "Penpoint." Though he didn't succeed either in the shark-infested waters of bright ideas, gambling venture (or vulture) capitalists, and jealous rivals, like Microsoft, he has survived with this lively account of his roller-coaster fortunes. With a doctorate in AI and practical business smarts gained at Lotus, Kaplan felt ready in 1987 to embark on every cyber-whiz's dream, forming his own company. He finagles his various personnel, financing, and business contacts in a cycle of building exhilaration and abrupt deflation that levels into a coherent, honestly examined picture of the collision between ambition and reality, that essence of capitalism Schumpeter defined as "creative destruction." An acutely perceptive testimonial that should leap off the business display shelf.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
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- 6.24(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.18(d)
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Startup; A Silicon Valley Adventure based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
For one who is unaware of how the business works, this provides a good introduction. All aspects of the startup process are lucidly explained by the author, and the relevancy of the characters today brings the book to life.
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