Deal: A Novel

Overview

In his first novel, Apple insider Joe Hutsko offers a ringside seat to the struggle for control of America's most innovative computer company. Meet Peter Jones: brilliant, mercurial, he literally invented the personal computer. And Matthew Locke: quintessential company man and marketing genius. Both are determined to control Via Computers, the company Jones began in his garage, forged out of vision and chutzpah, and -- some say -- is ...
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1999 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Book condition new. Clean, no marks at all. DJ very minor shelf wear. Fast shipping. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 320 ... p. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In his first novel, Apple insider Joe Hutsko offers a ringside seat to the struggle for control of America's most innovative computer company. Meet Peter Jones: brilliant, mercurial, he literally invented the personal computer. And Matthew Locke: quintessential company man and marketing genius. Both are determined to control Via Computers, the company Jones began in his garage, forged out of vision and chutzpah, and -- some say -- is dangerously close to destroying.

Driven more by aesthetic instincts and perfectionism than the bottom line, Jones doesn't see that his company is sinking fast. As sales drop and deadlines are missed, a clash is inevitable. Matthew Locke means to wrest power from Jones and commit the company to a Faustian pact with its largest competitor. As the battle for power escalates, it tests the greed and morality of nearly everyone in Silicon Valley. At the center of the storm lies a simple question: what defines a company -- its people, its product, or its vision?

Here are Silicon Valley's legendary players: the supercharged young wizards, the glossy baby execs, the bored rich and the shrewd parasites they attract, all woven into a taut novel written by one of the Valley's own.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Gossipy roman-à-clef about the duel between the visionary founder of an upstart California computer company and the fatuous, guilt-ridden mainstream marketing executive who wants to steal the company from him. That technology journalist Hutsko worked with former Apple chairman Jim Sculley, and that the fictional Via Computer in this snickering comedy of business manners is a dead-ringer for Apple, make it tempting to equate Sculley with his fictional counterpart Matthew Locke. Indeed, the opening passages seem to be a thinly disguised rerun of the boardroom coup staged by Sculley that ousted Apple founder Steven Jobs, depicted here as wealthy, idealistic, but socially naive Peter Jones, whose obsessive attachment to a balky handheld computer he wants to be the Next Big Thing distracts him from the management problems plaguing his company. But Hutsko's late-'90s setting differs dramatically from Apple's in the '80s, when Sculley took over. Here, the Internet is a familiar, all-too-easily accessed medium where Locke's maimed wife Greta can indulge in virtual sex with a pseudonymous lover, while Locke sends unencrypted e-mails to William Harrell, the megalomaniacal head of the IBM-like International Computer Products. The deal that binds Locke to Harrell is a scheme to merge Via Computer with ICP, so that Harrell can wrest control of the computer industry away from Microsoft stand-in PCSoft. Even if this made sense, Hutsko's rationale that business is a game played badly by petty guys who can't find satisfaction in sex, society, or family does not compute: by the time Jones finds a substitute father figure in ousted ICP chief Byron Holmes and leads an assault to take back hiscompany, the narrative has lost its momentum. As is often the case with thinly fictionalized tell-alls, the true details about sex, money, and management incompetence add up to somewhat less than a powerful story. Occasionally titillating, mostly stale insider-stuff.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312868727
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Hutsko joined Apple in 1984 at the age of 20, and a year later was made John Sculley's personal technical advisor. Since leaving Apple in 1988, Hutsko has worked as a technical advisor and writer for several Silicon Valley firms, including Apple cofounder Steve Job's company, NeXT Computer, Inc. He has written for The New York Times and a variety of magazines. He is a continuing media contributor to the San Francisco NBC affiliate. Joe Hutsko lives in San Francisco.
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