Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle Hardcover – Oct 2003


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Oct 2003

2014 Books Gift Guide
Thug Kitchen, adapted from the wildly popular web site beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow ("This might be my favorite thing ever"), is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.



Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Signed edition (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743261291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743261296
  • Shipping Weight: 789 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Symonds was technology editor at the Economist when Ellison invited him to collaborate on a book about e-business, but the journalist decided he would rather write a profile of the software tycoon, one of Silicon Valley's most notorious figures. Oracle's database programs have become integral to the Internet and other networked computer systems, and Oracle's head is convinced that he can surpass Microsoft as the industry leader. But he's also developed a reputation for his aggressive corporate tactics and personal flamboyance. Ellison agreed to cooperate with the project, but as part of the deal, he reserved the right to respond, which he does in a series of running footnotes. Sometimes he only uses the opportunity to mouth business platitudes, but he also refutes stories, cracks jokes and even argues with other sources. Although the book deals extensively with Oracle's efforts to promote a new software package, it comes to life most when it follows Ellison outside the office-prepping his sailboat for a run at the America's Cup or overseeing the final touches on a Japanese garden complex. Symonds's near-total access to his subject leads to intimate observations that verge on personal advice, as when the writer suggests how best to handle a top Oracle executive or comments on the relationship between Ellison and his two children. But he remains objective enough to point out several mistakes in the past management of Oracle (many of which Ellison acknowledges or clarifies). Even without its unusual counterpoint, the book would stand as a compelling portrayal of one of the computer industry's most influential leaders.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

There has been a war brewing in the software industry that most computer users don't even know about. Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, wants to supplant the current Windows-based client-server network architecture with a totally Internet-based solution that would simplify computing and make Microsoft's server software obsolete. Even now, Oracle is the dominant software in business; every time you do a Google search or buy something on Amazon.com, you are using it. Anyone who craves a play-by-play account of Ellison and the evolution of the number-one relational database in the world can really sink their teeth into this. There is a slightly bizarre twist to this high-tech tale: Ellison himself gets to throw in running commentary at the bottom of many pages, augmenting and often contradicting the author's text in his own brash style. Beware if you 're not up on your geekspeak, though, as the casual reader will get lost in all the IT systems acronyms thrown around, such as CRM, ERP, HR and TPC-C. More entertaining than the technical jargon is the ruthless backstabbing that goes on between Ellison and big-name competitors such as Microsoft, Seibel Systems, PeopleSoft and i2 Technologies. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
I first met Larry Ellison in his office at Oracle's Redwood Shores headquarters on December 8, 1997. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Gingerich on Sept. 23 2008
Format: Paperback
If you have ever worked with Oracle or competed against them; this book is a must read. It captures the competitive spirit of Larry Ellison and the resultant culture of his firm. The book highlights the "Perfect Storm" of Oracle's infamous encounter with the State of California and details Ellison's gamble in shifting the company from a vendor of client-server software to the E-Business Suite. Whether or not Symonds intended to draw analogies between Ellison's yachting "hobby" and his business pursuits it makes for a very interesting read.

After reading about Oracle's battles against Microsoft you can't help rooting for Ellison and his warrior leadership style.

As a salesperson in the software industry I found it a great read!

James Gingerich
Sr Partner Account Manager
Sybase
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Rolf Dobelli on April 29 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a comprehensive, detailed collection of Larry Ellison anecdotes and quotes from people around him. Author Matthew Symonds occasionally interjects himself, but mostly lets his sources talk. Perhaps for fairness, he quotes many people who disagree with each other about important decisions at Oracle. Perhaps for journalistic objectivity, he generally refrains from judgment. This shows the reader every perspective, even if it doesn't define context, chronology or direction. You get all of the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, though you may want a clearer box top picture. Some of the technology coverage will intrigue only tech industry buffs, but overall you will learn a great deal of interesting information about Ellison and Oracle.
We also found that Ellison's character came most into focus when the book entered the world of yacht racing, his passion. The author also includes poignant, revealing anecdotes about Ellison's childhood and candid reports about his personal life. Larry Ellison was allowed to review the manuscript and his comments appear as counterbalancing footnotes on many pages. That guy, he always does things a new way - as you will see.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Rolf Dobelli on Feb. 29 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a comprehensive, detailed collection of Larry Ellison anecdotes and quotes from people around him. Author Matthew Symonds occasionally interjects himself, but mostly lets his sources talk. Perhaps for fairness, he quotes many people who disagree with each other about important decisions at Oracle. Perhaps for journalistic objectivity, he generally refrains from judgment. This shows the reader every perspective, even if it doesn't define context, chronology or direction. You get all of the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, though you may want a clearer box top picture. Some of the technology coverage will intrigue only tech industry buffs, but overall you will learn a great deal of interesting information about Ellison and Oracle. We also found that Ellison's character came most into focus when the book entered the world of yacht racing, his passion. The author also includes poignant, revealing anecdotes about Ellison's childhood and candid reports about his personal life. Larry Ellison was allowed to review the manuscript and his comments appear as counterbalancing footnotes on many pages. That guy, he always does things a new way - as you will see.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
Are we any farther along in knowing the real story of Larry Ellison after this book? I think we are not but it is all very entertaining. To me he remains an enigma wrapped in a riddle ... as the saying goes.
We already knew that he had a lavish lifestyle and was fond of yachts and anything Japanese, which is quite ironic since Japan is a very submissive and bureaucratic society - the complete opposite of our American Horatio Alger Ellison. But maybe it is an appropriate association since the Japanese historically ruled by the sword and in modern times they rule their inferiors with undemocratic force and elaborate social pressures.
In any case Oracle is essentially what we knew all along. It is where one brilliant man calls the shots. It is a company run by a hard driving, energetic guy with a huge ego and extremely good in the modern business world. Anyone in his way is driven into the ground as he steam rolls over them. Even the author had to endure the imprint of Ellison's "two cents" on many pages in the book. That was a biography first.
Having said that, it is always nice to see some of the details spilled in a nicely crafted and entertaining fashion. Nobody can ever accuse Larry Ellison of not being a resounding success nor of being dull. For those reasons it is worth buying and reading and merits 4 stars. A good story but he still remains a mystery.
Jack in Toronto
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
About 80% complete with this book and must say that it is a thoroughly engrossing read. Not being familiar with technology and software, I found the book very articulate, clearly written and a joy to read. One of those books that you look forward to breaking open each day to see where the story takes you. As the title says, you will feel a much more intimate knowledge of Oracle and Mr. Ellison given the tremendous access given to Mr. Symonds.
You do not have to be an expert on or even familiar with software development issues to appreciate the general business thoughts and decisions made during Oracle¡¯s development. The portions of the book describing the company¡¯s successes and mistakes, why certain decisions were made, why certain decisions were not made, the internal politics, the personality clashes, the learning from bad experiences and the maturation process of both Oracle and Mr. Ellison are compelling.
I think the direct comments made by Mr. Ellison in the footnotes are a very unique feature of this book and one that sets it apart from others in the field. It doesn¡¯t surprise me that it¡¯s the first of its kind that I¡¯ve read given that Mr. Ellison was involved. The footnotes are so informative as they are from the man himself and help to shed light on his thinking and, to some extent, his personality.
The book also provides good insight into Mr. Ellison himself. The path that Mr. Ellison took to maturation as a human being and his willingness to admit and confront all the ¡°difficult¡± things about his life that he has repressed can be learning for all willing to admit or seek some explanation of our life¡¯s purpose.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback