Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle [Hardcover]

Larry Ellison , Matthew Symonds
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Hardcover, October 2003 --  
Paperback CDN $22.68  

Book Description

October 2003
In a business where great risks, huge fortunes, and even bigger egos are common, Larry Ellison stands out as one of the most outspoken, driven, and daring leaders of the software industry. The company he cofounded and runs, Oracle, is the number one business software company. Perhaps even more than Microsoft's, Oracle's products are essential to today's networked world.
In Softwar, journalist Matthew Symonds gives readers exclusive and intimate insight into both Oracle and the man who made it and runs it. As well as relating the story of Oracle's often bumpy path to industry dominance, Symonds deals with the private side of Ellison's life. With unlimited insider access granted by Ellison himself, Symonds captures the intensity and, some would say, the recklessness that have made Ellison a legend.
With a new and expanded epilogue for the paperback edition that tells the story behind Oracle's epic struggle to win control of PeopleSoft, Softwar is the most complete portrait undertaken of the man and his empire -- a unique and gripping account of both the way the computing industry really works and an extraordinary life.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product Details


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

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended! 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?
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 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?
4.0 out of 5 stars One of The Most Interesting People Alive Jan. 16 2004
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?
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Read Even for Technophobes Jan. 12 2004
By Pat
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?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for those in the software industry.
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. Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2008 by James Gingerich
3.0 out of 5 stars Master of the poison, master of the cure
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was an open secret that if you were what was called then "one of the freaks" and you had, perhaps, taken a few physics or math classes... Read more
Published on April 9 2004 by Edward G. Nilges
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book about a Very Interesting Company
A fascinating book. I should note that I worked at Oracle for 12 years (1989-1991), though much too far down in the hierarchy to have had dealings with Larry Ellison himself. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by Timothy S. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting history
I was intersted in the history of relational. There is one lamentably brief chapter: System R, Sybase, Ingres, two-phased commit, stored procedures, etc. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004 by Michael Sweeney
5.0 out of 5 stars Larry gets the last word
My first fear when I bought 'Softwar' was that Matthew Symonds would be overwhelmed by the aura of Larry Ellison, resulting in a glowing whitewash of the man and his empire. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003 by Craig Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Merry X'mas Larry
I particularly enjoyed the pictures in this book -- especially the one when Larry was little holding his good brother. Read more
Published on Dec 15 2003 by Queen of the Middle Kingdom
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not impartial...
A pretty good book for Larry Ellison!! The book heaps praises on Ellison even when it is ridiculing his short sighted approach. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2003 by Avaksi
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to know a lot about Ellison AND Oracle
For years it seems like I've heard about Larry Ellison being the complete antithesis of Bill Gates while at the same time earning almost as much money. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2003 by Nicholas Honko
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Look at a Software Entrepreneur
This is a very insightful look at a kindler and gentler Larry Ellison (as compared to the days when he talked about "cutting off the oxygen supply" of his competitors). Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by Robert A. Navarro
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback