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30 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chronology of a Failure
In Startup, Go's Jerry Kaplan (better known for his later success with onsale.com) recounts how he and his team built the company from an idea, and how due to internal politics and competition the walls came tumbling down.
Kaplan takes us through the twists and turns of forming a company, describing, in detail, how he secured venture capital and found Go's first few...
Published on Aug. 25 2002 by J. Straub

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3.0 out of 5 stars To GO or not to EO
I bought the book amidst lot of hype from my friends and relatives who have read this book. I didn't find it so exciting as to place it on the top shelf. This book definitely gives a very close encounter with the 'happenings in a corporation's entire life' in silicon valley. Some useful insights into how the industry works, which include dealings with Apple, IBM,...
Published on Sept. 25 1998


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4.0 out of 5 stars I was riveted to this book., July 20 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
Just finished this book and found myself anticipating the next chance I could find to read what happened next to GO, a company with a seemingly unshakeable future but doomed by forces outside of its control (mostly). A very insightful look into why good ideas don't always make a successful company. Interesting when set against the backdrop of the success of pen based PDAs of today (Palm Pilot in particular, which I suspect would prove to be an interesting story itself). Sprinkled with quick sketches of many hi-tech bigwigs such as Gates and Ballmer @ Microsoft & Sculley formerly of Apple, even includes a complete email from Gates in the appendix. Not the smoothest prose I've read, but a great story of the valley.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A high-tech struggle with human dimension, June 15 1999
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
"Startup" chronicles a tale of the late eighties and early nineties, before the Internet exploded into public consciousness (and publisher's rush-to-press lists). Maybe that accounts for its unusually well-rounded portrayal of the *human drama* in Kaplan's David-and-Goliath struggle. Whatever the reason, I hope the story's humanity expands its readership, from its natural base of businessmen and gearheads to everyone who's ever cheered for an underdog.
Although "Startup"'s wisdom alone justifies reading it, as others have pointed out it might seem a bit dated amidst the flood of books on the subject these days. It's Kaplan's warm, candid, savvy style that truly singles it out. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars To GO or not to EO, Sept. 25 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
I bought the book amidst lot of hype from my friends and relatives who have read this book. I didn't find it so exciting as to place it on the top shelf. This book definitely gives a very close encounter with the 'happenings in a corporation's entire life' in silicon valley. Some useful insights into how the industry works, which include dealings with Apple, IBM, AT&T, Microsoft are captured very well. Slightly boring in parts. And a completely one-sided view of the world, obviously.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cool Book but Missing Something, Sept. 15 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
This is a good book, but a little light on characters, sub-plots, etc. It is a fun read (not a must read). If you're a techie, I suggest reading it, but be prepared to already be familiar with the 'little lessons' sprinkled throughout. They are a bit dated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!, Sept. 4 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
I was going through a discount store, and the unattractive cover caught my eye. I don't know why, but I'm glad it did. I've now read it 5 times.. it's a great book that really brings you into the action. I actually cried at the end, and I'm a guy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please see my commend for "Burn Rate"., Aug. 22 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
In our B-school's case study, Harvard's cases are used quite often. But they do have shortcomings, especially the comprehensiveness of a tale. I use two books for this type of case study. Jerry's book is related to a new venture in a novel computer development. Wolff's book is related to a new venture in content development. If you like to learn more about the computer industry, you may pick up Jeffrey Moore's Inside the Turnado. Enjoy this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into the industry, Some surprises, June 1 1998
By 
Mike Duncan (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
The book tells an entertaining story about the ins and outs of a startup in Silicon Valley. The good parts of the book are very compelling, but there are some parts that just plain boring. To Kaplan's credit, it is not because of the writing, but just because a startup spends a significant amount of time on mundane tasks such as contract negotiations or canned presentations. The surprising part was how much Kaplan shares of his personal life including his dad dying, a worker who quits because of having HIV, etc. Not to say that these scenes were not touching, they were, but placement in a book that is essentially a business book is slightly awkward. This is something I did not expect when I first bought the book.
However, in total the book is very entertaining and quite insightful. Two current issues make this book particularly relevant: the fact that Kaplan has now started Onsale, and the current anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft (Go got worked by Microsoft).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, April 28 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure is a must read for anyone interested in starting up their own technology company or anyone interested in how Microsoft, IBM, AT&T and Apple operate and how much power they can wield to help, steal or destroy new technologies. Kaplan takes you through from the inception of the hand-held pen computer idea to the completion of a workable product and all the trials and tribulations in between. You get an insider's look into running a startup as Kaplan deals with venture capitalists, customers, employees, product development and meeting schedules. A very easy reading book! A definite MUST READ - I highly recommend it!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and fun -- this was a very enjoyable book!, April 12 1998
By 
M. Saunders (Orlando, FL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
Startup detailed the life of a technical venture from birth to death in a fast-moving and entertaining style. Kaplan does a great job of explaining what it was like to be there and what obstacles they faced in their journey to bring the first pen based computers to market. Kaplan gives an appropriate level of detail when descibing situations without being 'dry'. While another reader didn't like this book because of the superfluous descriptions, I thought this made the book even better -- it gave me a *feeling* of what it would have been like to be there in person. I missed many "bedtimes" when reading this book and I highly recommend it if you're interested in business stories, start-ups, or technology stories.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any entrepreneur!!, April 9 1998
This review is from: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (Paperback)
Mr. Kaplan has produced an honest chronicle of the twisted and senseless events leading towards the demise of a truly original company. This book has confirmed my doubts about the tidy and shiny exterior many high tech companies show publicly. These companies extoil their virtues, telling us how much they are helping us as a society. Underneath that shiny exterior the driving forces are the greed and the megalomaniacal tendencies the men who lead them, no different from the robber barons of 150 years ago. The writing style can be tiresome, but overall it is a very good book.
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Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure
Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure by Jerry Kaplan (Paperback - Oct. 9 1996)
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