Next week will be the final week before the end of term in a host of universities across the different parts of the world. For many students this brings the dreaded exam week and often a huge amount of self doubt with it. Many have thoughts of giving up the whole process at this time. After all, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are all college dropouts and they seem to have done alright for themselves. If they could succeed with a degree, is it really necessary to spend all that time and effort? It might seem like a nice idea but unfortunately, these few examples don’t tell the entire story.
Tag Archives: Bill Gates
Do I really need a university degree? Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg didn’t finish university. Perhaps, but…
Strategic Leadership: Governance & Renewal is advanced reading for students of strategy. The book is particularly strong in the explanation of the resource based view of strategy, innovation and the problems of aligning strategy between the differing business units and the corporation at large.
This book is an interesting and impartial look at the development of Amazon. Unfortunately, it gets off to a terrible start. Any 9th Grader will have heard a hundred times that a good essay begins with a clear and dynamic start and finishes with a punchy conclusion. What a pity that Mr. Brandt seems to have forgotten this advice. The book is actually a very enjoyable read with a lot of information about Amazon. It is you really want to have a good impression of it, you should skip the first and last chapters.
It hasn’t been a good weekend if you are a household name with the surname Armstrong. On Friday, Lance Armstrong officially threw in the towel in his fight to maintain the seven Tour de France titles he had won by effectively pleading guilty to using drugs. He thus gained the status of villain or fallen hero. Then yesterday, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon died in hospital.
Our reactions to the two Armstrongs underlines how ambiguous we are in conferring hero status to people or to organizations. Continue reading
This is the hottest business book of the moment and Amazon’s best selling book of 2011. 577 pages look fairly daunting but there is a nice mixture of personal detail and professional development which makes it fairly simple to read. Jobs was adopted which made him feel “Abandoned”, “Chosen” and “Special.” He frequently got into trouble at school and then dropped out of Reed College in his second year. He had regular temper tantrums and big mood swings but also a remarkable gift for improving products and making them simple to use. He spent hours and hours fussing over tiny details including those legendary ‘spontaneous’ presentations.
The book gives a clear picture of a genius who was almost impossible to live with, a modern day Mozart, if you will. It gives an objective account of his ups and downs at Apple and shows both the strengths and the weaknesses of the man. There is an interesting side story of the rivalry between Jobs and Bill Gates including the latter complaining that while he was saving the world from malaria, the world was more interested in new products created by Jobs! It is an excellent read.
Some keys facts:
The name “Apple” was linked to Jobs’ strange diets. “I was on one of my fruitarian diets,” he explained. “I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer’. Plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book.” Continue reading