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On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple (Anglais) Relié – juin 1998

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William L. Simon is a bestselling author, Global business Book Award nominee, and winner of more than a dozen festival awards for his film and television writer. He lives in Rancho Santa Fe, California, with his wife, Arynne.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 42 commentaires
60 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A remarkable mix of pompousity, stupidity, and spite 27 janvier 2000
Par Rachel Simmons - Publié sur
Format: Broché
On the plus side, there is a lot of unintential comedy in this book. Gil is very impressed with himself, as this from page 1 will show:
"Apple seemed a natural, considering my background as a Ph.D. technologist with a number of patents and my reputation as a business leader who had established a notable record for transforming ailing companies."
Whether this confidence was justified can be discerned in many places in the book, but I will always treasure this one from page 187:
"Solaris, on the other hand, is based on a programming language called Unix..."
For those not technical enough to be in on the joke, Unix is an operating system, not a programming language. While your average man-on-the-street might make this mistake, for a computer company CEO to make it is pretty funny/pathetic.
For those more into human emotion than technical humor, here is a lot of spite in here, mostly directed at Steve Jobs, as shown by this from page 269:
"The success I was creating threatened to get in the way of his plans. Betrayal, assassination, trashing of reputations are all part of the everyday tool kit of a person obsessed with power, control, or revenge."
Even as I type this I confess that I cannot even begin to imagine what success Gil is referring to: the billion dollar losses? the massive layoffs? the plunging sales?
As a bonus, the book has some fascinating contradictions. Take this from page 273, regarding the deal with Microsoft:
"Eager for a dramatic move, he [Steve] called Bill Gates and gave him the deal I wouldn't, handing over everything...But he failed to get the one essential element...Instead he settled for cash, a sum Microsoft could write a check for without blinking."
So Gil doesn't like the deal right? He thinks Apple got taken. But then there is this from the next page:
"It bristled me no end to read in the newspapers about Steve making a deal with Bill Gates, as if no groundwork had been laid"
Thus, we are left with the puzzling conclusion that Gil thinks it was a terrrible deal, and is very resentful that he got no credit for it.
To wrap up, I am conflicted about giving this book only one star, because there is genuine entertainment value in it, in much the same way that "Plan 9 from Outer Space" has entertainment value: as a dazzling bad instance of its type. Hopefully this review, independent of the rating, will give the reader a better idea as to whether or not this book is the type of reading material he will enjoy.
16 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Bedtime for Gil 18 août 2001
Par Peter Clark - Publié sur
Format: Broché
See Gil. See Gil run apple. See Gil get fired. Poor Gil.
This book has some interesting observations about apple culture, and a couple lessons for tech managers, but it's also full of self-congratulatory prose, with an occasional good dollop of self-pity. It's also written at around a 4th grade level - there were lots of opportunities for deeper analysis of what happened at apple, why Gil's strategies for turning the place around might have worked or might have failed, NeXT vs Be, and how apple changed as an organization. Unfortunately, Amelio and his co-author never delve into the details.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
One word - disenfranchised.... 16 avril 1998
Par - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Amelio seems totally honest in this book. He still doesn't get it though. He treated Apple like a company and not like the culture that it is. It took him half of his tenure to figure out that Apple had a cult status! He seems absolutely right about his description of Jobs. Amelio didn't seem nearly as pragmatic as Jobs is and that is why he didn't understand the company. But he tried. He really did. I wonder what he thinks now that Apple has had two very profitable quarters? Worth the price of admission.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The corporate equivalent of Richard Nixon's memoirs 17 avril 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
The most accurate description of Amelio's tenure at Apple was his own observation on page 213: "I often think how wasteful it is that those with real capabilities should doubt their abilities, while bunglers seem so damn sure of themselves." Since the entire saga lacks a sense of irony or any shred of introspection it will serve just fine as his epitaph. The book deserves a solid 10 as a reminder of why management gets a bad name.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but ..." 15 avril 1998
Par - Publié sur
Format: Relié
There is often a great chasm between truth and honesty. Amelio may well provide what he sees as an "honest" perspective of events at Apple, but the only truth in this book is Amelio's self-admitted portrayal that he was out-of-touch with the majority of Apple employees and did not have the leadership or a command of authority to execute change. Amelio uses this book to publicly claim responsibility for everything good at Apple the last couple years, and readily falls on a sword for the bad. Unfortunately, he is always quick to point out precisely on whose sword he has fallen in a less-than-subtle attempt to blame others for his fundamental failure to lead. There are numerous inconsistencies and half-truths to stories he recounts; and it's more interesting what he "forgets" to tell: costly executive Christmas parties; a million-dollars-a-year personal "Image Trainer;" the Apple-paid price of the Tahoe vacation retreat; and on and on and on ... Amelio goes into lengthy details of managers and employees disregarding his direct commands. These lambastings do not read as the critisisms they are intended, rather as further examples of what a leader is not. This story, while titillating as an inside peepshow of Apple, is really nothing more than a public display of modern day spin control by executive who failed to cut the mustard. While reading the excuses, half-truths, and outright errors, I couldn't help but think of the many times I've read the old bathroom wall saying: "Here I sit all broken hearted, tried to ..." I can only recommend this book to those who enjoy fiction.
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