BUSINESS

Winter 1996-97 Spotlight
The Road Ahead, completely revised edition
by Bill Gates

One of today's greatest businessmen describes his (revised) vision of the future uses of computers. This new edition takes into account the complete, recent reorientation of Microsoft towards the Internet, which Gates sees as a stepping stone to broadband networks. Of interest are Gates' analysis of his own errors of judgment made so far in relation to the Internet and broadband networks, as well as the lessons he draws from his own experience in the computer industry: e.g. companies thrive on positive spirals, compatibility with many hardware manufacturers is essential for long-term success, evolution of products pays more than revolution, and the government should stay out of the market and deregulate the telecom industry. Gates has a contagious enthusiasm for the future benefits to be derived from better computers and networks. This book is clearly written and not technical at all; each chapter can be read independently.

The 12 chapters give the reader a view of where Gates wants to take Microsoft, of what motivates him today and has motivated him ever since he started to write software, and of the way a great entrepreneur's mind functions in the face of new opportunities. One may disagree with Gates on various issues, or consider that he is blind to some important factors, and the Ada Home bookworm certainly does; these may be opportunities to beat Microsoft on the free market... Includes a CD-ROM (for Windows systems) with a complete hypertext version of the book and demonstrations of future technology (note: the vision proposed for a future American high-school is a very ugly sight). (332 pages, 1996)
Prices & orders: softcover * ($12.76)

The Essence of Leadership
by Edwin A. Locke et al.

Only effective leaders can build successful organizations that create profitable products. Locke presents a model for successful leadership based on real leaders, rather than ivory-tower theories. This model is based on four elements: a leader's motives and traits (most notably honesty, integrity, and self-confidence); his knowledge, skills, and ability; his vision; and his capacity to implement that vision. This book does not offer a magic formula for effective leadership, but shows that all good leaders have drive, intelligence, and experience to develop a vision, as well as will and coordination to implement it. While many books and articles about leadership focus on style, this one is about substance. (120 pages, 1991)
Prices & orders: hardcover * ($22.95)

Entrepreneurial Software Engineering
by Edward A. Ipser, Jr.

This is a practical guide to developing and marketing computer software, covering techniques for market identification and analysis, business establishment, product development, documentation, packaging, marketing, sales, and customer support. The focus of the author is always on common-sense, market-oriented activities, to help the reader "step up from programming to software entrepreneurship." Ipser has used his understanding of free markets and marketing to condense in one book much essential knowledge needed by start-up software entrepreneurs. Recommended by Ed Yourdon. (304 pages, 1993)
Prices & orders: softcover * ($24.95)

The Dilbert Principle
by Scott Adams

We often hear that workers are promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. Author Adams explains, in 26 illustrated chapters, why the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage--management. You may want to read this if murdering the boss is not an acceptable option. Apart from the entertaining contents, this book offers much food for thought (but laugh first!). (336 pages, 1996)
Prices & orders: hardcover * ($15.40)

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