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10 books about Silicon Valley
Pick up one of these featured titles on Silicon Valley in May 2021.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Category: Venture Capital
This book was published last year by Vintage and takes approximately 12.3 hours to read.
The Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year A New York Times Notable Book A Washington Post Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, Esquire, Fortune, Marie Claire, GQ, Mental Floss, Science Friday, Bloomberg, Popular Mechanics, BookRiot, The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the next Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with its breakthrough device, which performed the whole range of laboratory tests from a single drop of blood. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.5 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. Erroneous results put patients in danger, leading to misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatments. All the while, Holmes and her partner, Sunny Balwani, worked to silence anyone who voiced misgivings--from journalists to their own employees. Rigorously reported and fearlessly written, Bad Blood is a gripping story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron--a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.
No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier
Category: Company Profiles
This book was published last year by Simon & Schuster and takes approximately 11.7 hours to read.
Winner of the 2020 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award * Finalist for SABEW'S Inaugural Best in Business Book Award In this “sequel to The Social Network” (The New York Times), award-winning reporter Sarah Frier reveals the never-before-told story of how Instagram became the most culturally defining app of the decade. “The most enrapturing book about Silicon Valley drama since Hatching Twitter” (Fortune), No Filter “pairs phenomenal in-depth reporting with explosive storytelling that gets to the heart of how Instagram has shaped our lives, whether you use the app or not” (The New York Times). In 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released a photo-sharing app called Instagram, with one simple but irresistible feature: it would make anything you captured look more beautiful. The cofounders cultivated a community of photographers and artisans around the app, and it quickly went mainstream. In less than two years, it caught Facebook’s attention: Mark Zuckerberg bought the company for a historic $1 billion when Instagram had only thirteen employees. That might have been the end of a classic success story. But the cofounders stayed on, trying to maintain Instagram’s beauty, brand, and cachet, considering their app a separate company within the social networking giant. They urged their employees to make changes only when necessary, resisting Facebook’s grow-at-all-costs philosophy in favor of a strategy that highlighted creativity and celebrity. Just as Instagram was about to reach a billion users, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg—once supportive of the founders’ autonomy—began to feel threatened by Instagram’s success. Frier draws on unprecedented access—from the founders of Instagram, as well as employees, executives, and competitors; Anna Wintour of Vogue; Kris Jenner of the Kardashian-Jenner empire; and a plethora of influencers worldwide—to show how Instagram has fundamentally changed the way we show, eat, travel, and communicate, all while fighting to preserve the values which contributed to the company’s success. “Deeply reported and beautifully written” (Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair), No Filter examines how Instagram’s dominance acts as a lens into our society today, highlighting our fraught relationship with technology, our desire for perfection, and the battle within tech for its most valuable commodity: our attention.
Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler
Category: Motivation & Self-Improvement
This book was published 3 years ago by Dey Street Books and takes approximately 10.1 hours to read.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER CNBC and Strategy + Business Best Business Book of 2017 "Steven and Jamie have done a wonderful job of balancing the promises, perils, and how-to prescriptions of engineering peak states such as 'flow.'" —Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek It’s the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and it’s hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut. They're harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition. New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler and high performance expert Jamie Wheal spent four years investigating the leading edges of this revolution—from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations’ Headquarters. And what they learned was stunning: In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide. Today, this revolution is spreading to the mainstream, fueling a trillion dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives. Driven by four accelerating forces—psychology, neurobiology, technology and pharmacology—we are gaining access to and insights about some of the most contested and misunderstood terrain in history. Stealing Fire is a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.
If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore
Category: United States
This book was published last year by Liveright and takes approximately 14.4 hours to read.
The Simulmatics Corporation, founded in 1959, mined data, targeted voters, accelerated news, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge--decades before Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Cambridge Analytica. Silicon Valley likes to imagine that it has no past, but the scientists of Simulmatics are the long-dead grandfathers of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Borrowing from psychological warfare, they used computers to predict and direct human behavior, deploying their "People Machine" from New York, Cambridge, and Saigon for clients that included John Kennedy's presidential campaign, the New York Times, Young & Rubicam, and, during the Vietnam War, the Department of Defense. Jill Lepore, distinguished Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, unearthed from archives the almost unbelievable story of this long-vanished corporation, and of the women hidden behind it. In the 1950s and 1960s, Lepore argues, Simulmatics invented the future by building the machine in which the world now finds itself trapped and tormented, algorithm by algorithm.
Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener
This book was published last year by MCD and takes approximately 9.7 hours to read.
Innovative ideas are never easily accepted. Due to the electronic revolution of the information supply new management tools and infrastructures were required. The as simple as brilliant tool the ISBN which assigns each book with a unique number has contributed vastly to the global book and information market.
AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, And The New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee
Category: Economic Policy & Development
This book was published 3 years ago by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company and takes approximately 9.1 hours to read.
Introduction -- China's Sputnik moment -- Copycats in the Coliseum -- China's alternate Internet universe -- A tale of two countries -- The four waves of AI -- Utopia, dystopia, and the real AI crisis -- The wisdom of cancer -- A blueprint for human co-existence with AI -- Our global AI story
Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products (Silicon Valley Product Group) by Marty Cagan
Category: Leadership & Motivation
This book was published last year by Wiley and takes approximately 14.4 hours to read.
No synopsis available at the moment.
The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara
Category: Economic History
This book was published 2 years ago by Penguin Press and takes approximately 17.1 hours to read.
The true, behind-the-scenes history of the people who built Silicon Valley and shaped Big Tech in America Long before Margaret O'Mara became one of our most consequential historians of the American-led digital revolution, she worked in the White House of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the earliest days of the commercial Internet. There she saw first-hand how deeply intertwined Silicon Valley was with the federal government, and always had been, and how shallow the common understanding of the secrets of the Valley's success actually was. Now, after almost five years of pioneering research, O'Mara has produced the definitive history of Silicon Valley for our time, the story of mavericks and visionaries, but also of powerful institutions creating the framework for innovation, from the Pentagon to Stanford University. It is also a story of a community that started off remarkably homogeneous and elitist and stayed that way, and whose belief in its own mythology has deepened into a collective hubris that has led to astonishing triumphs as well as devastating second-order effects. Deploying a wonderfully rich and diverse cast of protagonists, from the justly famous to the unjustly obscure, across four generations of explosive growth in the Valley, from the Forties to the present, O'Mara has wrestled into magnificent narrative form one of the most fateful developments in modern American history. She is on the ground with all of the key tech companies, and chronicles the evolution in their offerings through each successive era, and she has a profound fingertip feel for the politics of the sector, and its relation to the larger cultural narrative about tech as it has evolved over the years. Perhaps most impressively, O'Mara has penetrated the inner kingdom of tech venture capital firms, the insular and still remarkably old-boy world that became the cockpit of American capitalism and the crucible for bringing technological innovation to market, or not. The transformation of big tech into the engine room of the American economy and the nexus of so many of our hopes and dreams--and increasingly nightmares--can be understood, in Margaret O'Mara's masterful hands, as the story of one California valley. As her majestic history makes clear, its fate is the fate of us all.
The Prophet from Silicon Valley: The Complete Story of Sequential Circuits by David Abernethy
Category: Piano & Keyboards
This book was published 6 years ago by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform and takes approximately 9.1 hours to read.
The story of Sequential Circuits, the leading synthesizer manufacturer of the 1980s.One of the great American synthesizer companies, founded and led by San Francisco electronics and computer graduate, Dave Smith, Sequential Circuits Inc. paved the way for music of the future. Smith brought easy, affordable and powerful polyphonic synthesis to all levels of music production in the form of the ground-breaking Prophet-5 synthesizer.Released in 1978, the Prophet led the new wave movement into the next decade, creating a sonically exciting soundtrack to eighties culture. It expanded the palette of all music genres and was embraced by professionals and amateurs alike.Sequential Circuits went on to create further innovative concepts and products such as programmable effects, MIDI, multitimbrality, high-quality sampling, workstation and MPC systems and many more. Today the Prophet-5 is very much sought-after as one of those truly iconic classic musical instruments. The book features many exclusive and highly entertaining and informative stories from ex-Sequential staff, music industry moguls, and famous keyboard players. Includes over 240 photos and illustrations."The story of Sequential Circuits includes thrilling successes and unfortunate demise. Thanks to Dave Smith's contributions to electronic music, we in the industry owe him dearly. Through thorough research and by reaching out to many artists who benefited from Sequential Circuits' instruments and Dave Smith's work, David Abernethy delivers the essence of the story in this beautifully written and detailed book." Mark Vail, Music journalist, author, teacher, musician"David Abernethy has left no stone unturned in researching this incredibly detailed account of how Dave Smith and Sequential Circuits unseated Moog and ARP to become the leading synthesizer manufacturer of the 1980s. The Prophet from Silicon Valley is a must-read for synth junkies and students of musical instrument design." Dominic Milano, Keyboard magazine writer/reviewer, editor, musician
Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer by Michael Swaine
This book was published 7 years ago by Pragmatic Bookshelf and takes approximately 14.1 hours to read.
In the 1970s, while their contemporaries were protesting the computer as a tool of dehumanization and oppression, a motley collection of college dropouts, hippies, and electronics fanatics were engaged in something much more subversive. Obsessed with the idea of getting computer power into their own hands, they launched from their garages a hobbyist movement that grew into an industry, and ultimately a social and technological revolution. What they did was invent the personal computer: not just a new device, but a watershed in the relationship between man and machine. This is their story. Fire in the Valley is the definitive history of the personal computer, drawn from interviews with the people who made it happen, written by two veteran computer writers who were there from the start. Working at InfoWorld in the early 1980s, Swaine and Freiberger daily rubbed elbows with people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates when they were creating the personal computer revolution. A rich story of colorful individuals, Fire in the Valley profiles these unlikely revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, such as Ed Roberts of MITS, Lee Felsenstein at Processor Technology, and Jack Tramiel of Commodore, as well as Jobs and Gates in all the innocence of their formative years. This completely revised and expanded third edition brings the story to its completion, chronicling the end of the personal computer revolution and the beginning of the post-PC era. It covers the departure from the stage of major players with the deaths of Steve Jobs and Douglas Engelbart and the retirements of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer; the shift away from the PC to the cloud and portable devices; and what the end of the PC era means for issues such as personal freedom and power, and open source vs. proprietary software.
We estimate total reading time by multiplying a book's page count by an average reading speed of 2 minutes per page. Summaries sourced from Google Books.
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