9780812931433 / 0812931432

High Stakes, No Prisoners : A Winner's Tale of Greed and Glory in the Internet Wars


4.13 avg rating75 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Crown Business, 1999



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About the book:

High Stakes, No Prisoners is a sharp, brilliant insider's account of the way Silicon Valley really works: the sharks, powerful incumbents, and old-boy networks who play hardball all the time and the geniuses who make the products that have changed the world.

Charles Ferguson started Vermeer Technologies and turned his very cool, very big idea into FrontPage, the first software product for creating and managing a website. A mere twenty months after starting the company, he sold it to Microsoft for $133 million, making a fortune for himself and his associates. FrontPage now has millions of users and is bundled with Microsoft Office. But getting there wasn't always fun.

High Stakes, No Prisoners is the book about the Valley and reflects Ferguson's unique experience not only as a successful entrepreneur but also as a policy analyst, computer industry consultant, and academic.

Reveals A Great Internet Success Story

High Stakes, No Prisoners is a highly personal account of what it really takes to win as a high-technology startup, especially in the Internet industry, where any speed below warp nine doesn't get you to takeoff. From securing venture capital to getting both the strategy and the technology right, from dealing with Microsoft's power to working with some of the quirkiest, smartest people on the planet, it's all here. The Valley story has never been told with this much depth and honesty.

Reports from the Trenches of the Internet Wars Vermeer was right in the middle of the battle between Microsoft and Netscape. Both companies wanted to either acquire Vermeer or kill it.

Skewers the Sacred Cows of the Valley

Yes, Microsoft declared war on Netscape, but the latter's demise was caused as much by itself as by Microsoft. Ferguson, for example, sees Jim Barksdale, the former CEO of Netscape, as arrogant, ignorant about technology, distracted by politics and glamour, and running a company in partnership with a twenty-three-year-old who'd never held a serious job before." Here's Netscape as it has never before been revealed.

Explains the Real Problem with Microsoft Microsoft's business model is unquestionably one of the great creations of American business. But its power has become so great, its behavior so unrestrained, and its abuses so dangerous that intelligent action has to be taken. Ferguson's analysis of what must be done is a major contribution to one of the most important public-policy questions of our time.

Silicon Valley is the crown jewel of the American economy and a critical driver of American technology. It's electric, addictive, vulgar, full of brilliance, brutally fair and brutally unfair, fiercely competitive, often dishonest, tremendously exciting, and utterly unique. With High Stakes, No Prisoners, the real story has finally been told--with frankness, insight, and great wit.

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