“What’s the best Silicon Valley book that you’ve ever read?” That’s something that I’ve been asked once or twice.
So many books come to mind. The thing is, I’m guilty of not always finishing books if they don’t engage me long enough. And I’m guilty of not even bothering to read the book on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, which may sound like heresy to some. But that’s the thing. When it comes to the tech sector and Silicon Valley, books can be too unidirectional (as in the case with a biography, or a book that’s all about Google for instance). To me, the best book on Silicon Valley ought to be a book about the ins and outs of Silicon Valley itself and how it came to be.
In which case, I will have to say that the best Silicon Valley book I’ve ever read is still “Accidental Empires” by Robert X. Cringely. Here, you see the entire valley thing and how it emerged from its early days. Not only that, but you get a lot of dirt on Jobs, Gates, and various other high flyers of the industry. Here you realize that Microsoft was in fact a bit of an accidental empire itself (involving Gates bluffing his way to servicing IBM’s need for an operating system), how every good idea in tech actually first came from Xerox, and how the founder of Adobe, John Warnock, was one heck of a real genius.
It was written way back in 1991, and yet it still holds up as an awesome, if not funny, chronicle of what it took to create the tech world as we know it today.
The good news? You can read the entire thing, online, legitimately. On Robert X. Cringely’s own blog site itself, “I, Cringely“. Head on over to the book here and just keep clicking on the Next button. Cringely has blogged out his original book to commemorate his 2013 reprint. I say yay, because the history that he presents here is truly awesome.
And if you’d rather read about a more immediate tech history, then here’s our weekly roundup of links for you below.
Tuesday, June 25
Toshiba launches 9 notebooks aimed at gaming, business, and home use
BoostCase Hybrid Battery for iPhone 5 review
iOS 7 Beta 2 rolls out, Adds iPad support and more
Tatt Awards 2013 voting extended until June 30
Review: Buffalo 2TB HDD NAS (CloudStation CS-X2)
Wednesday, June 26
Get a Huawei Ascend W1 from Globe at Plan 499
AOC reveals 7? and 8? Breeze Android tablets aimed at the value-conscious buyer
Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 | Review
iOS Game Review: Gangstar Vegas
Sony Xperia Z Ultra: The 6.4-inch HD ‘droid of your ‘wet’ dreams
Thursday, June 27
Crumpler Shangri-la East Wing: A Bag Nerds’ paradise
ASUS ROG Maximum VI Extreme impresses at Computex OC Main Event; also reaps eight world records
Promo Alert! Discounts, freebies up for grabs at the Samsung Galaxy Mega First Day Rush
Saturday, June 29
SMART Unlimited LTE extended up until August 31
Sunday, June 30
Nokia launches colorful, powerful Asha 501 smartphone
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