Derry K.

5.0 out of 5 stars

After reading "Inventing the Future", I was looking forward to reading this one, and I wasn't disappointed. As the author has said, the book is like a history with a novel layered on (or something like that). First, the history: Just as with the first book, it was really interesting seeing how the industry developed in the early days. The technologies discussed are for the most part those where the author has a personal connection, though not necessarily with the companies described. I would say that the predominant focus is on networking in the 80's -- the technologies, the companies, the efforts to establish standards and the struggle to make those standards irrelevant by claiming the market space. Juicy stuff! There are insider views on Xerox, Apple, 3Com and Datapoint, among others. I don't have much personal experience in this part of the industry, so can't vouch for accuracy the way I could for Xerox, but I suspect that this rendition of the goings-on is pretty accurate. And having been working in Silicon Valley at the time, I really appreciated the deeper explanations of events I experienced only from the outside. Second, the novel: As in the first book, the story is lightweight, fun, and provides a good substrate for bringing out all the industry stuff. The romantic conspiracy in the later chapters may be a little too lightweight for some! These characters talk to each other a lot, and this was a good way for the author to expose what kinds of things people were thinking about at the time. Overall, I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next one.

Disclaimer: I read a pre-publication version of the book that I received from the author.