Review of Bill Gates’s book ”Business @ the Speed of Thought”

Review of Bill Gates’s book ”Business @ the Speed of Thought”

“Business is going to change more in the next ten years than it has in the last fifty.”

Bill Gates

This book was written in 1999 by Bill Gates, chairman and Chief Software Architect of the world largest software developing company Microsoft Corporation.

At first look, it might seem to be just an extended advert for Microsoft. But no, there is more to this book. It is penetrating, and entertaining. This book is not just about big business getting bigger, but also about how simple techniques of good information flow management within even the smallest of organizations, can make contented customers keep coming back to you again and again for more commerce.

Gate’s Big Idea is that tomorrow’s successful companies will have a "digital nervous system"* – a network which provides a constant flow of accurate, up–to–date and detailed information. He claims that while most of today’s companies collect enormous quantities of data, they extract very little information from them. He defenses his argument with case studies from Microsoft and other companies (Dell, Coca–Cola, Boeing, and Siemens) which either understand the need for digital nerves, or have them already in place.

Nothing succeeds in business like success, and Gates has built one of the most profitable companies on the planet. Anyone of self–respectful businessman would give anything to know his secret.

“Business @ the Speed of Thought” is written in the up–beat, bullet–pointed style familiar to anyone who has ever attended a management seminars. Each chapter, for example, has an instructive title: "Raise your Corporate IQ"; "Convert Bad News to Good"; "Know Your Numbers"; "Touch Your Customers". And everywhere there are text–boxes containing didactic tales of corporate life.

At all this is an excellent book on using the Information Technology (IT) within your company to succeed. This book is not about trends of Information Technology industry but about trends of IT usage. The basics of handling information and how the digital nervous system help out modern businesses achieve maximum out of their means are the key themes explained with convincing precision.

However, this book has a major down side. I purchased this book hoping that it can give me insight of where the high tech industry is headed. Gates did not do a good job of presenting this. Instead I found a book filled with hundreds of examples of how companies integrate computers into their business. It shows how the internet helped big companies move information and expand their customer service, but it does not show what's on “the road ahead”.

I found this book rather interesting to read. If you would like to run your own company, or you are just interested in reading about big business, then you will be satisfied with this book. Gates does a great job of citing examples of how technology is impacting business in today's economy. It might even give you a few ideas for making your own business more efficient.

I recommend this book because it can help you make the most out of your company using computers. However, if you are looking for the next killer application, don't expect to find it in this book.

Words used in this text:

casestudies– конкретное социологическое исследование (в целях формулировки общих положений)

chairman – председатель

penetrating – проницательный

information flow management – управление потоком информации

commerce – торговля, коммерция

"digitalnervoussystem"* – «дигитальная нервная система»

toclaim– требовать (обыкн. как принадлежащее по праву)

up–beat – избитый (в смысле слишком частого использования)

bullet–pointed – в стиле списка

instructive=didactic– поучительный

trend– направление

profitable– прибыльный, выгодный, доходный, рентабельный

citing – ссылающийся, цитирующий

impacting – воздействующий, толкающий

efficient – эффективный, целесообразный; рациональный продуктивный

New words from the book:

toreveal– показывать, обнаруживать; разоблачать

pattern– образец, пример образец, шаблон, форма, модель

CRM (customer relationship management) – менеджментклиентскогообслуживания

marketing– торговля; продажа; сбыт; маркетинг; предмет торговли

data mining – поиск данных

lifeblood– источник жизненной силы, энергии

paperless (office) – безбумажный (о ведении дел в офисе, и используемых информационных носителях)

middleman – посредник

value – ценность, важность, полезность

NASDAQ– Национальная Ассоциация Дилеров Ценных бумаг

boundary – граница; разграничительная линия, предел

Подготовил Сергей Голубев