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How to Castrate a Bull: Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Success in Business [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Dave Hitz , Pat Walsh

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6. Februar 2009
Dave Hitz likes to solve fun problems. He didn't set out to be a Silicon Valley icon, a business visionary, or even a billionaire. But he became all three. It turns out that business is a mosaic of interesting puzzles like managing risk, developing and reversing strategies, and looking into the future by deconstructing the past.
As a founder of NetApp, a data storage firm that began as an idea scribbled on a placemat and now takes in $4 billion a year, Hitz has seen his company go through every major cycle in business--from the Jack-of-All-Trades mentality of a start-up, through the tumultuous period of the IPO and the dot-com bust, and finally to a mature enterprise company. NetApp is one of the fastest-growing computer companies ever, and for six years in a row it has been on Fortune magazine's list of Best Companies to Work For. Not bad for a high school dropout who began his business career selling his blood for money and typing the names of diseases onto index cards.
With colorful examples and anecdotes, How to Castrate a Bull is a story for everyone interested in understanding business, the reasons why companies succeed and fail, and how powerful lessons often come from strange and unexpected places.
Dave Hitz co-founded NetApp in 1992 with James Lau and Michael Malcolm. He served as a programmer, marketing evangelist, technical architect, and vice president of engineering. Presently, he is responsible for future strategy and direction for the company. Before his career in Silicon Valley, Dave worked as a cowboy, where he got valuable management experience by herding, branding, and castrating cattle.

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NetApp Awarded #1 Best Company to Work For 2009 by Fortune
A San Francisco Chronicle Nonfiction Best-Seller, January 30, 2009
"Readers will gain insight into management styles, different ways to make decisions, alternative approaches to managing people, and the value of dissent within a company. They also will learn why it is better to castrate a bull with a dull knife than a sharp knife. And they may get a few chuckles along the way.", January 27, 2009
"Hitz spends much of the book discussing what happened after he moved to move Silicon Valley in 1986 and began working at a series of start-ups, and the various business problems he faced and how he approached them. Hitz describes in detail the evolution of NetApp and, of course, does not omit the vendor's sales pitch. But at various points in the 200-page book Hitz takes a break from talking business to focus on some of the humorous passages referenced in Chapter Zero.", January 21, 2009


This is the story of Dave Hitz, the company he founded and the management and problem-solving lessons he learned along the way - and more important - how he learned those lessons. Most of the lessons of the book came from or are related to the problem solving skills Hitz developed at Deep Springs, one of the most selective undergraduate institutions in the US. At Deep Springs students work and manage a ranch attached to the college in addition to their liberal arts studies.Deep Springs maintains a cattle herd and an alfalfa hay farming operation. At Deep Springs, the actual act of castrating an 800-pound bull, which earlier seemed impossible, became imperative. At the ranch Hitz learned lessons about self-sufficiency, risk taking, and trust, that were invaluable in the business word when he made the jump from software coder in a start-up to overseeing an engineering department of hundreds, and later serving as the company visionary. Through dynamic example and colorful illustration, Hitz shows how powerful learning tools are forged from experience and experience often comes from strange and unexpected places.Using humor and insight, Hitz's experiences an engineer thrust into managing hundreds of people and his time as a cowboy/student in Deep Springs, California, into a new type of business book.

What will surprise readers is that problems aren't to be avoided but rather sought out eagerly. In many instances, a reader need not learn a new technique or process for dealing with problems, they just have to look at their own experiences in a new way.

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
Hier reinlesen und suchen:


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  29 Rezensionen
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Funny and Informative Management Book 12. Januar 2009
Von David R. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Management books, even those written (or mostly written) by industry luminaries, can offer informative looks into the exclusive world of the corporate executive. But they also tend to be very, very dry.

This book, of the other hand, is a funny and enlightening romp through the early days of a Silicon Valley startup written by one of the founders, but written in a light and clear fashion that even my parents would understand. In fact, I bought a copy for them too.

The book covers both the creation and evolution of a technology company as well as a brief outline of the author's life and influences that contributed to his development and growth as an entrepreneur and manager.

It is full of insightful and humorous tales of success and failure, both personal and professional, of the author and the company he founded. It is worth the price just to learn how his company got to be so successful, but the extras (including the funny sidebars and Interludes) make it worth so much more. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has always wished someone would make a management book fun to read. This is it!
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen No bull! It's a fun easy read to learn some big important lessons 19. Januar 2009
Von Marian Reiss - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a really fantastic book! It's such a fun and easy read! Dave Hitz really simplified big ideas into very valuable, understandable lessons. I think that anyone on any level, can apply some of these golden nuggets to their job, no matter where you are on the org chart.

As a 4 year NetAppee, it's also been fun to learn the history and trivia and backtrack to how we got to where we are today. When I got to NetApp, we had 3,000 employees and hundreds of millions in revenue, and the largest company I had ever worked for before was 300 and in the red, so it's always been a mystery to me what happens between start-up and a mature company. This book helped make sense of that process.

Some of the advice that I especially found valuable:

* Always start with the conclusion
* The first lesson on hypergrowth is "everything is always broken" - is a good thing.
* The greatest magic is not one human mind, it is multiple minds working together.
* The importance of culture and the struggle to map it and apply it
* The definition of consensus and how to make it work

The book is peppered with lots of cool anecdotes and stories that are both entertaining and to which we can all relate, no matter which organization you're part of. Dave has a talent for distilling ideas that took years to learn into easy-to-grasp simple take-aways.

Read Enjoy Learn

7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If you are starting a company, read this book. 19. Januar 2009
Von John T. McArthur - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book, by NetApp's founder, Dave Hitz, provides direct, honest, thoughtful business advice, applicable to business founders and leaders throughout the growth cycle of a business. He puts special emphasis on hard choices and decision-making processes, with an understanding that comes from a life-time of risk taking. If you are a first time entrepreneur, read this book. If you are entering a growth phase for your company, read this book. If you failed at your first venture and want to understand why, read this book. And if you want a few good laughs, read this book.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fantastic - Now where's my sequel? 5. Februar 2014
Von Holly Harb - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I have worked at NetApp for several years and lived through the beginning of one of the "eras" described in this book. I find it amazing how NetApp came together. If you are at all interested in that, I highly recommend the book.

Aside from NetApp, there are several keen insights in this book on business, leadership and management. I would be giving it away by posting a quote. If you're the type interested in leadership or what separates good leaders from mediocre ones, you really need to read this book.

I also want to point out that the writing style is clear and overall a fun read. This is a man wide awake. Something that stands out to me are his "Thought Experiments." I adore thought experiments and breaking traditional thinking. Questions have power. They develop insight.

I wish there were more books like this. It's a rare one.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great book about building a top Silicon Valley company 5. Februar 2009
Von D. Brent Chapman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Dave Hitz is one of the cofounders of NetApp, which is a Silicon Valley success story, and has been with the company since 1992. I just finished reading his new book, How to Castrate a Bull: Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Success in Business, and I highly recommend it.

In the book, Dave tells the intertwined stories of both his professional history (which included a stint as a working cowboy on an isolated cattle ranch; thus the title of the book) and the history of NetApp, and he shares many of the insightful lessons that he has learned along the way.

Dave is a natural story teller, and besides being fun to hear, his stories usually manage to memorably convey some point of wisdom. He's also a very nice guy, which is unfortunately rarer than you might wish in Silicon Valley. I've had the privilege of knowing Dave socially and professionally for a number of years, and I'm always pleased when I run into him at some event, because I know that a fun and interesting conversation will likely ensue.

The book is a great peek into what it takes to grow a startup from scratch to 8000 employees and billions of dollars in annual revenue, while also making it one of the most respected Silicon Valley companies and a fixture on every year's Fortune Magazine "Best Companies to Work For" list. He talks about the various stages of the company's growth, from the early product development days ("beat Auspex!"), to the hyper-growth phase (double the company's size and revenue every year for several years in a row), to the dark days following the dot-com crash in 2001 or so, to today's renewed growth in "The Age of Data".

Dave especially focuses on how NetApp has built, maintained, and continues to evolve the positive corporate culture that is one of its major strengths; that didn't happen by accident, and Dave discusses how they did it (and why!).

Strongly recommended.
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