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am 3. April 2000
I found out about this book in an Oracle training class two years ago but put off reading it until now. THIS BOOK KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF! The most fascinating thing about this story was that I had witnessed almost all the book's events in my own experiences working for other high-tech startup companies here in the Denver area. I was constantly saying to myself, as I read, "That's exactly what happened when I was working at (fill in the blank) Inc!". The same personalities (some even worse), the same marketing pressures, the same technical problems, the same product support problems, the same legal problems, the same IPOs, and some of the same rewards (but I didn't receive as many stock options ;^).
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to any (technical) person who is considering working for a high-tech startup for the first time. This is the greatest and most accurate tale (at least in my experience) that is available of day-to-day life in a startup company. Some of the stuff that happens at these types of companies is SO WEIRD that you usually have to see it for yourself to believe it. This book gives a VERY GOOD look at "the weird stuff".
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am 15. Februar 1999
Remember Igor? The ever faithful servant of the Dr. Frankenstein: "Yes, Master. Yes Master." Well, the reader gets the disturbing, yet comical, feeling that Mike Wilson is playing the literary Igor to the real-life success story of software mogul Larry Ellison.
From the title onward, the disjunctive narrative is generously sprinkled with Wilson's "Yes, Master. Yes, Master." rationalizations and cooing adorations of Ellison. Be it Ellison's incessant prevarications and half-truths or be it Ellison's extravagant lifestyle, Wilson cannot even pretend to be objective about his subject.
This Igor-like devotion to Mr. Ellison, strains the credibility of the writer and the sensibilities of the reader if taken seriously. It should be obvious to Mr. Wilson, that the story of how Ellision made his billions in the software industry is one which worthy of being reported and one which people would want to read.
However, if the reader can suspend his/her annoyance at the predictably unctious and serflike writing style, the tale of Larry Ellison and Oracle's rise is one which unfolds with the all classical ingredients of the business start-up tale. There was the complementary business partnership between Ellison's marketing wizardry and Bob Miner's technical genius. There was the bit of luck that the entrepreneurs were able to bring IBM's own relational database research to market before IBM and parlay that into lucrative government sales. There were the problems with hyper growth and consequent setbacks, as well as Oracle's resilient comeback from apparent failure.
All in all, the subject matter manages to carry this software success story despite the narrator. Just a suggestion Mr. Ellison. The next time you commission an authorized biography about yourself, leave Igor behind. Check if Wallace and Erickson are available.
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am 13. Januar 1999
This book doesn't really let you draw your own conclusions contrary to what one of the reviewers mentioned. Instead, the author constantly bombards the reader with his own opinions whether written in parenthetical phrases or directly inserted into the prose. The tactic is sometimes amusing, sometimes needed, but unfortunately is most often annoying.
Ironically, in one of the chapters the author recounts an Oprah segment where Ms. Winfrey keeps repeating herself. Hilarious in and of itself it took on a double meaning because the author was guilty of the same thing throughout the entire book (however, without Ms. Winfrey's everchanging dialect). To make sure you come up with the conclusions that you are "supposed" to come up with, the author makes repeated statements (just in case you may have missed the first one) over and over again, ad nauseum. Part of the fun of reading is in imagining and/or drawing your own conclusions but very little is left to the imagination thanks to a compulsive writing style.
I will admit however, that he found the perfect word to describe Bill Gates. I knew it the instant I read it. The word was "cagey". Every time Gates is mentioned in the book the whole mood changes. I wish there were more of it because I think the chemistry between the two was like oil and water. Both worthwhile and necessary but natural repellants.
I also would have liked to read more of Jobs. He makes a casual mention every now and then about the friendship but for some reason I never really understood the relationship. After reading "The Microsoft File" though, I guess I'm just a little suspicious of Jobs. Hmmm....maybe my imagination did get a chance to run away for a bit after all.
Finally, it was evident that there was a tremendous amount of research put into making this book possible. In the end, how can you not write a good book when you have so many interesting and intriguing facts and events? You can't...it's just that simple.
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am 26. August 1999
Having worked for Oracle as a technical support rep, back when there were only five of us in the US and seven worldwide (we kept our support database on paper because the database was too slow and prone to corruption!), I too recommend book.
"The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison" is a 'must-read' for anyone considering buying a relational database management system, working in the industry, or for anyone who is simply wants to mercilessly crush their competition with mediocre products and high pressure sales tactics. Larry Ellison makes Machievelli look like Saint Francis. However, like Ghengis Khan, you have to admire his accomplishments.
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am 26. Februar 2000
What became apparent about Ellison was a self-confidence that is unparalleled in the annals of Fortune 500 CEOs. When he has failed, he has an innate ability to block it out and move on with just as much enthusiasm. Some of his visions, such as the Network Computer, were, in concept, slightly premature for 1995. But today with centralized computing and web-based software, his vision is suddenly making sense. From this book, I'd have to say Ellison has one of the more arrogant yet appealing personalities I've come across...a very compelling blend.
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am 2. März 2001
This book tells you how Larry became the most dazzling guy in Silicon Valley and how he made Oracle the 2nd biggest software company in the world. The story is much more interesting than those stories out of Seattle. Mike Wilson has done a great job getting all the private and corporate information together. Due to the book tells the story till 1997 I really hope Mike will follow up on this to write the ongoing down. Bet on it.
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am 18. Februar 2013
If you'd like to know how Oracle managed to be one of the big five software developers in the world and quietly make Larry Ellison billions, this book will tell you.

There's a lot of tips about business and sales strategy, with in-depths of interviews of both fans and foes of Ellison.

Happily lacks the breathless tone of admiration many business biographies go for. You'll see the mistakes made as well.
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am 8. April 1999
While Larry proclaims himself a "VISIONARY", I found this book to neaty describe how a self made man determined to climb his way up to the top by 30% software and 70% lies and decit. However, upon finishing the book I found myself putting Larry Elison in my "hero's" list of what to be and not to be if I ever became a CEO of a high tech company. A fast pace and fun book. Highly recommended.
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am 20. Oktober 1999
I really can't add to the professional reviews; they're right on target. I will say that Ellison is a piece of work...brash, creative, flawed- and in the end quite fascinating. Machiavelli and Hugh Hefner come to life in the high flying world of the silicon wars. Great read...inspirational in showing what you can do with guts and determination. I really liked it and recommend it.
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am 23. Dezember 1999
The reviews above pretty much say it all; I can't really add much to it. Mr. Ellison is indeed quite the character; making the story of Oracle's rise interesting to read.
After reading the book; it's amazing that see that Oracle is the company it is today. Looks like Microsoft isn't the only less than ideal software company...
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