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."--ByteandSwitch.com, 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." --NetworkWorld.com, 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.