A Book a Day This Long Weekend

If Brad thinks he’s the only one reading a book a day this Thanksgiving weekend, he’s dead wrong.

Well, let’s say I’m finishing at least a book a day and starting several more.

Yesterday I finished The Business of Software which is a comprehensive review of various software company business models. Despite a positive review from someone (can’t remember now) this book let me down. Same old, same old.

I then finished Disgrace, a novel from my English class “Big Payback: Literature of Revenge”. It was pretty good, but I can see why it’s assigned for school reading. A college professor in South Africa has affairs with his students (“not quite rape, but undesired to the core”) and then the tables turn. It’s deep stuff but wonderful prose. If you’re interested in South Africa, their apartheid, race relations, and sexual scandals, you may enjoy this.

I’m in the process of reading Millenials Rising, a relentless upbeat portrait of my generation which they coin “Millenials” and not “Generation Y.” It juxtaposes the negative press and stereotypes of today’s young people with contrasting research which shows we will all be incredible leaders and are the brightest hope this country has had. Gotta have pride in your generation!

Finally, I’m almost done with The MouseDriver Chronicles. It’s fantastic, fun, and has taught me a few things as well. Any entrepreneur should read this book. The MouseDriver guys were getting their first press right when my first company was getting off the ground. There was one TV segment which profiled them – these bright, charismatic, Wharton MBAs with a super-clever product, and then me, a 12-year-old kid who was trying to track and resolve government complaints for free for citizens. Ouch.

One Response to A Book a Day This Long Weekend

  1. Brad Feld says:

    Good job. No Tivo-Jeopardy for you (and thankfully Ken is gone so no more at my house either.)

    I think I recommended The Business of Software to you. Cusumano was a professor of mine at MIT. He’s extremely smart and does a great job of dissecting industries. He’s spent a lot of time on software and has several major books out that are filled with useful stuff.

    The Business of Software has one big insight that so many people in the software business miss. Cusumano calls it the hybrid model – but it’s basically an explanation that all software product companies end up having a meaningful services revenue component as part of their business. VCs spend so much time playing the “is it a service or a product” game – when they should be asking very different questions based on the lessons of a hybrid model.

    I thought Cusumano’s “personal examples” (which filled the second half of the book) were weak and disappointing. When I emailed him about this, he told me the editor made him chop 500+ pages of examples and he decided to stay with ones he’d been involved with directly rather than other ones that he’d either done research or would end up doing research on. It was a reasonable answer, but I wish I’d known in advance (and remembered to tell you in advance) to punt on the second half of the book.

    I ended up hooking up with one of the MouseDriver guys who is now as Intuit – tell me if you want an intro.

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