10 March 2006

The Silicon Valley Adventure

I am not sure if I want to link this Amazon item here. Well I decided not to, because there are no legal agreements between me and them to do so and there's no incentive in really doing that on my part. "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure" by Jerry Kaplan, I've been ignoring this book in the shelves of every bookstore that I have been to, from National Bookstore to Kinokuniya due to its lack of appeal and some of its true-to-life highly insidious characters. Even it was written in 1994 and as we know that there has been a lot of changes in the way the business of technology has been transacted and not to forget the emergence of Open Source and other disruptive ideas that has bejeweled this high-tech industry, the pattern of execution in operating a high-tech startup is still applicable today. From "The Pitch" to the "The Bubble" it's very much the same now. I was just so intrigued enough to pick this book from the topmost shelf of a bookstore and is already collecting the day's dust.

Ok, forgive my 10-years-or-so-after review of this book, it has became my bible for the past couple of weeks. Reading it religiously at the bus going to work(I can't believe I'm still working while reading this book) and before retiring to bed. This book is for dreamers, not simple-minded dreams. The dream to revolutionize, start a wild ride or spinoff one. Attempting to open a high-tech startup requires a heart of steel with a soft core, it's not the same from any other businesses. Unfortunately, I found the book too good to be short. It's not your Entrepreneurship 101 book that tells you how to do things step-by-step rather it was a sniff-by-sniff account of GO Corporation, the maker of Penpoint operating system. Right, before Palm and O2 there was Penpoint.

I admire Jerry's focus, yes FOCUS, his patience and his non-obvious lengthy attention span. This is not a selfish focus on how to rake a million bucks and run away in the name of limited liability. Which I think other people will choose otherwise. Some may ask if Jerry's adventure is doable in Open Source. Why not?

The funny thing about running a startup in the nineties is that there could be more legal documents than source codes in a company. It makes me come to think, was the JVM created base on the weight of its technical merits or a way to legally manuever from the CPU manufacturers' expensive licensing terms? Screw the Oak Legend? Huh, Who Knows.

No comments: