jsuda writes: You've got to have a lot of confidence and nerve to write and try to sell a nearly 400 page book on cooking to the take-out pizza and cola set. No cookbook is likely to turn many geeks into chefs or take them away from their computer screens. However, even though "Cooking for Geeks" contains a large number of recipes, it is not a conventional cookbook but a scientific explanation of the how and why of cooking which will certainly appeal to that group, as well as to cooking professionals and intellectually curious others.
The author is a geek himself and brings “geek-like” approaches to the subject matter – deep intellectual curiosity, affinity for details, appreciation of problem solving and hacking, scientific method, and a love of technology. What is even better is his filtering of cooking concepts by a computer coder’s framework, analogizing recipes to executable code, viewing of ingredients as inputs and as variables, running processes over and over in a logical manner to test and improve outcomes. This is not a mere literary shoe-horning of cooking concepts into a coder’s framework but an ingenuous approach to the topics that should loudly resonate with geeks.
The subject matter includes selecting and using kitchen and cooking hardware; prepping inventory; calibrating equipment (especially your oven, using sugar); understanding tastes and smells; the fundamental difference between cooking and baking (and the personality types which gravitate to one form or the other); the importance of gluten and the three major types of leavening (biological, chemical, and mechanical); the types of cooking; using time and temperatures; how to use air as a tool; the chemistry of food combinations; and very thorough and detailed discussions of food handling and safety. The book is organized into seven chapters and includes an appendix dealing with cooking for people with allergies. The recipes are indexed in the front of the book.
The major conventional flavor types of salt, sugar, acids, and alcohol have been supplemented by modern industrial elements – E- Numbered (a Dewey decimal system-like index) additives, colloids, gels, foams, and other yummy things! All are itemized, charted, and explained in the chapter entitled “Playing with Chemistry.” A whole chapter (and an interview with mathematician, Douglas Baldwin) is devoted to the latest and greatest food preparation technique –sous vide– cooking food in a temperature-controlled water bath.
Threaded through the sections are short sidebar interviews of mostly computer and techie types who are serious cooks or involved in the food industry. Some of these contributors are Adam Savage (of Myth Busters fame) on scientific technique, Tim O’Reilly (CEO of the book’s publisher) on scones and jam, Nathan Myhrvold, on Moderist cuisine, and others. Other interviews deal with taste sensitivities, food mysteries, industrial hardware, pastry chef insights, and many more. There is an insightful section just on knives and how to use and care for them.
Anyone who is interested in cooking will learn from this book. I now pay attention to things I’ve never heard of before: browning methods like caramelization and the Maillard processes, savory as a major taste, transglutaminase (a.k.a. meat glue), for example. There is stuff I didn’t really want to know – “if you’ve eaten fish you’ve eaten worms.”
Although one of the strengths of the book is the systematic organization, there are useful tips spread throughout. For example, keeping a pizza stone permanently in your oven will help even out heat distribution; storing vegetables correctly requires knowing whether they admit ethylene gas or not (a chart is included); you can test your smell sensitivity profile by using a professional scratch and sniff test kit obtainable from the University of Pennsylvania. Whatever specialized information not contained in the book is referenced to external sources, especially on the Internet.
If all of this is not stimulus enough for the geek crowd, how about learning how you can spectacularly kill yourself cooking with dry ice, liquid nitrogen, blowtorches, and especially an electrocuted hotdog. Cool! This is mad scientist stuff. Engineering-minded types can learn how to make their own ice cream machine from Legos. You’ll also learn how NOT to kill your guests with bacteria and other toxins.
The production is nicely done with easily readable text, plentiful drawings and charts, color captions, and many other quality production features. Weights are based in both grams and US volume-based measurements.
(FTC disclosure (16 CFR Part 255): The reviewer has accepted a reviewer's copy of this book which is his to keep. He intends to provide an honest, independent, and fair evaluation of the book in all circumstances.)
jsuda writes: "At least a half-dozen times in the book "Foundations of Mac OS X Leopard Security" the authors state that there is a misconception that the Macintosh computer is immune from security problems. That allegation may explain why there are very few books published (and nearly none in recent years) about security for the Mac. This book is meant to change all that. The authors acknowledge that the Mac OS X Software has had little of the security problem experience of Windows (and other operating systems, to a lesser extent) but they spend 488 pages detailing exactly where and how the Macintosh platform is (or may be?) vulnerable.
Many of the security issues raised in the book are theoretical or deal with added elements of the Mac software install that contain non-Apple components — Apache Web server and Perl and PHP scripting packages, for example. Many of the items of concern deal with generic problem areas of computer usage in general, both software and hardware, which affect the Mac as well as any other computers and networks. While the perspective of the book is on the Mac, much of the security review will apply to any type of computer or network.
Messieurs Edge, Barker, and Smith are seasoned Mac and security professionals who point out in a very systematic and comprehensive way the potential problems of running the Mac both in single use and networked environments. The focus is primarily on Mac OS X Leopard and the other software which comes with any new Mac computer, although there is some discussion of earlier OS X versions and earlier generations of Apple applications like Airport.
The book has five main parts covering general security matters, essential security fundamentals, networking, sharing, and workplace security issues. There are four very short appendices of modest value.
The initial first three chapters deal with general security and security fundamentals is basic stuff discussing how technical computer security issues are entwined with practical realities of using computers in a business or home, and that compromises between security and practicality generally must be made. There is discussion of types of security attacks, how the Windows booting programs, Parallels and Boot Camp, implicate Windows security issues on the Mac, and how the UNIX underpinnings of the Mac OS X allow for more sophisticated techniques and tools in securing the Mac computer and networks. Chapter 1 is a useful "quick start" guide of items which can be addressed readily by nearly any level of user to safeguard the Mac from many security concerns. Apple has provided a lot of built-in security features and services which can be adjusted by individual users to his or her own needs, like FileVault, Secure Trash, Keychain, permissions, and others. Higher-level users and maybe experienced security professionals not used to the Mac may be bored with the first part of the book.
Part two deals with protecting the Mac from malware and exploitable services in the OS and major applications like the Safari browser and Mail applications. It explains how malware can affect the Mac through script viruses, social engineering techniques, and other exploits. The book lists a number of available software tools which can help solve some of the potential problems. The section on reviewing and configuring monitoring processes and logs is especially interesting.
Securing networks, using and configuring firewalls, and wireless networking make up the bulk of part three. The content in chapters 7 through 9 is quite technical covering types of networks; routers, hubs and switches;proxy, DMZ, and other servers and hardware setups, advanced firewall configuration using both GUI and command line interfaces; filtering; traffic throttling; and more. The sections describing testing of firewalls and hacking wireless networks using tools like Kismac and iStumbler are especially useful.
Chapter 11, in part four, dealing with website security when utilizing the built-in Apple web services, includes a checklist of at least a dozen items to be dealt with in locking down a site. Security for remote conductivity is addressed also, with particular emphasis given to VPN, secure shell, and the use of network administration tools like Timbuktu and DAVE. Attention is given to both the standard Mac OS X installation as well as to OS X Server. The most complex discussions involve using Open Directory in a security plan. My favorite sections were in chapters 14 on network scanning, monitoring, and intrusion prevention tools. The book describes how to understand your own machine/network security status by learning how to attack other networks. And how to use techniques like white/black box testing, fingerprinting, enumeration, port and TCP/UDP scans, ping sweeps, and more.
The book describes how intrusion detection is accomplished. Guidance is provided on software tools like Tripwire, snort, Checkmate, and others. The last chapter concerns forensics and how to handle attempted or successful intrusions to both understand security weaknesses and to preserve evidence for civil or criminal proceedings, CSI-like.
Nearly all of the presentations cover two levels of interactivity using either GUI-based tools or the command line. Except for a handful of sections, the presentations are useful even for higher-end users, including those dealing with medium to large networks.
The writing is workmanlike and without style or wit, but carefully organized and expressed. There are plenty of (grayscale) screenshots of relevant software application configurations, and sidebar Notes and Tips on many topics. Anyone who has a serious interest in Mac OS X security will benefit from this book as its main virtue is its systematic and comprehensive approach to the issues. It is designed to inform users of all levels how and why to think about OS X security. Geeks who want or need to know Mac OS X security will get a nicely organized book sufficiently filled with useful content. This is not a book intended to raise all security issues or to provide all the answers. It does answer many problems, and will point nearly all users in the right direction for their specific needs.
jsuda writes: Wikipedia, the free access online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute,
is a remarkable achievement. Started only in 2001, it now comprises over 9 million
articles is written in over 250 languages, and is the first choice for reference
material for millions of Internet users. Despite criticisms by some for the variable
quality of its material, the value of the contributions of tens of thousands of
unpaid volunteers is enormous, not only in notable and verified content accessible
to the vast majority of the worlds population in their native languages,
but in the opportunity for everyone to contribute to this repository of knowledge
in his or her own way (subject to the review and editing of others just like themselves.)
More importantly, in my view, is the model it represents in human collaboration
efforts, this one in creating a repository of knowledge, but applicable more broadly
to other efforts. Besides merely creating enormously useful things, the collaborative
efforts result in a community of people and groups which has its own intrinsic
values. Imagine thousands of volunteers committing their personal time and effort
into a nonhierarchical, consensus-based collaboration having as its selfless main
purpose the improvement of human society. Socialism at its best! It seems to me
that the model may be useful in areas of politics, management and administration,
education, and other social endeavors.. The Open-Source software movement, predating
Wikipedia, operates in much the same way. Perhaps the earliest example of this
collaborative model was the developmental years of the Internet.
As a casual user of Wikipedia, I had no idea of the nature of the Wikipedia project
(and its sister projects Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource,
Wikispecies, Wikinews, and Wikiversity and no doubt others yet to come)
until I read Wikipedia: the Missing Manual, by John Broughton. He
is an experienced Wikipedia editor with over 15,000 edits to his credit and is
the creator of the Editors Index to Wikipedia which lists
every reference page on Wikipedia as well as other off site pages with information
useful for serious Wikipedia editors. Wikipedia: the Missing Manual
is an extremely thorough guide to creating and editing Wikipedia articles. The
book is intended to help train new writers and editors and to improve the skills
and knowledge of existing participants.
Broughton encourages people to join the Wikipedia community of researchers, fact
checkers, and proofreaders. This community seems to be made up of committed, skilled,
and serious people who take great pride in the project. There is little organizational
hierarchy involved and a minimum of formal participatory rules, but a large set
of informal mores and practices which help maintain production, efficiency, civility,
and quality. There is always a need for more articles, although of the thousands
created every day, nearly one half of them are deleted within 24 hours by attentive
editors for a number of reasons explained in the book.
The book starts with an introduction to the basic principles of the Wikipedia
project involving notability, credibility, balance, consensus, and good faith
and moves quickly into the process of registering with Wikipedia, setting up a
user account, and starting out practicing writing, previewing, and saving edits.
In six parts and 21 chapters, the book covers how to document sources, set up
an editors account, and personal workspaces, create new articles, use page
histories, monitor changes, and dealing with vandalism and spam. It explains the
value of collaborating with other editors and participants in creating and editing
articles and in special Wiki Projects and other group efforts. There are several
chapters describing how to deal with the inevitable conflict between editors and
explains the Wikipedia editing mores of civility, ethics, legality (mostly copyright
issues), and efficiency. He explains why editors disagree, in what ways, and how
they resolve disputes. He also provides guidance on how disputes can be avoided
in the first place.
Separate chapters of the book detail how to work with article pages and sections,
tables, lists, markups and links, images and media, and categories. There are
descriptions of what makes a good article and what doesnt and there are
step-by-step tutorials on creating better articles and being systematic about
good editing practices. A most interesting feature of Wikipedia is its large collection
of free-to-use images, videos, sound clips, and other media in the Wikipedia Media
Commons area which is available for article use and for non-Wikipedia use by anyone
for any purpose.
Advanced topics include customizing your user account via preferences and skins
20 page appendix for those people content with being mere users of Wikipedia and
learning how to get the most out of it. More involved users will benefit from
Appendix C which itemizes the huge amount of Wikipedia help, reference, coaching,
and other educational sources especially valuable for those determined to become
better editors or higher-level participants like administrators of Wikipedia.
The presentation is thorough and articulate. It covers basic and advanced editing
skills. Broughton frequently notes keyword search items and tips to be more productive
and efficient. The community norms demand attentive and educated participants.
Experience with coding is appreciated. The book has plenty of screenshots illustrating
the discussions of Wikipedia features. Most of the sections contain Notes and
Tips which provide more detailed explanations of features and an experienced editors
perspective to the prospective new editor as to how and why to do things. Broughton
is (perhaps unintentionally) inspiring about participating in the Wikipedia editor
Although the book deserves great credit for its content and its tone a few problems
with the layout and design detract a bit. The layout is dense with graphics a
bit too tightly packed in with the text. Captions at the bottom of grayscale illustrations
occasionally refer to nonexistent color clues resulting in some confusion. The
density seems to reflect the nature of Wikipedia editing itself, which can be
very involved. But, rewarding.
jsuda writes: "There are a growing number of guidance books being published about Apples
latest computer operating system OS 10.5, a.k.a. Leopard." Mac
OS 10 Leopard: Beyond the Manual by Scott Meyers and Mike Lee aims for
a more sophisticated reader group than most of the others which tend to target
casual users and perhaps new Windows switchers.
This book is for advanced computer users, especially those familiar with UNIX
and Linux who want or need to learn about the hundreds of new and improved features
of the MacOS, and even for casual Windows users who are comfortable with command
line interaction and prefer full keyboard use of the computer.
Scott Meyers is an editor and Mac OS consultant and Mr. Lee is a technical specialist.
The writing is clear and straightforward. Unlike some other Leopard guides, there
is no attempt to be literary or stylish this is a software manual after
all for advanced users. They cover all the Leopard basics and assume the reader
is not, or only barely, familiar with the Mac OS 10 system. The first four parts(of
eight) of the book, counting 17 chapters, describe the basics — the Aqua interface,
the Menubar, Views, the Sidebar and Dock, system and user preferences, the file
system, maintenance, security, networking, and included Apple applications like
Safari (the browser), Mail, iChat, and iCal. An item by item description of the
Safari menus takes up a full seven pages. The Mail menu descriptions take up 11
pages. The menu descriptions are contained in a chart which provides alternative
common keyboard shortcuts for each of the menu commands. Like UNIX and other operating
systems, one can ignore the mouse completely once one knows the key combinations.
They also provide an introduction to the iLife suite of applications, like iTunes,
iPhoto, and the other consumer-level productivity applications included with the
The coverage is comprehensive but not deep. The reader will be exposed to most
of the operating system but nothing is treated extensively or with depth. Some
of the chapters are very short. Presumably, higher end users will figure the deeper
stuff out for themselves after being directed to what is available in OS 10. There
is no shortage of illustrations, screenshots, charts, tables illuminating in an
effective way the text comments and descriptions.
Throughout, the authors provide numerous Notes and Tips
which elaborate on the basic text. These are more explanatory of specific items
and features and some are in the nature of practical recommendations and suggestions
for configuring preferences, for example, or utilizing third-party applications
instead of Apples for certain functions. There is an extensive five-page
section on the components of the system-wide and user Libraries in OS 10 with
descriptions of all the items contained in them. Throughout the first half of
the book the part focused on the user interface and middleware layers
of the OS the authors provide information on both the menu -mouse navigation
and keyboard operation alternatives, the latter for power users and others more
comfortable with keyboard use. Differences in desktop and laptop keyboards are
detailed as well. There is an an interesting section on calibrating the display
and modifying the default Macintosh 1.8 gamma to a Windows-like 2.2 gamma for
those users who are not graphics professionals, at least.
The last half of the book is about UNIX, or more specifically for the MacOS, Darwin
which is Apples flavor of UNIX. Starting first with the shell
the authors walk the reader through starting up the command line functions, describe
the elemental UNIX commands, note navigation issues, root access, and the like.
Later chapters cover scripting Darwin, using the included scripting languages
of Perl, Python, PHP, and Ruby, and how to install additional advanced software
like Fink and Macports.
Chapters 20 and 21 cover networking, remote monitoring, and firewalls. Chapter
22 deals with the included Web server software, Apache, as well as SQLite and
PHP. There is a chapter devoted to Apple s own scripting applications,
Automator and AppleScript. The final chapter covers the developer tools, also
included with OS X. There are references to the various kits which
developers can use to create their own applications and there are many kits included
in OS X for audio, video, graphics, PDF handling, animation, and more.
The appendices include guidance on installations and a list of whats new
in Leopard (versus earlier versions of OS 10.) An extensive index of 43 pages
rounds out the book.
This book is solidly produced and written and should bring advanced users up to
speed with Leopard and to point the way for them to explore the depths of it themselves."
jsuda writes: "The preeminent general reference source for Mac OS 10 has always been the Missing
Manual Series written by David Pogue. The latest iteration in the series
is its Mac OS 10 Leopard Edition, completely revised, and it is the biggest,
most comprehensive, and most useful of all the editions in the series. It covers
the OS X desktop and file system, the free applications included with the OS
X installation, the system components and technologies, networking and online
features and components, and includes welcome appendices on installation, troubleshooting,
Windows/Mac comparisons, and a Master Keystroke list.
Every one of the editions has been exceedingly well-designed and written combining
serious treatment of subject content with style, wit, and humor, as well as honest
evaluation and critique of features of the Mac operating system. All of the OS
X Missing Manuals have addressed issues for a broad range of users, from the lightly
experienced, the intermediate, and for power users. For the most part, however,
the primary focus of each edition has been on the less experienced users. This
has changed with the Leopard edition.
There seems to have been a deliberate effort to make the book more appealing and
useful to upper-end users without losing any utility at all for others. There
seems to be more material for power users- -there are more Power Users
Guides providing advanced information and techniques, more UNIX references
for those willing and able to take avail of the UNIX kernel underlying the operating
system, more identifications of keyboard shortcuts, and more disclosure of undocumented
and advanced features than in previous editions.
For example, Pogue itemizes and describes at least 20 UNIX utilities that only
power users would want to use, explains how to configure preferences for the Terminal
application, explains how to deal with the file and folder permissions system
using UNIX commands, and even notes the existence of the venerable Eliza
therapist emulator program hidden in a part of the emacs text editor. At each
juncture of describing operating system features, Pogue explains from the perspective
of different levels of users, including the power user, like himself. Unlike in
many other books purporting to cover a broad range of users, this one does not
short on the higher-end.
This is all well and good as casual users are still widely well-taken care of
by the thorough and well-organized explanations of nearly every feature of OS
10.5. The book is illustrated profusely with screenshots of system features, configuration
processes, comparison of the Mac OS X versions, comparisons of Mac OS X to Windows
features, and more. Nearly every page is loaded with Tips, Notes,
FAQs, lists, tables, and sidebars. Throughout, there are nuggets of insight
and technical arcana that even Mac veterans will be surprised to learn about.
I learned, for example, that the one-button Apple Mighty Mouse has a secret 2-button
feature. Also there is a similar way to operate a laptop with a two finger trackpad
technique. There are a lot of tips and tricks like that in the book. Even beyond
description and explanation, Pogue provides useful recommendations for configurations
of the Dock, recovery from common errors, and using Automator to design practical
workflows for common tasks.
The subject content builds upon that of previous editions and updates it with
material relating to the 300-plus new features of Leopard. Much of the new material
covers the Leopard update highlights the backup program called Time Machine,
a desktop switching application called Spaces, the Stacks organizing feature,
the file previewer, QuickLook, and the feature enhancements in iChat, Mail, and
especially Spotlight, the search tool.
Spotlight is much more than a mere search tool although it is a great one. A whole
chapter is devoted to it alone. Pogue explains how to use it not just for casual
and advanced searching (using over 125 types of data and metadata) but as a quick
launcher of files, folders, and applications; as a calculator; and as a dictionary.
Sophisticated query languages can be used and Pogue lists a series of power user
keyboard shortcuts for Spotlight use.
I see the book as especially useful for those Windows users of all levels gravitating
to the Mac platform. Not only is the treatment of the Mac OS done well, but at
nearly every juncture, Pogue takes the perspective of a Windows user and provides
practical comparisons and contrasts of operating systems.
Weaving all of these perspectives into a harmonious, readable manual is a fine
achievement. The content discussions and explanations are never abstract but written
from the viewpoint of the thoughtful and practical user and no one is better at
this than David Pogue who has been cited before as one of the worlds best
(technical) communicators. The denseness of the treatment of the subject content
diminishes somewhat from the readability of the book compared to prior editions
and there is a bit less wit, humor and style. That is the trade-off, I presume,
for the increased breadth and depth of the content treatment but this Missing
Manual is still as well written as a computer manual can be expected to be."
jsuda writes: "There is a great deal of personal and professional drama and fascinating business and technological insights in the stories of thirty-two founders of computer-era technology businesses contained in "Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days." Author, Jessica Livingston, has interviewed these entrepreneurs and obtained their perspectives on what happens in the first years of a technology-based startup company. Her goal is to obtain a fund of experience that other people can learn from. She tries to get at the human side of technology. Her method is in asking these entrepreneurs open ended questions about their experiences in their own startups and letting them relate their histories, perspectives, insights, and advice, in their own words.
The interviewees make up a grand list of some of the people who helped create and develop the computer industry and the Internet. In hardware, the most prominent are Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer fame, Mike Ramsay of TiVo, Mike Lazaridis of Research in Motion. In software, there are Mitchell Kapor of Lotus Development, Blake Ross of Firefox, and Mena Trott of Six Apart. And, in services, Max Levchin of PayPal, Craig Newmark of craigs list, and Steve Perlman of Web TV stand out. There are nearly two dozen other entrepreneurs who inform, enlighten, and sometimes entertain in their interviews with Ms. Livingston. For instance, Tim Brady, the first non-founder employee of Yahoo retells a story of a storm and power outage at the Yahoo office before a meeting of Yahoo principals and venture capital people which was held in candlelight and with water dripping from ceilings. A gas-fueled generator set up hastily to run the servers was being rated by how many webpages it was serving up, per gallon! The money people were not charmed.
Among the founders, most were young, and often, mere college students, at the time of their startups. Interestingly, there are only three females in the group, which may or may not imply something about gender and technology, business and entrepreneurship. Only Caterina Fake of Flickr, weighs in much on the gender issue in her interview. She believes that a woman needs to be twice as prepared as a man to be credible with both technical and investment people.
The bulk of the material concerns computer and network technology and applications, and money. Lots of money. And lots of discussions of money especially in relationship to "VC's" (venture capitalists) who enable creative people with ideas to succeed. Author Livingston herself is one of these capitalists, a founding partner of Y Combinator an investor in some of the companies noted in this book.
Partly because of her business perspective, and probably mostly because of the dominance of finance and economics in nearly all social affairs, most of the material in the book concerns the symbiotic relationship of inspired creative individuals and creative financial people in producing technological development and change, many times furthering creative good for customers and society, but also facilitating crass commercial interests.
For many of these entrepreneurs, invested money and "gift" money from enlightened parties called "angels" was a necessary element in producing their dreams of making great products or services for the good of people. For others, the "startup" era (from about the late 1970s to the end of the century) was a time of playing a game of "Who can cash out the most"- founding a beginning technology company, associating with rapacious financial people, and making loads of money when the business "went public", as an "initial public offering" (IPO), which often times ultimately left both the innocent and greedy bereft of value. ( For a satirical view of such gamesmanship, check out the vastly underrated movie comedy/documentary, "Dot", produced in 2002.)
The author takes no positions on the patent and implied moral issues. Her objective is limited to examining the characteristics of the founders of the successful businesses to see if there are common elements in the people, or patterns in the development of the businesses from initial idea to operating concern providing value to consumers and other businesses.
She determines that there are such elements: intelligent and skilled individuals, perseverance, comfortability with risk, and maybe most significantly, Luck. After reading the stories of nearly three dozen founders about how their ideas became transformed into productive businesses, it becomes readily apparent that such success is premised, in part, on knowledge and skill, vision and/or inspiration, and perseverance. However, necessary, these elements are insufficient in themselves. Almost every one of the interviewees refers to lucky circumstances and events which conditioned their successes. Some were unsure of the worth of their ideas, at least initially. In most cases, carefully thought-out plans went awry. Almost all founders faced rejection by investors, journalists, and established companies.
Ms. Livingston's interviewing technique results in personalities being revealed, motivations disclosed, and insightful historical facts about the early developments of the computer industry and the Internet related. A lot of the historical material has been expressed previously elsewhere, but the telling of the stories by the individuals directly involved makes for compelling reading. Some people like Steve Perlman of WebTV, Max Levchin of PayPal, and Steve Wozniak are clearly geeks who love working with hardware and software. Others like Evan Williams of Blogger and Arthur Van Hoff of Marimba seem decidedly businesslike and personally ambitious.
Some of the people seemed like (or are) heroes. Steve Wozniak, for example can be credited in large part for the PC revolution. He's one of the founders whose motivation was in doing top-quality designs to help the world be a better place. Although he became rich, much of his money has been donated to charities. The relationship of Woz and the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, is fascinating, especially in the contrast of motivations and the distribution of financial gains in the early years. (Woz gave his away; Jobs wanted even more.)
There are other heroes like Mitchell Kapor of Lotus 1-2-3 fame, whose desire to contribute to society what he was capable of was his primary motivation. Like a number of other founders, financial success was valued for the freedom it provided to do positive deeds rather than for material benefits.
Not surprisingly, some of these founders realized success by simply scaling up and distributing products they had already designed for themselves. Joshua Schacter of del.icio.us fame needed a way to manage his own 20,000 browser bookmarks and came up with a "tagging" feature which eventually resulted in a sharing and collaborative website business.
craigslist founder, Craig Newmark, expanded upon his practice of e-mailing notices of local cultural events to his friends into a nationwide service for consumer interaction. The business is one of the rare startups which has remained privately held.
Hotmail was formed by Sabeer Bhatia as an extension of a personal problem-solving adventure in accessing e-mail remotely beyond his company's firewall. Solving that problem for self and coworkers, led to a business which later grossed $400 million when acquired by Microsoft.
For those looking for tips on how to mimic the successes of these founders, consider these major themes from the book:
-make only products that people want.
-be a leader and make great new products that people will learn to like.
-go with your own intuitions.
-make sure to listen and take advice from others, especially your startup team and your eventual customers.
-make a product or build a business that you are passionate about.
-be smart and have an exit strategy for your business right from the beginning, "an IPO."
-make friends and contacts in the business and investment communities, especially the venture capital industry.
-minimize your involvement with the money people as much as possible in favor of the people who make actual products- programmers and engineers.
-find a hole in the market and fill it.
-make something no one else has thought of and create new markets.
Clear enough? You'll have a to figure it out for yourselves!
Interestingly, there seems to be one thing nearly everyone agrees on-don't trust Microsoft!"