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High Stakes no prisoners

Any feedback/comments on this book to share?

Former Frontpage user
Thursday, August 29, 2002


Thursday, August 29, 2002

Comments on what now ?

James Ladd
Thursday, August 29, 2002

"High St@kes, No Prisoners" is a book by the founder of Vermier, who developed Frontpage and sold it to Microsoft.

I read about 6 of these web-bubble post-mortems last year, and this was one of the best.  I can't remember the authors name, but he was pretty blunt about taking the blame for a lot (but not all) of the mistakes made by the company.

Particularly interesting was his discussion about CEOs.  Apparently the VC's backing the company wanted to hire a professional CEO to replace him.  The guy they finally hired only lasted a few months before they ended up selling to MS, but used that few months to basically load up on as many benefits, insider loans, and stock options as he could.  Given the current atmosphere of corporate corruption, this is particularly interesting.

Overall, very good book.

Jason Awbrey
Thursday, August 29, 2002

thought to self - can't wait to see the Phil Greenspun story on the rise and fall of ArsDigita

Friday, August 30, 2002

tapiwa, I've received an advance copy of that book, and I'll post it here for your convenience.

"It wasn't my fault.  I'm a genius, they're idiots.  Would you like to purchase one of my pictures?"

Sven Galli
Friday, August 30, 2002

I finished reading it, put it down and was struck by the thought that, contrary to popular public opinion, there are people on earth that spend a higher percentage of their time in arguments than I do... and this guy is one of them.

Respect due for making so much money, but if it really did involve that much stress, it was probably rather poorly paid work all things considered.

Katie Lucas
Friday, August 30, 2002

What do you want to know?  Basically, all industry programmers should read books like this to know how to handle management types, and how to calm a crying CEO.

Sunday, September 1, 2002

Made an excellent argument for having a CEO who really understands technology. Ferguson was no coder, but he grok'ed the tech and it showed.

I get sick of Tech CEO's who think they just need to know business, not the tech. They're the ones who will run their companies into the ground.

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

The book was interesting, but I thought that some discipline from a good editor would have helped make it more readable and about half as long. For example, I lost count of how many times he said that Barksdale was nice but out of his depth. On the other hand, that would have meant some poor editor arguing with this guy about changes to the text, and I can't imagine many people having the strength/patience to do that.

Does anyone know if any of the people criticised in the book have published some kind of response?

Charles Monk
Wednesday, September 4, 2002

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