Steven Sinofsky

Steven Sinofsky

ॐ • investing • advising • writing • with @a16z @boxhq @tanium @everlaw… • Writings @ https://t.co/8FpwYBVzPl • 📷•🧘🏻‍♂️• tweets kept for 90 days

30+ Book Recommendations by Steven Sinofsky

  • Rawhide Down

    Del Quentin Wilber

    Presidents don’t get privacy. My father understood that — even when he was shot. https://t.co/STBAcTfEKc // Really solid explanation. Also a related/fascinating book -> Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan https://t.co/1KXfHAVuDR

  • 'My years with General Motors' describes the early innovations and development of the company's basic management policies and strategic concepts in such areas as planning and strategy, stabilization, financial growth, and leadership.

    @kocienda @OED To add to this: My Years with General Motors https://t.co/W2s6NPHoXK and IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems (History of Computing) https://t.co/8GSC6fdyOB and To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design https://t.co/Bv4CAiYdaR

  • @kocienda @OED To add to this: My Years with General Motors https://t.co/W2s6NPHoXK and IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems (History of Computing) https://t.co/8GSC6fdyOB and To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design https://t.co/Bv4CAiYdaR

  • To Engineer Is Human

    Henry Petroski

    Examines the process of engineering design and explains what can be learned by studying unsuccessful designs and the reasons for their failure

    @kocienda @OED To add to this: My Years with General Motors https://t.co/W2s6NPHoXK and IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems (History of Computing) https://t.co/8GSC6fdyOB and To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design https://t.co/Bv4CAiYdaR

  • Creative Selection

    Ken Kocienda

    @Austen @kocienda’s book on what he has worked on meets what I would think is a requirement—the book should be by someone who built a product. “Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs” https://t.co/BL0Myi6aJy

  • To Engineer Is Human

    Henry Petroski

    Examines the process of engineering design and explains what can be learned by studying unsuccessful designs and the reasons for their failure

    @briannekimmel If by personal I can say professional then “To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design” https://t.co/KswRNhlHbZ A runner up is this short piece by @michaelkinsley https://t.co/Vdq6hHePrH

  • IBM

    James W. Cortada

    A history of one of the most influential American companies of the last century. For decades, IBM shaped the way the world did business. IBM products were in every large organization, and IBM corporate culture established a management style that was imitated by companies around the globe. It was “Big Blue, ” an icon. And yet over the years, IBM has gone through both failure and success, surviving flatlining revenue and forced reinvention. The company almost went out of business in the early 1990s, then came back strong with new business strategies and an emphasis on artificial intelligence. In this authoritative, monumental history, James Cortada tells the story of one of the most influential American companies of the last century. Cortada, a historian who worked at IBM for many years, describes IBM's technology breakthroughs, including the development of the punch card (used for automatic tabulation in the 1890 census), the calculation and printing of the first Social Security checks in the 1930s, the introduction of the PC to a mass audience in the 1980s, and the company's shift in focus from hardware to software. He discusses IBM's business culture and its orientation toward employees and customers; its global expansion; regulatory and legal issues, including antitrust litigation; and the track records of its CEOs. The secret to IBM's unequalled longevity in the information technology market, Cortada shows, is its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and technologies.

    @sriramk @chrisfralic 2/ Just recently published is this updated history that runs to the modern era. I looked to these books as models as I have been writing. IBM: The Rise and Fall and Reinvention of a Global Icon (History of Computing) https://t.co/hjtNu6o9gb

  • @sriramk @chrisfralic 1/2 There are several books about IBM that should be on every product person shelf: IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems https://t.co/YnfxlsSmc5 Memories that Shaped an Industry: Decisions Leading to IBM System/360 https://t.co/dNWYMXPHt2

  • This book provides a rare and candid glimpse into the innovations as well as the immense risks and imprecisions sometimes involved in technical decision making.

    @sriramk @chrisfralic 1/2 There are several books about IBM that should be on every product person shelf: IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems https://t.co/YnfxlsSmc5 Memories that Shaped an Industry: Decisions Leading to IBM System/360 https://t.co/dNWYMXPHt2

  • Married to the Mouse

    Richard E. Foglesong

    " ... a critical account of how the Disney Co. has used--and also abused--its governmental immunities from the beginning of Disney World to the present ..."--Jacket.

    @gregde @rseroter @RobertIger If you're interested in what it was like in Orlando due to WDW, this is a fascinating read. Our family moved there in 1975 when Disney was mostly orange groves and some rides. My best friend's family had been in Orlando for 3 generations. So many stories. https://t.co/YVGqZ4Hh98 https://t.co/XhqiODOG4G

  • To Engineer Is Human

    Henry Petroski

    Examines the process of engineering design and explains what can be learned by studying unsuccessful designs and the reasons for their failure

    @jake_weinreb @joelgascoigne @mronge Also suggest reading about failure. Success is easy to write about and the lessons aren't as crisp other than cargo cult. Identifying patterns of failure can often be more valuable. Example: https://t.co/WTk8txdpln https://t.co/jiA93RPFCi

  • Sweating Bullets

    Robert Gaskins

    PowerPoint was the first presentation software designed for Macintosh and Windows, received the first venture capital investment ever made by Apple, then became the first significant acquisition ever made by Microsoft, who set up a new Graphics Business Unit in Silicon Valley to develop it further. Now, twenty-five years later, PowerPoint is installed on more than one billion computers, worldwide. In this book, Robert Gaskins (who invented the idea, managed its design and development, and then headed the new Microsoft group) tells the story of its first years, recounting the perils and disasters narrowly evaded as a startup, dissecting the complexities of being the first distant development group in Microsoft, and explaining decisions and insights that enabled PowerPoint to become a lasting success well beyond its original business uses.

    @toddmckinnon Original…hmm dunno, but must be. Just thinking of major architectural work raced through my head: • port to Windows (post acq) • complete rewrite ("Shark" for 95) • rearchitect gfx '97 • redo innards 2000-3 (kill old file formats) • redo UX 2007 FYI https://t.co/X94GQbgNSd https://t.co/0THn6pPhip

  • @balajis In the late 70's early 80's the subculture of peppers took hold and this was the "self-sufficiency" bible. It is still on my shelf. Make, grow, build your own, and barter. It was based on the premise of a structural meltdown after moving off gold standard and the old shock. https://t.co/Tu8UYvbZsJ

  • No Rules Rules

    Reed Hastings

    Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings reveals for the first time the unorthodox culture behind one of the world's most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies There's never before been a company like Netflix. Not only because it has led a revolution in the entertainment industries; or because it generates billions of dollars in annual revenue; or even because it is watched by hundreds of millions of people in nearly 200 countries. When Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix, he developed a set of counterintuitive and radical management principles, defying all tradition and expectation, which would allow the company to reinvent itself over and over on the way to becoming one of the most loved brands in the world. Rejecting the conventional wisdom under which other companies operate, Reed set new standards, valuing people over process, emphasizing innovation over efficiency, and giving employees context, not controls. At Netflix, adequate performance gets a generous severance and hard work is irrelevant. At Netflix, you don't try to please your boss, you give candid feedback instead. At Netflix, employees never need approval, and the company always pays top of market. When Hastings and his team first devised these principles, the implications were unknown and untested, but over just a short period of time they have led to unprecedented flexibility, speed, and boldness. The culture of freedom and responsibility has allowed the company to constantly grow and change as the world, and its members' needs, have also transformed. Here for the first time, Hastings and Erin Meyer, bestselling author of The Culture Map and one of the world's most influential business thinkers, dive deep into the controversial philosophies at the heart of the Netflix psyche, which have generated results that are the envy of the business world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from his own career, No Rules Rules is the full, fascinating, and untold story of a unique company making its mark on the world.

    No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings https://t.co/CdNMugrX8z // Super excited to preorder the new book by @reedhastings and @ErinMeyerINSEAD. Available for pre-order now (my smile link choice is @Water). https://t.co/l7bWQGb5f2

  • What It Takes

    Richard Ben Cramer

    A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist looks at presidential candidates from 1988, weaving together childhood vignettes, career highlights, and more to provide insights on the process of campaigning for the presidency. 75,000 first printing. First serial Esquire. BOMC.

    I was in Dixville Notch for the 1988 primary and it was spectacularly fun (and very cold). Also related, this is the very best book on the primary process and what it takes to really win, "What it Takes" by Richard Ben Cramer. https://t.co/JwAYzNDp8k https://t.co/RtZT2G3aRC

  • The Fords

    Peter Collier

    Reveals the story of three generations of Fords, from Henry I, the mechanical wizard of the automobile and his son Edsel, to Edsel's son Henry II, who saved the company from financial ruin and from Lee Iacocca

    @teddyschleifer The Fords: An American Epic https://t.co/6Yqq5KuEZ4 The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty https://t.co/NGEDfF6qUp

  • The Rockefellers

    Peter Collier

    A chronicle of the oil-and power-endowed American family, tracing its fortunes and fames and the activities and careers of individual sons, brothers, and cousins, from the founding father unto the fourth, trust-funded generation

    @teddyschleifer The Fords: An American Epic https://t.co/6Yqq5KuEZ4 The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty https://t.co/NGEDfF6qUp

  • Mission Critical

    Thomas H. Davenport

    Publisher Fact Sheet Presents an authoritative view of the critical business issues surrounding Enterprise Resources Planning implementation.

    @CyndeMoya @RJMcGirr There are a bunch of books and papers about ERP if that's what you mean. https://t.co/ZDnG1Ybfgh There are several deep dives in History of Computing on specific tools like word processors, databases, spreadsheets.

  • Track Changes

    Matthew G. Kirschenbaum

    Writing in the digital age has been as messy as the inky rags in Gutenberg’s shop or the molten lead of a Linotype machine. Matthew Kirschenbaum examines how creative authorship came to coexist with the computer revolution. Who were the early adopters, and what made others anxious? Was word processing just a better typewriter, or something more?

    @RJMcGirr On word processors, I really enjoyed this book. https://t.co/PiOK5DWnFu

  • The Innovative University illustrates how higher education can respond to the forces of disruptive innovation , and offers a nuanced and hopeful analysis of where the traditional university and its traditions have come from and how it needs to change for the future. Through an examination of Harvard and BYU-Idaho as well as other stories of innovation in higher education, Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring decipher how universities can find innovative, less costly ways of performing their uniquely valuable functions. Offers new ways forward to deal with curriculum, faculty issues, enrollment, retention, graduation rates, campus facility usage, and a host of other urgent issues in higher education Discusses a strategic model to ensure economic vitality at the traditional university Contains novel insights into the kind of change that is necessary to move institutions of higher education forward in innovative ways This book uncovers how the traditional university survives by breaking with tradition, but thrives by building on what it's done best.

    @Austen @jmj @Keith_Wasserman 2011 https://t.co/95AxFxQpiC I was asking about the data about the past 5 years of closures -- "1,200 colleges" which doesn't seem supported unless you are counting the strip mall location of a "college" with 100 of those "campuses", as 100 which the data counts as 1.

  • DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC tells the 40-year story of the creation, demise, and enduring legacy of one of the pioneering companies of the computer age. Digital Equipment Corporation created the minicomputer, networking, the concept of distributed computing, speech recognition, and other major innovations. It was the number two computer maker behind IBM. Yet it ultimately failed as a business and was sold to Compaq Corporation. What happened? Edgar Schein consulted to DEC throughout its history and so had unparalleled access to all the major players, and an inside view of all the major events. He shows how the unique organizational culture established by DEC's founder, Ken Olsen, gave the company important competitive advantages in its early years, but later became a hindrance and ultimately led to the company's downfall. Schein, Kampas, DeLisi, and Sonduck explain in detail how a particular culture can become so embedded that an organization is unable to adapt to changing circumstances even though it sees the need very clearly. The essential elements of DEC's culture are still visible in many other organizations today, and most former employees are so positive about their days at DEC that they attempt to reproduce its culture in their current work situations. In the era of post-dot.com meltdown, raging debate about companies ''built to last'' vs. ''built to sell, '' and more entrepreneurial startups than ever, the rise and fall of DEC is the ultimate case study

    @titterboy2 @pemullen @chrisfralic @RMB Love this book. DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equiment Corporation https://t.co/ADDB7nFXFI

  • Computer Wars

    Charles H. Ferguson

    A behind-the-scenes account of why IBM fell behind while other computer companies flourished lays out the terms by which computer firms will do business in the future

    @ganeumann @varma_ashwin97 @pmarca @benedictevans Computer Wars, which is an extreme take I don't always agree with, is an early view of the post-IBM world of Microsoft that many cite as the origin of the Windows <> Apps ecosystem discussion. 1/2 https://t.co/FWpqn2UV2c

  • Impro

    Keith Johnstone

    First published in 1987. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

    @technologypoet @farantzos Funny but I never associated the book Impro with being political in a company. I saw it as a great way to understand doing presentations for teams and at conferences.

  • No new product offering has had greater impact on the computer industry than the IBM System/360. IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems describes the creation of this remarkable system and the developments it spawned, including its successor, System/370. The authors tell how System/360's widely-copied architecture came into being and how IBM failed in an effort to replace it ten years later with a bold development effort called FS, the Future System. Along the way they detail the development of many computer innovations still in use, among them semiconductor memories, the cache, floppy disks, and Winchester disk files. They conclude by looking at issues involved in managing research and development and striving for product leadership.While numerous anecdotal and fragmentary accounts of System/360 and System/370 development exist, this is the first comprehensive account, a result of research into IBM records, published reports, and interviews with over a hundred participants. Covering the period from about 1960 to 1975, it highlights such important topics as the gamble on hybrid circuits, conception and achievement of a unified product line, memory and storage developments, software support, unique problems at the high end of the line, monolithic integrated circuit developments, and the trend toward terminal-oriented systems.System/360 was developed during the transition from discrete transistors to integrated circuits at the crucial time when the major source of IBM's revenue was changed from punched-card equipment to electronic computer systems. As the authors point out, the key to the system's success was compatibility among its many models. So important was this to customers that System/370 and its successors have remained compatible with System/360. Many companies in fact chose to develop and market their own 360-370 compatible systems. System/360 also spawned an entire industry dedicated to making plug-compatible products for attachment to it.The authors, all affiliated with IBM Research, are coauthors of IBM's Early Computers, a critically acclaimed technical history covering the period before 1960.

    @fmbutt I love this book so much. If you watch "General Magic," reading this gives you an idea of the scope of invention in the 360 project. The biggest difference is the massive gap in product-market fit between the two examples. The scope of 360 and expanse of success are unmatched.

  • Dealers of Lightning

    Michael A. Hiltzik

    Read about the Xerox Alto/Star here: Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Ag... https://t.co/GZMClHAdl6

  • No new product offering has had greater impact on the computer industry than the IBM System/360. IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems describes the creation of this remarkable system and the developments it spawned, including its successor, System/370. The authors tell how System/360's widely-copied architecture came into being and how IBM failed in an effort to replace it ten years later with a bold development effort called FS, the Future System. Along the way they detail the development of many computer innovations still in use, among them semiconductor memories, the cache, floppy disks, and Winchester disk files. They conclude by looking at issues involved in managing research and development and striving for product leadership.While numerous anecdotal and fragmentary accounts of System/360 and System/370 development exist, this is the first comprehensive account, a result of research into IBM records, published reports, and interviews with over a hundred participants. Covering the period from about 1960 to 1975, it highlights such important topics as the gamble on hybrid circuits, conception and achievement of a unified product line, memory and storage developments, software support, unique problems at the high end of the line, monolithic integrated circuit developments, and the trend toward terminal-oriented systems.System/360 was developed during the transition from discrete transistors to integrated circuits at the crucial time when the major source of IBM's revenue was changed from punched-card equipment to electronic computer systems. As the authors point out, the key to the system's success was compatibility among its many models. So important was this to customers that System/370 and its successors have remained compatible with System/360. Many companies in fact chose to develop and market their own 360-370 compatible systems. System/360 also spawned an entire industry dedicated to making plug-compatible products for attachment to it.The authors, all affiliated with IBM Research, are coauthors of IBM's Early Computers, a critically acclaimed technical history covering the period before 1960.

    Read about the IBM 360/370 here: IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems (History of Computing) https://t.co/E2DSigZeAe

  • Microsoft Secrets

    Michael A. Cusumano

    The authors reveal Microsoft's product development, marketing, and organizational strategies

    @mmullany Very little about Microsoft was written from that era that was focused on products and market. It was all about antitrust/evil "stuff." Early days of Office covered well in "Microsoft Secrets" (M Cusumano and R Selby). And this book chapter (not my fav) https://t.co/sKlpfx5nRk

  • Takes readers on a journey through the history of architectural and structural disasters, from the Parthenon to the Tower of Pisa to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

    @pelavarre Applies to pretty much everything. Here’s a whole book about civil engineering. https://t.co/UZlZBNEtNN

  • Get Together

    Bailey Richardson

    Although communities feel magical, they don't come together by magic. Get Together is a guide to cultivating a community-people who come together over what they care about. Whether starting a run crew, helping online streamers connect with fans, or sparking a movement of K-12 teachers, the secret to community-building is the same: don't fixate on what you can do for people (or what they can do for you). Instead, focus on what you can do with them. In Get Together, the People & Company team provides stories, prompts, and principles for each stage of cultivating a passionate group of people. Every organization holds the potential to build and sustain a thriving community. Get Together shows readers how companies and customers, artist and fans, or organizers and advocates, can join forces to accomplish more together than they could have alone.

    Congratulations on the new book #gettogetherbook by @baileyelaine @hi_kaielmer @kevinhuynh via @stripepress Lessons and framework for building community based on experience at the strongest communities around. Plus really nice hardcover production! https://t.co/BDRuIJyz0D https://t.co/YhGboS5DIV

  • The Rise of the Computer State is a comprehensive examination of the ways that computers and massive databases are enabling the nation’s corporations and law enforcement agencies to steadily erode our privacy and manipulate and control the American people. This book was written in 1983 as a warning. Today it is a history. Most of its grim scenarios are now part of everyday life. The remedy proposed here, greater public oversight of industry and government, has not occurred, but a better one has not yet been found. While many individuals have willingly surrendered much of their privacy and all of us have lost some of it, the right to keep what remains is still worth protecting.

    27/ Burham discusses the need for public awareness. He subsequently wrote the book "The Rise of the Computer State" the threat to our privacy, legal procedures, and the democratic process, providing clear evidence of the present and probable dangers of computer technology. https://t.co/b7DaoWm3ev

  • Leading Systems

    Barry Oshry

    Accessible, full of real-life examples, and beautifully written by a pioneer in systems thinking A systems framework based not on hopes and dreams but on thirty years of research on what systems really are Speaks to leadership in the family, community, organization, and nation For over thirty years, Barry Oshry has uncovered core truths about how we operate in large organizations through the Power Lab, an experiential program that has been called "The World Series of Leadership Development Activities." In Leading Systems, Oshry reveals the lessons he has derived from his Power Lab experiences-experiences that have been central to his innovative insights about human systems and system leadership. Oshry maintains that the next evolutionary challenge for human beings is to recognize ourselves as system creatures, see how system processes shape our experiences, and develop the knowledge and skills to master these processes rather than be victims of them. Drawing on his Power Lab experiences, he reveals the possibilities of systems leadership and how effective leadership can provide the basis for creating sane, healthy, effective social systems. Challenging conventional thinking, Oshry shows the limitations of consensus, the importance of unilateral action, and the restrictions that our values-such as egalitarianism, liberalism, conservatism-can place on power. He reveals how the problems we often believe are personal or peculiar to our system or circumstances are in factsystemic, limiting the possibilities of both individuals and the system as a whole-and he demonstrates what it takes to break out and elevate ourselves and our systems to higher levels of possibility. Perhaps most importantly, Oshry shares his experience in discovering what he calls "exhilarating concepts," and shows how these concepts offer unusual insights into the nature of systems, shedding light on everything from organizational dysfunction to the conflicts that occur along lines of race,gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. It is only through this deep knowledge, Oshry says, that system leaders can elevate their systems to those higher levels of possibility to which we aspire. Offering new directions, Leading Systems is essential reading for anyone who wants a deep understanding of how systems work and how to exert enlightened leadership.

    @sriramk Look into “Power Lab”. Often in systems we fail to account for reality that everyone is in a middle making trade offs. That PM on Notes has to worry about the platform strategy changing and balancing that with Note-takers, for example. https://t.co/Ed4oNJnrnF

  • Gathers diagrams of spaceships, transporters, control stations, equipment, medical instruments, weapons, shuttlecraft, uniforms, insignia and fleet headquarters, and includes Federation maps and treaties

    @JaimePrimak Heart of Darkness or Star Fleet Technical Manual

  • Dreaming in Code

    Scott Rosenberg

    6/ Another great book for every founder is the story of a later project @mkapor led, "Chandler", which had challenges but also tells great lessons through the book by Scott Rosenberg. https://t.co/qkGLIXWM0r

  • 5/ A great read is @DanB's book "Bricklin on Technology" which brings together many of his blog posts on issues of the day and issues of technology in general. https://t.co/CSogNhRju7

  • A streamlined best-of version with statements from the most successful businesses and recognizable brands in America. Includes a step-by-step guide to developing unique, enduring positioning statements.

    @eringriffith https://t.co/Lc6E7rsd8h