Gerstner’s Elephants and Crichton’s Prey

Two good books I have read recently: Lou Gerstner’s Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? and Michael Crichton’s Prey. Gerstner was CEO of IBM for the past 9 years and instrumental in its turnaround. Crichton authored, among others, Jurassic Park and The Lost World.

Gerstner details his IBM years. It is a fascinating insight into how IBM regained its leadership position in the tech industry. A decade ago, it was en route to extinction. Today, along with Microsoft, it is one of the two companies that define the industry. One fears Microsoft, but one respects IBM. And a lot of that credit goes to Gerstner.

Crichton is always a great read, even though his previous book (Timeline) was a disappointment. This time, he delves into Nanotechnology and Artificial Life for his plot. The core of the book is great, but the last third was not as good. Overall, it is still a book you’ll end up finishing in a single sitting.

The latest Economist has a report on Nanotech, taking Crichton’s book as its lead. has a perspective on Nanotech, stating “[it] is an enabling and potentially disruptive technology that can solve problems in industries as disparate as telecom, biotechnology, microelectronics and energy. Currently more than 100 start-ups are developing nanotechnology-based products that will be marketable in the next three years.”

Sidelight: an interesting thing about buying books in India is how cheap you can get them. Gerstner’s book costs Rs 580 (USD 12) vs USD 16.77 on Amazon, while Crichton’s book costs Rs 195 (USD 4) vs USD 16.17 on Amazon.

Good Books

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.