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Business

What Becoming Steve Jobs Taught Me About Management

Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli's Becoming Steve Jobs is an intimate portrait of Steve Jobs’ evolution. It is also, perhaps accidentally, one of the most insightful and instructive books on management I have ever read. While one may not typically think of a biography as a leadership or self-help book, Schlender and Tetzeli capture the kind of growth that all leaders should push themselves towards.   More

Keen On

KeenON: Five Conversations with Walter Isaacson

The central message of "The Innovators" is that collaboration is king. Partnerships, Walter Isaacson explains, are the at the core of every great enterprise—from Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage’s invention of the computer to Larry and Sergei’s invention of Google. But what are the keys to being a good innovator? Are twosomes better than threesomes? Can companies—Facebook, for example, be founded by a single individual? And what, according to Isaacson, did Steve Jobs consider his great innovation?   More

Keen On

KeenON: “Innovators” Author Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson, the biographer of great men like Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs, has now turned to the history of the digital revolution. But rather than the story of genius, Isaacson’s "The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution," is actually a narrative of collaboration between talented people. Beginning with the remarkable relationship between Charles Babbage and Ida Lovelace in the middle of the 19th century, Isaacson sees the story of the digital revolution in terms of collaboration.   More

Business

Jaron Lanier on Facebook and the Creepy Possibilities for Virtual Reality

When Facebook announced last week that it had agreed to acquire Oculus VR, “the leader in virtual reality technology,” for $2 billion, techies and journalists everywhere wondered: What does Jaron Lanier think of this? Lanier, the dreadlocked futurist now working at Microsoft Research, was a virtual reality pioneer—he coined the term. More recently, he’s been a prolific critic of so-called Web 2.0 companies like Google and Facebook, bucking very publicly against their business models in books like "Who Owns the Future?" The Fiscal Times spoke with Lanier this week to get more of his thoughts about the deal, Mark Zuckerberg’s vision, and the future of virtual reality. Among his insights: “The biggest variable as to how creepy Facebook will be in the future is whether Zuck has kids or not.”   More

Business

Kirkpatrick, Levy, Markoff: Chroniclers of Technology in Conversation

Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick joined longtime tech journalists Steven Levy and John Markoff onstage at the Computer History museum in Mountain View, CA, last week for a wide-ranging discussion about their decades covering the industry. Levy is a senior writer at Wired and the author of seven books on everything from computer hackers and cryptography to the inside stories of the iPod's invention and Google's birth. Markoff is a senior writer for The New York Times who began writing about technology in 1976. The Computer History Museum's John Hollar moderated the conversation, which delved into the seminal breakthroughs and personalities of tech history.   More

Business

Is Apple’s Blossom Fading?

Apple is arguably the Brangelina of companies: It’s not young anymore, and there isn’t much new there. But our fascination and fixation endure. Widely regarded as a bellwether for the global economy and a perennial favorite on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list, Apple’s better-than-anticipated earnings report reveals a company that continues to capitalize on its unwavering customer loyalty numbers, baked-in culture of innovation, and relentless focus on design as a key market differentiator. But with its iconic founder gone and the company maturing under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook, some are seeing signs of stagnation and decline.   More

Business

Slumping PC Sales Signal Rise of Mobile Computing

Consumers may be going mobile more rapidly than just about anyone in the computing industry could have predicted. Two new reports show sales of desktop and laptop machines dropping sharply in the first quarter of 2013. First-quarter shipments of PCs were down 14 percent worldwide from the same period last year, according to International Data Corp., with Gartner Inc. tallying an 11 percent decline. The numbers may vary, but the consensus is clear: more and more consumers are flocking to mobile computing.   More