This is a great story about the company and the man who did the trading. It also provides a very nice description of what was happening with CDO's, the housing market, and Wall Street. You will understand what happened after listing to this. You will also wonder how the big companies did not see it coming much sooner.
There are two "Max Barry"s at work. The first we will call "MAX" because he writes really amazing books like Jennifer Government and Lexicon. Then there is the second we will call "max" who writes junk like Syrup and Machine Man. The two books of the second Max are terrible lame stories. You should avoid those. But you must read/listen to the books of the first because Lexicon and Jennifer Government are awesome.
For you Max Barry readers - where does that place the book Company? In my opinion, it is somewhere in between, good, clever, and interesting, but not awesome.
....You can transform the word by using design thinking to design solutions to colossal problems which non-designers can't touch. Everyone like Edison who has done anything great has now been rebranded as a design thinker. Design is cool. Design thinking is amazingly powerful, but you mere mortals cannot understand it....
But they avoided really explaining what "design" and "design thinking" really are beyond ... learn from the user ... and make lots of prototypes.
From a Christian country I knew almost none of this history. It was very helpful to see the past centuries from the Muslim perspective.
Um, this is really boring. He talks about all of the food that is bad for you and wonderful it tastes. But it does not have the magic personal style from his stand-up routines. So it just rushes over story, after story, after story, after story, after story ... about food. I just gave up half way through. Not funny.
Very interesting tromp through the adventures and addictions of a phone and computer hacker. By the end I was convinced that he was a danger to national security. Thank heavens he turned his talent to helping defend systems.
The book starts with a good idea, then starts building. But somewhere it gets lost in trivial details that do not progress the story. Finally, it just rehashes a sci-fi story and calls it quits.
Like many books about living in New York City, the author treats absolutely everything that happens in a normal person's life like it is amazing just because it happened in New York. If the same events were told of a person living in Iowa, it would be called boring.
This book has caused quite a stir among business leaders. So I had to read it. It is a difficult book to stick with. But every chapter reveals some facts, analyses, or opinions that are very enlightening. The author is French so you get a very different perspective on history and the objectives of an ideal society. A fair distribution of assets is never possible. I think the author recognizes this. For every possible policy to balance assets, the author provides historical examples of why that will not work in the long-run. In the end I am learning that societies have always been very unbalanced in the distribution of wealth and assets. Only the degree changes, but not the basic fact ... it is almost a law of economics.
The most striking fact is the comparison of incomes and asset ownership.
Top 10% of Income Earners, are the owners of 60% of all real assets.
Middle 40% of Income, owns about 35% of all real assets
Bottom 50% of Income, own about 5% of assets.
This is a very big chunk of the population that are really poor. This extreme difference is the norm in many countries and across many time periods. Only the exact numbers change.
I really like Max Barry's stories. But this one ... not so much. Imagine working on a story and you draw a line down the middle of the paper. You put the exciting parts on the right side and the dull details on the left side. Then you throw away the right side and white the entire story just with dull details. That would be this book.
He did some interesting development of a couple of characters. But all of them do dull stuff over and over again.
My thoughts - skip this and go read Lexicon or Jennifer Government. Both much more interesting and they kept the exciting parts in.
Love Max Berry's stories. This one has a great, original idea, great characters, adventure, romance, intrigue. Always fun.
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