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Matthew

Mill Valley, CA, United States
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 59
  • ratings
  • Bad Blood

  • Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
  • By: John Carreyrou
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,812
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,557
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,550

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes' worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What an amazing journalist

  • By TechnoApp on 06-08-18

Riveting , fantastic, incomprehensible

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-15-18

As weird as it sounds, this book about a lab company is much more a thriller than it is a discussion of science or the lab industry. It is utterly unfathomable to me this happened and yet it did! There are so many lessons on what NOT to do as a human and businessperson that anyone should read it for this reason alone. The fact that it is a riveting book is just a bonus. Can’t recommend this excellent book enough. Read it!

  • Get Well Soon

  • History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them
  • By: Jennifer Wright
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,027
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,691
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,675

In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn't stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon 34 more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-19th-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome - a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know syphilis could be so fascinating.

  • By Carrie Arnold on 02-09-17

Wonderful book that is surprisingly hilarious considering the subject

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-18

This is just a fabulous book. Both the author and reader do a sensational job of discussing a very serious, cautionary topic about the fallibility of man and how vulnerable we are to infectious diseases and yet made me laugh out loud through much of the book. Wonderfully book!

  • How to Make a Spaceship

  • A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight
  • By: Julian Guthrie, Richard Branson - preface, Stephen Hawking - afterword
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 254
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256

The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne and the other teams in the hunt is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible. It is driven by outsized characters - Burt Rutan, Richard Branson, John Carmack, Paul Allen - and obsessive pursuits. In the end, as Diamandis dreamed, the result wasn't just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry and a new age.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fun and Thrilling Ride

  • By Gillian on 09-28-16

Just incredible!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-12-17

What made the experience of listening to How to Make a Spaceship the most enjoyable?

The author does a wonderful job of telling an exciting, riveting story that inspires the reader to seek out their dream. It is impossible not to be inspired by the disparate cast of characters who are described in this book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely!

  • Warren Buffett's Ground Rules

  • Words of Wisdom from the Partnership Letters of the World's Greatest Investor
  • By: Jeremy C. Miller
  • Narrated by: Tom Perkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154

Compiled for the first time, and with Buffett's permission, these letters spotlight his contrarian diversification strategy, his almost religious celebration of compounding interest, his preference for conservative rather than conventional decision making, and his goal and tactics for bettering market results by at least 10 percent annually. Demonstrating Buffett's intellectual rigor, they provide a framework to the craft of investing that had not existed before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely fantastic

  • By Matthew on 08-18-16

Absolutely fantastic

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-18-16

At a young age Warren Buffett knew (and now taught me through this book) multiple important tenets to success:
1) incentives must be aligned or you get left holding the bag
2) compound interest is indeed the 8th wonder of the world
3) nice guys can finish first
4) you can't start investing early enough (see #2)
5) it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep that matters

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Eccentric Orbits

  • The Iridium Story
  • By: John Bloom
  • Narrated by: Donald Corren
  • Length: 18 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242

In the early 1990s, Motorola, the legendary American technology company, developed a revolutionary satellite system called Iridium that promised to be its crowning achievement. Light-years ahead of anything previously put into space, and built on technology developed for Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars", Iridium's constellation of 66 satellites in polar orbit meant that no matter where you were on Earth, at least one satellite was always overhead, and you could call Tibet from Fiji without a delay and without your call ever touching a wire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ugh! The skipping/repeating is INCREDIBLY irritating and distracting!

  • By A. S. on 07-17-16

Wonderfully written; Well narrated

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-13-16

What did you love best about Eccentric Orbits?

Absolutely everything. Dramatic roller coaster of a ride navigating the bureaucracy, lumbering motorola, etc. I am bummed the book is finished - I wanted to keep going!

Any additional comments?

Recording would occasionally skip and or repeat - not sure if that was me (I listened on bluetooth during commute) but it was mildly irksome at times

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Digital Gold

  • Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money
  • By: Nathaniel Popper
  • Narrated by: Robert Fass
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,518
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,335
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,330

A New York Times technology and business reporter charts the dramatic rise of Bitcoin and the fascinating personalities who are striving to create a new global money for the Internet age.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Informative, but dry

  • By Tomer on 05-10-16

Great book. Great story. Exciting. Fun

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-29-16

Great book. Highly recommended. Characters are interesting and the story is exciting as the Bitcoin story builds up over time

  • Misbehaving

  • The Making of Behavioral Economics
  • By: Richard Thaler
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,848
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,370
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,337

Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans - predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth - and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm a lot smarter than I was before

  • By Barrie Bramley on 10-04-15

Fantastic book fantastic reader

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-25-16

I read nudge and thought that was awesome this was better. I think of myself as believing in "Chicago-style" economics but have always struggled with the notion that people ALWAYS behave rationally when it is so obviously not true. This book doesn't claim the theory is false but just that the formula for predicting results is missing key variables and he proposes variables that are likely to better predict outcomes. His style was easily going and humble yet not falsely so. It just sounds like he was wired to believe things were different than the convention al wisdom and he was fortunate enough (and smart enough) to be able to grow the idea and grow with the idea. Just a great book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Automate This

  • How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World
  • By: Christopher Steiner
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,386
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,192
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,187

It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills - and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. These "bots" started with human programming and logic, but now their reach extends beyond what their creators ever expected.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wide-ranging, non-technical

  • By Philo on 09-20-12

Fascinating. So many ways algorithms have encroach

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-12-15

This was absolutely fascinating. In the prologue the author mentions how he originally planned to cover algorithms and how they affected Wall Street , which would have been interesting. But the way algorithms have affected all the other fields (medicine, self driving cars, organ transplants ) was actually MORE interesting. Great read!

  • The Innovators

  • How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 17 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,187
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,539
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,525

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • With Atlantean Shoulders, Fit to Bear

  • By W Perry Hall on 10-06-15

Interesting

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-10-15

Where does The Innovators rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Interesting book covering a long span of time. Unfortunately that left many people barely covered in high was disappointing at this times. Glad I read it but was not a must-read

  • Agent Garbo

  • The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler & Saved D-Day
  • By: Stephan Talty
  • Narrated by: Clinton Wade
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107

Before he remade himself as the master spy known as Garbo, Juan Pujol was nothing more than a Barcelona poultry farmer. But as Garbo, he turned in a masterpiece of deception that changed the course of World War II. Posing as the Nazis’ only reliable spy inside England, he created an imaginary million-man army, invented armadas out of thin air, and brought a vast network of fictional subagents to life. The scheme culminated on June 6, 1944, when Garbo convinced the Germans that the Allied forces approaching Normandy were just a feint - the real invasion would come at Calais.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, writing overly dramatic

  • By Matthew on 08-13-13

Good story, writing overly dramatic

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-13

What did you like best about Agent Garbo? What did you like least?

The main, real life character (a failed chicken farmer who becomes the most important spy in WWII) is too fantastic not to be true and fascinating to follow (kind of like the one-eyed neurologist with Asperger's in the Big Short).

That said, the writing was too melodramatic. Lots of details/flourishes about scenes were added and seemed somehow artificial or at least unnecessary. The story line is fantastic, these descriptive trimmings weren't necessary

What did you like best about this story?

The main character and the idea that a fairly lone wolf guy could save literally thousands of lives from a windowless office in London during WWII

Any additional comments?

Despite my concerns, it's a good read and well worth reading.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful