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Publisher's Summary

"This is a terrific book" (Kara Swisher)

An acclaimed tech reporter reveals the inner workings of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, showing how to compete with the tech titans using their own playbook.

At Amazon, "Day One" is code for inventing like a startup, with little regard for legacy. Day Two is, in Jeff Bezos' own words, "stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by excruciating, painful decline, followed by death."

Most companies today are set up for Day Two. They build advantages and defend them fiercely, rather than invent the future. But Amazon and fellow tech titans Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are operating in Day One: They prioritize reinvention over tradition and collaboration over ownership. 

Through 130 interviews with insiders, from Mark Zuckerberg to hourly workers, Always Day One reveals the tech giants' blueprint for sustainable success in a business world where no advantage is safe. Companies today can spin up new products at record speed - thanks to artificial intelligence and cloud computing - and those who stand still will be picked apart. The tech giants remain dominant because they've built cultures that spark continual reinvention. 

It might sound radical, but those who don't act like it's always day one do so at their own peril. Kantrowitz uncovers the engine propelling the tech giants' continued dominance at a stage when most big companies begin to decline. And he shows the way forward for everyone who wants to compete with - and beat - the titans.

©2020 Alex Kantrowitz (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Tech Giants are far from perfect, but Always Day One reveals the inventive elements of their culture that entrepreneurs can and should learn from." (Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur, investor, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks)

"Always Day One is the gangster read that provides an inside look at the culture that has allowed the tech titans to perform infanticide on their competition. Alex Kantrowitz is both thorough and critical while reminding us to remain optimistic about our future living alongside big tech." (Scott Galloway, author of The Four and The Algebra of Happiness)

"This book is a must-read for anyone trying to understand how successful companies operate in the age of the tech giants, and anyone hoping to explore the secrets behind those giants' dominance. It is a delightful romp through Silicon Valley and beyond." (Charles Duhigg, author of best sellers The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better)

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Some good insights but amusingly pro-Amazon

I was expecting the book to be a little bit more concrete in terms of strategies used by the tech giants, but instead it was much more focused on storytelling. It was interesting to learn more about the tech giants and their leaders. One of the key messages here is that company culture plays a huge role in how a company operates and what they might accomplish.

The main downside to the book was the obvious bias in favor of Amazon and Jeff Bezos. The chapter on Amazon lists all the amazing things they are doing and only brings up one controversy that they have encountered... Only to discredit the source of that controversy and then say Amazon has made big strides to fix it anyway. On the flip side, the chapter about Apple basically says they suck now and have no chance of future success (not entirely without reason lol). Half the chapter on Google is spent talking about controversies and somehow trying to tie it to their culture of collaboration. Chapter on Facebook touts their culture of Feedback but then slams Zuck for failing to accept public feedback leading to various controversies which are put in the spotlight.

The examples given are not untrue, but the bias of the author towards Amazon seems pretty apparent. Regardless, it was interesting enough to listen to all the way through and the ending had some good perspectives on the implications of a tech-first future. Performance was pretty good - some awkward pauses and handling of quotes but not too bad overall.

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Not what I was expecting.

The title and brief made it sound like this was a book on the secrets of how the tech giants like Amazon and Google are creating innovation cultures. I’ll admit, I cringed a little when I was listening to the first chapter with Jeff Bezos and his smirk about Day Two.

But then the book took a dark turn. This wasn’t a book about how to emulate the tech giants. It does talk about that. It’s also a cautionary tale on how those cultures are perpetuating stereotypes and bad practices and possibly creating bigger issues for the future.

The book ended too abruptly. I would have loved to hear the author spend a little more time talking about other tech giants like Apple, Google, Tesla, and SalesForce. Maybe even a few smaller ones that are doing the right thing.

Overall, a very good unexpected read on the technology giant. Definitely worth a second and third listen. After I take a break. This book was a bit of a downer.

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Subtitle: The Engineer's mindset

I have often been frustrated working in environment because of the stay-in-your-lane culture and top down management. If my experience describes you then this book is for you.

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Both sides of the giants of tech

A good read in the spirit of Scott Galloways The Four that discusses the good sides and the bad of Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook

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Capturing Reinvention

Highlighting & giving understanding to reinvention. Captures culture, change, effectiveness & weaknesses in business & growth in an orderly laid out manor.