• Gutenberg the Geek

  • By: Jeff Jarvis
  • Narrated by: Jeff Jarvis
  • Length: 39 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (215 ratings)

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Gutenberg the Geek  By  cover art

Gutenberg the Geek

By: Jeff Jarvis
Narrated by: Jeff Jarvis
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Publisher's Summary

Johannes Gutenberg was our first geek, the original technology entrepreneur, who had to grapple with all the challenges a Silicon Valley startup faces today. Jeff Jarvis tells Gutenberg's story from an entrepreneurial perspective, examining how he overcame technology hurdles, how he operated with the secrecy of a Steve Jobs, but then shifted to openness, how he raised capital and mitigated risk, and how, in the end, his cash flow and equity structure did him in. This is also the inspiring story of a great disruptor - which is what makes Gutenberg the patron saint of entrepreneurs.

Jeff Jarvis is the author of Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live and What Would Google Do?: Reverse-Engineering the Fastest Growing Company in the History of the World. He directs the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

©2012 Jeff Jarvis (P)2013 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Gutenberg the Geek

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Concise, precise, and insightful

This essay is a must reading for any technologist or entrepreneur. Jarvis does a fantastic job of reframing the story of Gutenberg from the modern point of view of Silicon Valley and the analogy not only works but is inspiring. Understanding Gutenberg's trials and tribulations in terms of the technology, the capital he needed, and the deals he cut are fascinating. Perhaps most importantly, Jarvis notes that because of losing his invention to his investor Gutenberg began to teach the world about how to use his invention. The first open source revolution.

It was a pleasure to listen to it.

1 person found this helpful

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Decent précis on printing as disruptive technology

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Sure, if they're interested in the history of the printing press and/or disruptive technologies.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yep.

Do you think Gutenberg the Geek needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Nope. The proper next step would be to read a more drawn out history of Gutenberg.

Any additional comments?

Some of the entrepreneurial comparisons to Silicon Valley are tiresome, though that's probably my own personal distaste for the economic and cultural canonization of tech CEOs. At the same time, comparisons made to technologies like the Internet and web search (e.g., Google) make this book (well, essay) worth reading. Most interesting to me is how the printing press not only heralded an unprecedented, widespread circulation of ideas, but also that many of those ideas were seen as unsavory, unscrupulous, or even illegal. Today, we see the similar trends in social networks and easy-access publishing tools that give ideas an immediate global reach (e.g., ISIL propaganda). Decades passed before the effects of the printing press were even partially fathomed by those whose lives it touched. When will the dust of the information age finally settle?

1 person found this helpful

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Historically the Christian Reformation/ Martin Luther of Germany was ...

Historically the Christian Reformation/ Martin Luther of Germany was a real big reason for his success!

That was not a key part of the book,hence I list interest.



Sam
Romans 3:9-28

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Fun and easy

Fun and easy to get in the way of the chemical uses the shop now I have

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Launching a Legacy

Entrepreneur, inventor, printer and publisher, Jonannes Gutenberg has long been known as the printer of the Gutenberg Bible. This short listen is noteworthy in crediting him with being a first in technology, i.e. a geek, and in fact, in his time, he was regarded as a weirdo. 😉 Never financially successful during his own lifetime, his discoveries and printing technologies fed the growing Renaissance. It greatly greatly facilitated scientific publishing. This is a fun listen and a different way of looking at Gutenberg and his accomplishments.

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Short & sweet

What an easy listen! It’s largely a collection of facts, but it’s told as a story about the printing life of JG. Quick and easy to digest.

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Required reading (listening)

Jeff does a great job simply and quickly describing the impact of Gutenberg and the importance of open innovation.

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A little dry at times

But short and sweet. I'm a Jeff Jarvis fan though and through. Thanks for this.

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Profile Image for Thomas Brown
  • Thomas Brown
  • 09-23-21

Way too short...

Although the content in this 40 minute audiobook is good, there is so SO much more about Gutenberg, his life and the impact of his work that could have went into this. I'm very glad this was free through the Plus Catalogue or else i'd have been wanting my credit back.