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Publisher's Summary

Winners and Losers tells the stories of some of the most innovative businesses of recent times, explaining how a few succeeded in creating and dominating entirely new markets while so many others die in today¹s ferociously competitive online era.

Explaining clearly, with many interesting examples, what contributes to success and failure in creating and developing a company. Levis shows how companies like Amazon and Google rose from nothing to enormous heights, while IBM, Kodak, and AOL plummeted from them; how Nokia bounced from near bankruptcy to global leadership; and it charts the incredible rise, fall, and rise again of Apple.

This is not a "how to succeed in business" textbook, but is far more interesting and more than accessible, even for those with no background in business or economics.

©2009 Keiran Levis (P)2010 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A highly intelligent, nuanced account and Levis" disclaimers are as salutary as his insights." (CNBC Europe)
"A solid account of smart, nimble upstarts slaying old-industry behemoths and of flawed creative geniuses creating and destroying fortunes." (David Rowan, Observer)
"Compelling… Break-neck histories of the likes of Amazon, eBay and Google." (Independent)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Grant
  • NANTUCKET, MA, United States
  • 07-08-10

A tad dated

Many of the subjects in this book are rather old, in relation to the history of the internet. Perhaps it's because I just read The Facebook Effect, but I found that many of the case studies here were a bit long in the tooth. Netscape, AOL and even Apple are ancient history.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good, not great

It is an interesting read, but not memorable. A bit outdated, but not special. Could have been better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. David Walker
  • 08-02-10

Interesting all the way through

I have only been a member of audible for a few months and have to say that the writing of Winners & Losers keeps you listening all the way through. If you are interested in how some companies have won in this internet age and how some have gone from great heights and have lost then you will find as I have that you have to keep on listening all the way through as the story flows and goes from one interesting fact to another. The narration is also first class and easy on the ears. My first book that I have enjoyed so much that I have had to leave this review. Very highly recommended. hope you enjoy this also.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Adrian
  • 09-01-10

Good listen but very irritating at times

Some fascinating insights into the early days of some of the biggest new age companies around. Especially worth listening to for those who weren't adults in the early 80's.

The authors love of Apple and dislike of Microsoft comes through to often for my tastes and the different voices the narrator uses are annoying after a while.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Savvyman
  • 08-31-10

Fascinating insight into internet business

This really is an exceptional book! Kieran Levis has studied his subject well and discusses what havoc the internet has wreaked on business at large. The big blue-chips are discussed here - Sony, Apple, Nokia, IBM, Kodak, Google, Ebay, Microsoft and Sky to name a few; you'll be surprised at who won, and who lost... and who nearly lost but won!

Each company is described in comprehensive detail, but this never becomes boring or repetitive (like some books I've listened to). One slight detraction is the narrator's accent when putting on voices, but this really isn't a major concern.

This isn't a 'how to succeed in business' book, quite the opposite! It shows you how damn hard it was to actually succeed in this kind of cut-throat, yet random environment that is the internet.

Wonderfully insightful, never patronising, always interesting. Can't fault this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • MR
  • 06-13-18

Good, but out of date

I am only a few chapters in to this book, it's good, but pretty out of date, so much so that I am not sure it's worth listening to.

If you are looking to learn more about the 'winners and losers of the internet age' and the book talks about Nokia as a winner, it seems a good sign it's out of date!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Roger
  • 07-28-12

Very interesting

It is always easier to understand why something was successful or not after the fact and this book explains quite well some of the history of many well known brands. It also points out that luck as well as good strategies sometimes plays a part. I enjoyed it very much.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Olivier
  • 02-29-12

Very interesting but a bit dated and preachy

It has some footnotes with data from 2007 and 2008, but the book generally seems to be based on the state of the internet in 2005-2006 (hence the absence of even a passing reference to Facebook and Twitter). The author also decided not to devote a section to Microsoft.

One positive of the book being dated is that it includes chapters on Mosaik/Netscape and AOL which probably would not have been included in a more recent book (and these are very interesting sections).

The inclusion of a chapter on Sky TV and Nokia seemed odd, and a bit out of context.

The final 2 chapters are a bit ponderous and preachy.

Still, overall I do not regret buying, and listening to, this audiobook.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 04-13-11

Good but annoying accents

The narrator puts on ridiculous accents which gets quite annoying. The books jumps back and forth through time which got me lost in some cases.

Having said that, it was an interesting book, and I did learn insights into the key people and tipping points that lead to their success or failure. I gave it 4 stars for these mitigating factors.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 7rym
  • 10-18-10

Great book, bad narration :-(

Really insightful book, but sadly the narration becomes disturbing with 'funny' voices and odd dialects.
When you learn to overcome the irritating narration, this book gives great insight in the scenarios from the early years of entering the age of digital technology.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Barry
  • 08-30-10

Highly recommended

This is a great history of some of the most famous companies in recent times. The narrator does indulge in unnecessary 'accents/impersonations' of characters which at times detracts from the content.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Helmi
  • 08-16-10

Exellent read for anyone interrested in business

Exellent read for anyone interrested in business.