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Publisher's Summary

The ultimate insider's look at the newest titans of tech, from the editorial team at Forbes.

Silicon Valley's new billionaires are an unconventional breed, turning ideas into money at a rate never before seen in human history. Their ascension proves a turning point in how great fortunes are made and how technology disseminates.

Among these golden boys are: Elon Musk, billionaire bachelor and founder of Paypal, electric carmaker Tesla, and private space company Space X; Evan Spiegel, 23-year-old founder of Snapchat, who recently turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook; and Alex Karp, the eccentric philosopher with almost no tech background who turned Palantir into a data-mining champion. Over the last three years, Forbes has published in depth profiles of this new batch of billionaires, including the founders of Spotify, Dropbox, Tumblr, and Twitter. Now, in a compilation introduced and updated by Forbes editor Randall Lane, fans and critics alike will get a comprehensive look at who these super-entrepreneurs are and what they say about their own success and their plans for the future.

©2014 Randall Lane (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jami
  • VICTOR, NY, United States
  • 12-04-16

Interesting Bio Snippets

This book has short bios about the various tech innovators. Some of them were interesting, some not so much; overall, the book was good. The amount of money that these people make on their innovations is mind boggling, as is their creativity and dedication to the product/app. I can honestly say that I have not had an urge to create something that was so strong that I felt the need to feed myself intravenously and pee outside of a window to avoid having to take breaks for meals and the bathroom as one of these guys did! The book was a quick read, and it was the right length; if it was any longer, I think I would have been bored. I listened to it on audio, which probably also made it more interesting to me; not sure I would have been able to stick with it in print.

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What about today?

Any additional comments?

This book was inspiring and awesome... but... It said nothing of where those people are today - Censorship, Estabishment, Power - was this the end goal in mind? Because that is where Facebook and Twitter is at right now. I doubt it was where they wanted to go, but with power and money come... Those with more power and money, and sellouts and corruption happen.

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Very Interesting

Fascinating look at the people who founded various apps and became rich in the process.

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30,000 foot view of a handful of tech billionaires.

This book is literally a quick snap shot of a handful of billionaires who made their fortunes in the tech sector. I personally want to learn in depth details on how someone started a business, what they were thinking, individual stories about each important turn in their lives, etc. This book did not even scratch the itch of the information I was hoping to consume.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Phenomenol and inspiring!!!!

Extremely well narrated. One of the best books I've come across in a very long time!!!!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Louder

The performer should put more inclination / expression in his reading and speak into the recorder or microphone.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Case histories of successful entrepreneurs

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes. The book provides insight into the world of start-up entrepreneurs and how billions are spent in this world.

If you’ve listened to books by Randall Lane before, how does this one compare?

It's my first Randall Lane book and it is mostly a compilation of magazine article profiles with no overarching themes or analysis.

What three words best describe Walter Dixon’s performance?

Sharp, transparent, flowing

Was You Only Have to Be Right Once worth the listening time?

For me yes, but if not interested in the individual stories you could easily skip around as the profiles are independent and free-standing.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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How the privileged and connected profit from greed

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This might inspire someone to keep plugging away at their software project or other entrepreneurial project. It's not a total waste of time, but you won't learn much either. Almost all the people featured were already privileged and well connected before they made their millions or billions. At worst, they were destined for an upper middle class or lower-rich life in any case. Example: When one of these young men was lacking initiative, his mother called up the CEO of a major TV network, who she was friends with, and got her son an internship. How many of us have those kinds of connections?

Has You Only Have to Be Right Once turned you off from other books in this genre?

Generally speaking, yes. I like biographies, but there was very little depth here. Most business books are hype or fluff. This is really just a feel-good overview of an industry that can rarely justify the valuations of these ventures. Is Instagram really worth more than companies that have been around for half a century?

Which character – as performed by Walter Dixon – was your favorite?

"Character" doesn't really apply to a biography, but the kid who turned down Facebook's offer is probably the biggest putz I've ever heard of! Otherwise, the narrator did an adequate job... I have no complaints.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It's not worth the price to purchase, but some young person (i.e., early 20s) in the tech sector might find it motivating. I'm in the tech sector, but I'm in my mid 30s, and I've been involved in business for too long to buy into the hype that riches are just around the corner for anyone with a good idea. While the book doesn't explicitly make that claim, I think that's what most people are going to take from it.

Any additional comments?

Honest business books are rare, especially if they have enough useful content to justify 200+ pages. Having read countless business books, I've only found two or three to be genuinely useful. You might want to skip this and get a copy of "How to get rich" by Felix Dennis (founder of Maxim Magazine). Don't let the title scare you. If you really want to know what it takes, this is the most sincere book you'll ever find on the subject. Another book that is really good is Norm Brodsky's "Street Smarts".

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • pm
  • 07-30-15

Whispering Narration puts me to sleep.

What would have made You Only Have to Be Right Once better?

Have someone else narrate the book. Include information on why the company stands out from others. Have more information on why they made it to the top.

What other book might you compare You Only Have to Be Right Once to and why?

This book does not compare. So many better books out there.

What didn’t you like about Walter Dixon’s performance?

WHY ARE YOU WHISPERING?????

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger. I couldn't get away from the narration of the book. I tried listening to this book on a 17 hour drive from Los Angeles to Seattle, but the way it was narrated annoyed and angered me. I had to increase the volume dramatically. The volume of his voice fluctuated so much that I had to adjust the volume many times throughout the trip. There are times when his voice gets really loud but majority of the time he is whispering. Seriously, why are you WHISPERING???

Any additional comments?

Would not recommend this book. Will not listen to again. Summary of the book: A summary of short stories about the beginning stages of a list of companies. Does not talk about why they made it to the top. Does not talk about what makes them different. Only tells a story of the beginning stages of the companies. Save your time, and don't buy this book.

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15 billionaire entrepreneurs stories

each story was quick and to the point. I really enjoyed that each chapter represented a different founder, and there was no extra fluff