Business at the Speed of Thought

2827 Words Sep 17th, 2012 12 Pages
Business at the Speed of Thought by Bill Gates

In 1999, with the release of his book “Business at the Speed of Thought” Bill Gates attempted to enlighten the world to the fact that in order to succeed and become leaders in the future, businesses throughout the world would have to implement digital technology. The book itself is written entirely from Mr. Gates’ point of view. He wrote it in response to a number of requests from multi level business managers, organizational and corporate leaders, and IT professionals that wanted to know more about digital technology, and what he called a “digital nervous system”, which he claimed would help information flow. He describes how a “digital nervous system can transform businesses of
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(This measurement was an overall company wide cost savings in all departments.) Another $1 million was saved in labor costs as a result of using electronic forms for the 401k plans, employee stock purchase plan, and the stock options plan. To implement the plan a total of twelve servers were used (hardware cost being about $300,000). Developmental cost over two years was approximately $8 million. Ongoing technology support runs $765,000 annually. By demonstrating this in his book he proves that by implementing a paperless society the cost effectiveness out weights the initial cost of establishing the paperless office. Mr. Gates’ also explains how Microsoft tackled the challenge of integrating the Internet to be compatible with various Microsoft products. The biggest dilemmas were determining what should be incorporated into the existing Microsoft products, what should be packaged as new products, and how should the Windows Operating System support the Internet. He gives frequent examples of how the other competing computer industry giants were able to succeed in the computer industry. A lot of success he points out was made through trial and error as well as learning from one’s mistakes. He talks about how Microsoft has learned from projects that have failed such as the Multiplan spreadsheet that went on to be developed into Microsoft Excel, and the Omega database that would become Microsoft Access. One suggestion that Mr. Gates makes in achieving company success is by
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