The Ultimate Entrepreneur: The Story of Ken Olsen and Digital Equipment Corporation

Glen Rifkin, Author, Glenn Rifkin, Author, George Harrar, With McGraw-Hill/Contemporary $19.95 (332p) ISBN 978-0-8092-4559-8
Two editors of Computerworld magazine here profile DEC, the entrepreneurial electronic phenomenon launched 30 years ago by a trio of M.I.T. engineers in a defunct factory near Boston. The leader was Ken Olsen, whose informal hands-on management style contrasted sharply with the structured methods at IBM, a soon-to-be competitor. Digital startled the industry in the 1960s with far-seeing minicomputer development, the authors recall, and later survived expansion problems, the defection of top people and a clumsy lunge at the personal-computer field that was pre-empted in the event by IBM and Apple. Olsen and DEC won renewed top-rank success in the late 1980s with an imaginative computer-networking program that gave a new dimension to information electronics. Rifkin and Harrar, in this long and sluggish business saga, write for technological cognescenti without explaining to lay readers the computer's many-faceted functions and uses. 60,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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