GOING PUBLIC

MIPS COMPUTER AND THE ENTREPRENEURIAL DREAM

From Silicone Valley insider Malone (The Big Score, 1985), an exhaustively detailed saga of how an entrepreneurial team of executives and staff won fortunes fighting steep odds to complete an Initial Public Offering of stock for MIPS Computer Co. In 1989, skittish about high-tech stocks since the '87 crash, investors grew excited as rumor foretold that MIPS, about to ``go public,'' might explode into a billion-dollar firm. Offering a vanguard technology called ``reduced instruction computing'' to challenge dominant technologies, MIPS also boasted structural and marketing innovations that propelled it from a kitchen table start- up to a $100-million private company in record time. Malone dramatizes MIPS's campaign to woo the financial community, to contend with SEC rigors, and to withstand the threats that a giant competitor would devastate the firm or that a key supplier or partner would defect. Featuring a cast of characters ranging from the savvy CEO to stalwart engineers to Vietnamese immigrant assembly-line workers, this account tries to merge human interest with business tactics. The result relies too much on unremarkable interviews quoted beyond endurance: on career histories, on the prospectus rewriting process, on global travel. Despite some heroic dimension in the team's dedication and resourcefulness, the pursuit of financial triumph does not seem to merit the unrelenting epic celebration shown here. Yet Malone's portrait of MIPS's unusual business structure and tactics (heavy use of partners to maximize growth) is sure to engage business readers seeking models for the coming decade. An informative and lively, although padded, close-up of what drives entrepreneurs who win the electronics industry poker game that most start-ups lose.

Pub Date: June 19, 1991

ISBN: 0-06-016519-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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