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Everyone Else Must Fail

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the everyone's-gonna-die dept.

Businesses 216

ElectricAnt writes "First of all, I should mention that this book is complementary to Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle reviewed earlier here. Everyone Else Must Fail has not been approved, endorsed or edited by Oracle or Larry Ellison, so it could be that many things were said out loud for the first time. Karen Southwick is a journalist who has covered many technology subjects, and written three previous books about Silicon Valley's business side. She wrote this book, at least partially, based on the interviews with former Oracle executives who were either fired by Larry (as Ray Lane) or left Oracle to start their own business (Tom Siebel)." Read on for the rest of ElectricAnt's review.My first impression was that this book was a former employee's act of revenge against the big bully boss, but as you read along you see that Southwick kept a neutral point of view, presenting only the facts without jumping to the conclusions.

As you would expect, there is more business than technology in the book, not to say that this is bad, but you'll find only the top slice of Oracle's business: sales, marketing, consulting etc. You won't find many discussions on how, why and which technology has been created or adopted by Oracle -- it's mostly how this technology has been sold to customers, and what happened afterwards.

Southwick covers nearly all of Oracle's history, starting with 1979 and up to mid-summer 2003 when Oracle launched its campaign to acquire PeopleSoft. The book's starts with a quote attributed to Genghis Khan ("It is not sufficient that I succeed. Everyone else must fail.") which Larry Ellison obviously likes and uses quite often. After a start like that, it's all downhill from there.

Larry Ellison is portrayed as a natural leader: visionary, extraordinary productive and effective. At the same time, he is the "supreme dictator," "extreme narcissist," "most controversial CEO," all this is combined to make "a grandiose, deeply flawed, yet extraordinary, human being." My favorite quote in this book belongs to Rich Hagberg (a management consultant). When he drives by Oracle's towers, he says, "I tell my kids that's where Darth Vader lives." This is not the book's only harsh definition of Ellison. If Softwar is an "intimate" portrait of Larry Ellison then Everyone Else Must Fail is definitely an "intimidating" portrait of him.

Oracle's culture is defined as "brutal, draining, and filled with potential pitfalls." The relationship between Larry and his subordinates, and what's equally important, with Oracles customers (the Oracle mindset is described as "use 'em and dump 'em.") Everyone is expendable, success must be achieved by all means, and everything is measured by how useful a person is to help Ellison implement his vision.

The list of dumped Oracle executives includes Tom Siebel of Siebel, Craig Conway of PeopleSoft, Greg Brady of i2 Technologies, Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com, Gray Bloom of Veritas, the list goes on and on. As soon as Larry Ellison feels that an executive gains popularity with customers, employees, and can, potentially, outplace him, he will find a reason to get rid of that person. Due to Ellison's personal "insecurity" to deliver the news face-to-face, many of those execs were fired "remotely," usually over the phone, and while on vacation. Coincidentally, almost all of them were fired just before the next portion of their stock options vested. Some of the discharged workers filed wrongful termination suits, but few of them won: none of them have talked to Larry since.

Only Bob Miner, Oracle's co-founder, top developer of Oracle's DB, and later head of development, is shown as a friend. Unfortunately, Bob Miner died in 1994 of lung cancer and Larry was left in the void. Over the last three years, Ellison fired all key members of his management team and concentrated all power in his own hands, leaving Oracle without much a needed counterbalance to Ellison's whimsical desires. With increased competition from IBM and Microsoft, unhappy customers, and flawed leadership, Karen Southwick questions the future of Oracle but leaves the question open.

The customers of Oracle DB were technology experts and didn't mind the need to fiddle with the product until they got it working; the real problems started when Oracle began to release ERP and CRM applications. These applications use the technology and don't invent it. In Ellison's eyes, though, the technology is "cool"; he likes to create technology and respects engineers, he doesn't like to perfect it. If something goes wrong with the product, the company attitude seems to be that it's because customers did something stupid.

I found the comparison between Oracle, Microsoft and IBM very interesting: both Oracle and Microsoft are seen as "technology" companies, both have core technologies (database and operating system) and everything else revolves around them, "you better buy everything from us or you're out." It's a sink-or-swim approach.

By contrast, IBM has marketed itself as a "solution" company that brings whatever customer asks for, the best-of-breed approach. However, in positioning .NET as an enterprise system, Microsoft makes one step forward to the solution approach. Oracle still hasn't make any steps in that direction.

A few things in the book are very entertaining -- for example, the story of Rick Bennett, who single-handedly served Oracle as an advertising agency from 1984 to 1990, the most aggressive ads Oracle ever ran were created by him. When Ingres was acquired by ASK Computer Systems Oracle ran a full page ad: "WE KICK ASK." This and some other examples of Oracle's ads from that era can be found on Bennett's website.

If you're looking for a recipe how to piss off your customers, screw up your employees, alienate your partners this book is for you: it has a detailed description how to achieve all that based on Larry Ellison's extensive experience.


You can purchase Everyone Else Must Fail: The Unvarnished Truth About Oracle and Larry Ellison from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to submit a review for consideration, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

cancel ×

216 comments

AND I FAIL IT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766870)

GETTING A FP. B10TCH

Everyone else must fail now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766880)

At getting first post.

Re:AND I FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766883)

sorry i was busy reading it.

SUCCESS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766896)

You fail failing. You are a SUCCESS!!!!111!!!11!!1!11111!!!!!

AND THE EDITORS FAIL (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766995)

To close their italics tags.

MODERATION ABUSE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767255)

This is not redundant, this is the first post mentioning italics problems

Re:MODERATION ABUSE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767822)

keep modding me down assholes - got thousands of proxies

Re:MODERATION ABUSE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767914)

lick my bleeding anus

Slashdot personals? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766889)

WTF? Is it April fools? You got to be joking!

Book was written by a woman (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766893)

What could a woman possibly know about anything but cleaning house and squirting out babies?

Re:Book was written by a woman (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766924)

My sentiments exactly

Re:Book was written by a woman (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766956)

Don't forget cooking!

Re:Book was written by a woman (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766980)

What about shiatsu?

j00 are ONE fUDgED UP fuDGEPon33 (-1)

SpongeScrodSpareCock (717608) | more than 10 years ago | (#7766900)



J00 j3sss YOU ar3 ONE FUCKED UP FUdgep0n33!!!! yiper33!

A little off topic...Contrary to POPULAR belief..CmdrTaco DOES know his ANUS from a hole in the wall###!!!! His ANUS is the one with a BIG BLACK COCK sliding in and out of it!


thatisall

A Brief History of the Transistor Radio (-1, Troll)

Kirk Troll (729217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7766901)

www.goatse.cx

props to kirk troll

Microsoft too (1, Insightful)

deanj (519759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7766902)

Not that this should be a great surprise to anyone, but Microsoft acts this way too. It seems that they think that ANYTHING that has any computing power is their territory, and they're out to claim it. Cell phones, embedded systems, and of course ALL computers.

Just wish they'd just concentrate (and fix) the damn OS and it's GUI.

Re:Microsoft too (5, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767023)

Well, Microsoft is only ruthless to its competitors. From the sounds of it, Ellison is ruthless to the people who work for him. Microsoft is strategy, Ellison is just plain psycho. Think of the villian in the movies who cuts down his own henchmen with a machine gun to make a point.

Granted all companies generally regard customers as an annoyance. The feeling is mutual.

Re:Microsoft too (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767195)

Microsoft is/was ruthless to contractors that work/worked for them. Just look how they are/were treated.

Re:Microsoft too (4, Interesting)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767300)

I know people who work for Microsoft. They have nothing but good things to say about the work environment, pretty much to the point where they couldnt envision working for another company.

On another note, the only thing I see in the press regarding Oracle is Ellison whining about Microsoft, or some other non-technical related subject. The man is just a troll, plain and simple. He needs to focus on making his product better, rather than saying how bad their competitors are. The title "Everyone Else Must Fail" is a very good summation of the attitude Ive seen from Ellison.

Compare this with things Gates says in the press- he is always looking at better ways of applying technology, ways to make things easier, etc. He (correctly, IMO) wants computing a simple human experience, something people dont need five years of experience to do. Much like using a hammer or screwdriver: an experienced carpenter will still be able to use the tools more effectively, but a newbie can still drive a nail or screw into a wall with the same tools.

Note to self: prepare to be modded down for saying something good about Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767342)

Do you really think everyone that complains about being modded down gets +5 Insightful.

Re:Microsoft too (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767377)

Would have modded up except for the whiny comment about preparing to be modded down.

Re:Microsoft too (3, Insightful)

blamanj (253811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767816)

OK, you we're believable and reasonable up until the point where you started talking about how much Gates is a better representative of his company.

If you read any of his anti-trust testminony it's clear he's simply lying and everyone knows it, it just that most of it happens to be in that legal gray area that the Reagan Iran/Contra team exploited so well, "I don't recall."

OTOH, the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation _is_ doing some very nice stuff, and I don't think that Ellison can compare at all.

Re:Microsoft too (2, Interesting)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767728)

"Microsoft is strategy, Ellison is just plain psycho. Think of the villian in the movies who cuts down his own henchmen with a machine gun to make a point."

Read any of the Chinese classic military works, such as "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu. You'll find that hacking off the head of an insurgent who threatens to throw the army/citizenry/etc. into a panic can be an effective tool to keep the entire rest of the army following orders.

Oracle and Microsoft are just sacrificing a few lambs now and then to keep the rest of the sheep in line.

But you'll also notice in those works that a smaller army can easily defeat a numerically superior and more powerful army through smarter use of the resources at their disposal. Much like how open source software methodologies have been cutting into Microsoft and Oracle more and more for the past 10 years.

Re:Microsoft too (1)

ccp (127147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767889)

But you'll also notice in those works that a smaller army can easily defeat a numerically superior and more powerful army through smarter use of the resources at their disposal. Much like how open source software methodologies have been cutting into Microsoft and Oracle more and more for the past 10 years.

I'd rather think that the advantege of OSS was the vastly bigger army, even if loosely coordinated, and sometimes fracticious.

Chhers,

You mean like this.... (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767241)

It seems that they think that ANYTHING that has any computing power is their territory, and they're out to claim it. Cell phones, embedded systems, and of course ALL computers.

What would Bill Gates look like crossed with Rich Uncle Pennybags (aka the Monopoly Guy)? Remember, the Monopoly tagline is "Own it all"

See what I am talking about over here, on a T-shirt [cafepress.com] . (and don't pay attention to that link to "poundingsand.com", it used to be my URL, but was hijacked. :(

Re:Microsoft too (1)

SpaceRook (630389) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767292)

Not that this should be a great surprise to anyone, but Microsoft acts this way too.
Microsoft has a good reputation for treating their employes well. Executives are well compensated, and the geeks get to have a lot of fun. Also, the level of sh!t they put their customers through is merely par for the course.

The thing that struck me about this Oracle book review was the "you better buy everything from us or you're out" quote. That is SO not the way to do business anymore. No one wants to be locked down to a particular company. It's costly and dangerous. People want to buy the best solutions and be able to fit them together.

Heh (5, Funny)

mongbot (671347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7766910)

If you're looking for a recipe how to piss off your customers, screw up your employees, alienate your partners this book is for you: it has a detailed description how to achieve all that based on Larry Ellison's extensive experience. No thanks. I think I'll wait for Crazy as a Sh*thouse Rat: The Darl McBride Story.

Re:Heh (2, Funny)

kaan (88626) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767077)

No thanks. I think I'll wait for Crazy as a Sh*thouse Rat: The Darl McBride Story.

Well who's gonna be crazier - Darl for living on another planet, or you for shelling out $699 to buy a copy of The Darl McBride Story?

Yeah, I'm speculating on the price, but prior experience suggests that $699 would be more or less correct for something "produced" by SCO...

hahhahhhahaha ror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767247)

hhahhahhaha omfg jesus christ

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767339)

What exactly does "crazy as a shithouse rat" mean, and where the hell does it come from?

Re:Heh (1)

RobL3 (126711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767858)

Jesus, -that- was funny.

Huh? (5, Funny)

El_Ge_Ex (218107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7766913)

"I tell my kids that's where Darth Vader lives."

Wouldn't that be Redmond?

(sorry, too easy)

-B

Naaa... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767057)

I'm thinking more along the lines of UniMatrix95

;-)

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767174)

no, thats the *borg* ala star trek next generation.

clearly you are not quite ready to become a feces flinging microsoft bashing monkey like the other /.'ers. shame on you :)

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767216)

No, Gatus of Borg is in Redmond.

Re:Huh? (1)

scrytch (9198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767322)

"I tell my kids that's where Darth Vader lives."

Wouldn't that be the Death Star? [att.com]

ASK and Ingres (1)

Hayzeus (596826) | more than 10 years ago | (#7766931)

What ever became of that? Much of my work back in the day used to consist of various mods and extensions to ASK's MANMAN product -- FORTRAN-66, baby! I hated their product, though -- it was, as we used to say, fugly -- even for F-66.

Do i understand you correctly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767624)

Are you saying it was ugly for Fortran? That's like saying something is dense compared to a neutron star. It probably doesn't make sense, and if it turns out it did, it's still so far at one end of the spectrum it's not useful.

Previous Book was "semi" unauthorised (3, Interesting)

fastdecade (179638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7766934)

It must be said the previous book, at least according to the publisher's claims, wasn't just a spew of marketing from Oracle ---- it was supposed to be written independently, with Ellison having the right only to add footnotes, and NOT to modify the text.

That's the theory anyway. Who knows what sort of political games go on in actually agreeing to get a deal like this --- is there an unwritten rule that the author must play ball? Haven't read either, so I'm not sure ...

Jumping to conclusions (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7766959)

You know, I had an idea like that once...

Damn CEO's (3, Funny)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7766987)

Ack, I have finally found one that is more of an axe murderer than the other's I've worked for. Yippie and pass the pink slips.

Re:Damn CEO's (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767011)

Did you used to work for HP/ComDEC?

Re:Damn CEO's (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767059)

K&S. They moved all of manufacturing to the Phillipines, and then a few years later, all of engineering to someplace in the far east. I have been laid off by then.

Of course I never speak about current employeers. a) They are fun people to work for. b) I'm paranoid and you never know who is reading along.

CLOSE YOUR FUCKING TAG POLESMOKER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767002)

</i> jackass

are CEO's and dictators synonamous? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767005)

forget Larry for a second. For a CEO to succeed, does it require that person to be a dictator?

Re:are CEO's and dictators synonamous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767485)

That bastard's javastation was a bigger crime against humanity than anything Hussien came up with. The boot time alone was a violation of the Geneva convention.

Re:are CEO's and dictators synonamous? (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767692)

For a CEO to succeed, does it require that person to be a dictator?

Well, I wasn't a dictator.

Oh yeah, I didn't succeed either. Never mind...

Re:are CEO's and dictators synonamous? (1)

UID30 (176734) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767838)

No.

Re:are CEO's and dictators synonamous? (1)

HenryFlower (27286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767846)

No. See Good to Great and Built to Last. The thesis of both books is that great companies build a strong team of leaders around a strong culture. Dictators can deliver results for a time, but the company dies when the dictator leaves. Both books are based on empirical evidence (actual performance over time) not B-school BS speculation.

Everyone else must fail... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767018)

...to include a closing </I> tag.

HAHAHAH! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767029)

Someone forgot to close their ITALICS command!

NICE JOB!

Nobody is perfect... (3, Funny)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767033)

I am nobody...therefore....

Re:Nobody is perfect... (1)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767495)

I am nobody...therefore....

How very Zen.

What do you expect? (5, Interesting)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767040)

Do you expect a succesful CEO in a cut-throat business to be a cheerful guy? Ellison is paranoid (San Jose airport out to get me), arrogant (we're going to take on Microsoft) and often clumsy (Peoplesoft), but he is also still the king of database software (for the time being).

The only thing that separates Larry from the other ones is the neato cars he buys for Oracle employees who happen to be his ex-girlfriend.

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767165)

"but he is also still the king of database software"

Actually his staff made him the king.

Yes. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767179)

The CEO of Chick-Fil-A, a > 1 Billion USD company, is paranoid, aragant, nor does he do anything to earn a buck.

Re:Yes. (1)

El_Ge_Ex (218107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767269)

The CEO of Chick-Fil-A, a > 1 Billion USD company, is paranoid, aragant, nor does he do anything to earn a buck.

Now if only they were open on Sundays....

-B

Re:Yes. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767410)

They won't. The CEO is a religious man and doesn't want it to happen. He also doesn't think it is right to keep people from their famlies on Sunday.

Re:What do you expect? (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767473)

Do you expect a succesful CEO in a cut-throat business to be a cheerful guy? Ellison is paranoid (San Jose airport out to get me), arrogant (we're going to take on Microsoft) and often clumsy (Peoplesoft), but he is also still the king of database software (for the time being).

I cannot claim to know him well, but I have met him once and found him to be intelligent, well spoken, and......rather cheerful.

Look, becoming the CEO of the worlds second largest software company is bound to tick a few folks off here and there and being worth as much money as that also tends to isolate one from certain realities that result in a few eccentricities. The San Jose airport thing applies to everyone and I am sure he is wealthy enough to pay the fines that result from flying in past certain hours. The Microsoft thing applies to everyone in software who is not Microsoft (since Microsoft apparently wants to compete with everyone else), and the Peoplesoft thing is simply product diversification. If Oracle could not be all things to all people, other companies are bound to spring up to fill needs.

If he needs a hobby (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767048)

In Ellison's eyes, though, the technology is "cool"; he likes to create technology and respects engineers, he doesn't like to perfect it. If something goes wrong with the product, the company attitude seems to be that it's because customers did something stupid.

It sounds like he'd fit in quite nicely in the open-source world. In fact, his philosophy would make a nice introduction for the Mplayer FAQ. (Q: Why are .avi files are playing with the colors reversed? A: Bite me.)

If you're looking for a recipe how to piss off your customers, screw up your employees, alienate your partners this book is for you: it has a detailed description how to achieve all that based on Larry Ellison's extensive experience.

And yet, somehow Ellison is a billionaire with a MiG and an America's Cup campaign and ElectricAnt is writing reviews on Slashdot...

Re:If he needs a hobby (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767144)

"It sounds like he'd fit in quite nicely in the open-source world."

I don't know how someone described as "he is the 'supreme dictator,' 'extreme narcissist,'" would fit into an open and free culture.

"And yet, somehow Ellison is a billionaire with a MiG and an America's Cup campaign and ElectricAnt is writing reviews on Slashdot"

So you have to be a billionaire to criticize one? You aren't even writing reviews.

Re:If he needs a hobby (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767454)

He could help run the OpenBSD project.

Re:If he needs a hobby (1)

kayen_telva (676872) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767279)

And yet, somehow Ellison is a billionaire with a MiG and an America's Cup campaign and ElectricAnt is writing reviews on Slashdot...

you see ellison's life as desirable ? as something to imitate ? to strive for ? wow.

Re:If he needs a hobby (3, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767433)

Good Lord, I'd never actually read that before. From a section of the FAQ [mplayerhq.hu] :

Q #132: I can't see any picture, only hear the sound
A: you are blind

Q: #133: I have configured and compiled mplayer, how do I use it?
A: try sticking it up your ass.

Thanks for the tip. I'd read about unpleasant dealings with the MPlayer group, but didn't realize how obnoxious they really were. That was an eye-opener.

Re:If he needs a hobby (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767588)

rofl. Why are these Mplayer guys such assholes?

Re:If he needs a hobby (4, Informative)

yppiz (574466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767825)

That's the joke FAQ. Here's a link to the real Mplayer FAQ [mplayerhq.hu] .

--Pat / zippy@cs.brandeis.edu

Re:If he needs a hobby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767547)

Q: Why are .avi files are playing with the colors reversed?
A: Bite me.


Whaaaaat ? It's better than promising you that you will see a whole new world in the next product which should be out in .. ehhhmmm ... any time now. Watch some South Park. Do anything, just get some sense of humor. Send them a reply with "I BITE YA TOO. Fix the damn colors". It should make a great start :).

Not been approved, etc. (4, Insightful)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767052)

"...has not been approved, endorsed or edited by Oracle or Larry Ellison, so it could be that many things were said out loud for the first time."

Or for that matter, it could be that many things (in the book) may be patenly false. How are we to know?

Re:Not been approved, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767111)

Maybe by the other people who were present?

Re:Not been approved, etc. (1)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767381)

Ahh yes, because one is sure to get 100% objective, truthful accounts from people who were victims of Ellison's ambition and have a genuine interest in seeing that he is portrayed in as negative a light possible.

Perhaps I'm being cynical, but I don't hold out much hope for truth in a one-sided publication.

Expert Advice (-1, Offtopic)

Fisting Advice Troll (733147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767086)

Whether you are attending a private sex party or a public club, there are some good manners that should be followed. Obviously these rules will vary for different parties, but here are a few good rules to follow so that you don't become an unwanted guest and never get invited back again.
  • Don't be a sling lizard - In other words, don't get into a sling unless you have a play partner. And if slings are limited, give other people a change to use the sling.
  • Lay down paper towels on the floor before playing to collect any spilled lubrication. You may also want to place a paper towel under the bottoms butt. Wipe off the play area and the bottom completely before leaving the play area. It is the tops responsibility to make sure the lube is wiped off the bottoms butt and that the floor and sling or table is wiped off and clean for the next person.
  • Ask your host what the house rules are This includes where you are allowed to play and what supplies you should bring (I always bring my own lube, beverage, paper towels and other party supplies to private parties). At THE SLING you can bring your own lube or we sell it there. Bring your own beer if desired, we provide sodas, paper towels, gloves, condoms and shower. For all parties it's polite to bring your own towel in case you want to shower
  • Don't just walk up to a play session and join in It's best to try to get some eye contact to see if they want you to join in. It can be very distracting to be in a scene and have somebody just join in especially if you don't want them there.
  • Keep unnecessary conversation and noises out of the play area Try not to have regular conversations where people playing can hear you. Also, if you are a screaming or make loud noises during play, this may disturb other guests. Some people enjoy the loud moans and groans but many find it disturbing.
  • If you move any equipment around return it to the original spot when done For example, if you raise or lower the sling, return it to where it was when you got there. Or if you move a table or chair, return it.
  • Do not share lube. This can lead to the transmission of HIV and other diseases. The cans can become contaminated while playing so it's good to write you name on the jar of crisco or lube.
  • Wash off hands and arms and dick when done playing Preferrably with an antibacterial soap.
  • Don't walk around the party in street clothes or be a gawkerAt most play parties the guys are usually in jocks or chaps so that their butts are exposed
Proper Fisting Technique Photograph [nero-online.org]

Larry and Oracle (5, Funny)

erc (38443) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767095)

Well, you *do* know what ORACLE stands for, don't you? One Real Asshole Called Larry Ellison.

I still remember a lot of the guy's screwups, I was in the Bay Area in the late 80's and early 90's, when Larry habitually compared himself to God. All in all, an incredibly arrogant individual.

Re:Larry and Oracle (3, Interesting)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767259)

2 Words: Network Computer.

Re:Larry and Oracle (1)

inteller (599544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767468)

all of that and he is ugly to boot!

Greg Brady made a poor career decision... (0, Offtopic)

iiioxx (610652) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767109)

Instead of going into the software business, he should have been an architect like his father [tvland.com] .

So what happens... (3, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767126)


... when major Oracle customers read:


(the mindset) ... with Oracles customers (the Oracle mindset is described as "use 'em and dump 'em.")


I know I'd not be particularly happy, but what else do you do ? If your business needs Oracle, then there is no real alternative - Informix is a distant second place, with the rest of the pack some why behind. Good luck porting from "standard SQL" to "standard SQL" as well :-)

I have a certain amount of respect for Ellison (purely down to his PR image, of course :-) but if he's manipulated power into his own hands as much as the review makes out, Oracle is doomed. No one man can provide the needs of a gigantic company like Oracle over the long term - it has to be a collabarative effort ...

Simon

Re:So what happens... (2, Interesting)

Dastardly (4204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767219)

have a certain amount of respect for Ellison (purely down to his PR image, of course :-) but if he's manipulated power into his own hands as much as the review makes out, Oracle is doomed. No one man can provide the needs of a gigantic company like Oracle over the long term - it has to be a collabarative effort ...

So, you read "Good to Great"? Basically, it looks like Larry has put Oracle into the position where the second he leaves they will be screwed. But, they may still do well while he is around. He sounds like the architypical CEO that creates companies that self-destruct when he leaves.

Re:So what happens... (2, Interesting)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767444)

There are plenty of alternatives to Oracle as both a DB and an ERP. As a matter of fact, on the DB side, many customers realize this as Oracle's marketshare is still dropping, which you can find here [ecommercetimes.com] and here [about.com] .

SAP is still crowned victorious in the ERP solutions market. And quite frankly, DB2 and SQL Server are much easier to admin than Oracle, both with an extremely rich set of features, with SQL Server beating Oracle in benckmarks for some time now (until the recent release of 10g where Oracle beats SQL Server in the cluster market) seen here [tpc.org] . Unfortunately for IBM, DB2 doesn't rank very well in either clustered or non-clustered.

Then there's the issue of licensing....

Well whoise the Billionaire Him or the Author (0)

FRAKK2 (166082) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767138)

No matter what you say about him, the software does the business, do i care about management people?

No these are the fuckers that will outsource you in a second, fuck em glad they did not get their fucking stock options.

Oracle is were it is today because it is the best at what it does, did not have to bribe anyone or tell them if they did not use their software, they would be fucked over.

Whatever tyou may say about him, he built a company and a product that shhits over microsofts best and did it because they were the best.

Re:Well whoise the Billionaire Him or the Author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767212)

Does a person have to be a painter like Van Gogh to critique a painting? You are not an author (judging from your spelling) but you're criticizing one.

Re:Well whoise the Billionaire Him or the Author (1)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767291)

Mod this up please (I have not seen mod points in months...)
Larry is a respected for putting together product and a company like no other. Microsoft does not count because many of their products (like SQL server) make it only because they piggyback on Windows monopoly.
Larry deserves a break and entitled to do any weird / ugly thing he did.

Re:Well whoise the Billionaire Him or the Author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767471)

That's like saying Hitler gets a pass because he was a vegetarian and "introduced" order to Germany.

Re:Well whoise the Billionaire Him or the Author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767511)

I can see why you aren't getting mod points any more.

Southwick kept a neutral point of view. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767146)

But hey, we're not worried about the attitude of the book, just the author - so we can talk about how Darth Vader runs Oracle!

I read this book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767147)

The book does not say you can't not fail, but only that failing for failure's sake is an option that isn't not possible.

The way you shouldn't run your business (4, Insightful)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767210)

I guess I will point out the obvious.

If you shouldn't run your business that way
then why is it so successful ?

ask the RIAA's labels.... (1)

rbird76 (688731) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767386)

when you're on top, you can do whatever you want, but if you screw your customers hard enough, eventually they'll find a way to take it out on you. Lots of mp3's would be trading hands no matter what the RIAA's labels had done, but they'd probably be selling more and more easily controlling distribution, and copying would be an annoyance rather than a threat to business, if they hadn't screwed both their artists and their customers. Instead, enough people are pissed and tired of paying the prices asked for CDs that they are willing to sift through lots of crap to screw the RIAA. Not nailing your customers helps to insure that only a few people are likely to try to hurt you when they have the chance.

There's a phrase that seems relevant: When you have a tiger by the tail, you best not let go. Ellison has the tiger by the tail. But he won't forever, and if he's been spending his time beating the hell out of the tiger, things will get bad for him.

Re:The way you shouldn't run your business (3, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767400)

We used to measure success in decades. Now it's measured in quarters. But that's not the real issue.

I would argue that no leader of these large corporations is successful. No matter how large the company grows, the feel the need to make it bigger and bigger and bigger. They all finally get to the point that they are carved up by "the people" in the form an Anti-Trust law, or implode ala Enron.

None of this would happen if leaders would learn contentment. Once you have a working business model, a strong staff, and a steady stream of customers, it is time to sit back and let your investors profit.

Today, no one is profiting. The big names are in a war of attrition and a run for the bottom. Smaller companies are having to compete against artifically low prices, and direct competition from large companies trying to soak up every available dollar.

Investors don't get dividends. Capital is tied up either acquiring companies, protecting the company from aquisitions, or jumping off a cliff with these idiotic offshoring schemes.

So if everyone is miserable, why are we doing it? Ask Captain Ahab.

Re:The way you shouldn't run your business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767432)

Communism was very successfull up until about the 1980s. Just because you can't see the forest through the trees doesn't mean it isn't there, and just because something is successfull now doesn't mean it isn't going to cause a lot of people pain and grief in the long run.

Try thinking long term. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767612)

Ok, if he has all the power, what happens when he dies? Has he properly trained anyone to take the reigns? (no) Is there anyone in the top tier that could effectively step in if something happend? (apparently not) If he's getting ready to shoot himself in the foot, is there anyone there he'd listen to with out getting angry and fireing them for saying "Hey, that may not be a good idea"? (doesn't seem to be).

As long as he's alive, Oracle will "do ok", but once he's out of the picture for any reason, it turns into a house of cards.

Piss off customers? (2, Interesting)

nsxdavid (254126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767267)

I think the idea that he goes out of his way to piss off customers sounds a bit one-sided.

We use Oracle for our back office / billing systems for our MMPOGs; have for about 10 years or so now. Indeed Oracle has been rather obnoxious to us on two occasions; one when they wanted to audit us (being a pretty small fry compared to their other customers, it was bizzare enough but turned out okay because we were in compliance as usual) and when they refused to negotiate on support fees even though we seldom if ever used it (but wanted it just in case something really bad went on).

I'm not sure, however, that if you totally alienate your customers you'd be doing quite as well as Oracle has.

Personally, I think Oracle's DB products are amazingly stable. We had our billing system running, under constant heavy load, for 3 years straight on an NT box. Only shut it down because we wanted to do some system changes. And even that was optional.

I think their tools are antiques though. SQL Server, as a competing commercial product, is much easier to administrate and so forth.

But, like many things, we have Oracle in house experience. Switching would not really be desireable unless they went nuts on us in some way.

I have yet to read the book, but I think I should to get some insight even if it is pretty one-sided.

Re:Piss off customers? (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767742)

I would suggest reading both this and Softwar (a somewhat friendlier bio, that allowed Larry to add footnotes to the manuscript which is sort of a cool idea it lets you read what the character was thinking when something happened). Odd that two books about the same person were published within weeks of each other.

Not sure about Ellison but... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7767288)

I'm not sure what to think of Ellison. However, I have to say that most of the people reviewed control companies (Siebel, Peoplesoft) that produce products I find to be vastly overcomplicated and overhyped. I have to say that Oracle is probably a better place without them, and I think more highly of Ellison as a result of his getting rid of them...

Haven't you every thought, sometimes, that a number of high level execs from your company should just go? Yet no-one will every git rid of them. At least Ellison has the guts to rid upper management of people that do not belong, even if the reason for that is in his head. Whose to say some of those firings were not actually good ideas?

Re:Not sure about Ellison but... (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767831)

On a side note, his CFO has stuck with him for more than a decade. the new VP and Director Safra Catz (or possibly Chuck Phillips), is likely to eventually be his successor, I think the Peoplesoft merger is her project.

autocracy (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767303)

With a ruthless Ellison out for "success" at any cost, his immediate offer to a nascent Department of Fatherland Security of a universal Oracle database modelling every American's every move is chilling. Imagine the harrowing monoculture we'd have when everyone has a unique stored procedure in their ID cards for every bridge/highway entrance, credit transaction, library visit, ballot response.

Is this is a book review, a synopsis, or a rant? (4, Insightful)

Saanvik (155780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767567)

There are three paragraphs talking about the content and quality of book and the rest is a synopsis of the book. Also, although the reviewer says that author "kept a neutral point of view" the reviewer ends with
If you're looking for a recipe how to piss off your customers, screw up your employees, alienate your partners this book is for you: it has a detailed description how to achieve all that based on Larry Ellison's extensive experience.
While the book may be neutral, this paragraph isn't.

IMO, it's pretty clear that the reviewer is more interested in making a statement about how s/he feels about Larry, using sections from the book to follow it up, than in reviewing the book.

Ellsion Was defined by Negative Space of Gates (3, Interesting)

leoaugust (665240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767611)

One thing that the Review did not bring out, which I think the Book might have, is the total fixation that Ellsion has on Gates. It is almost like a fetish. The significant parts of his career can almost said to be defined more by Gates that by his ownself. Gates ain't my favorite, but Ellison is less so.

The Big Fight: Oracle vs. Microsoft [morochove.com] "In this corner is challenger Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and the NC (Network Computer). In the opposite corner is reigning champion Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and the NetPC. The low-cost computing fight has begun. This fight between Ellison and Gates isn?t solely about low-cost computing. It also concerns who?s in charge of the computer industry and mixes in the personal animosity between the two software rivals. Referring to Microsoft, Ellison said, ?The idea the world could be controlled by one company is shocking and unacceptable.? "

There was a time when Oracle's Ellison Closer Than Ever To Richest-Man Title [forbes.com] "Larry Ellison may spend some quality time with his calculator this week. His net worth hasn't been this close to that of rival Bill Gates since 1986--that is, figuring in only their stakes in Microsoft and Oracle. While Oracle's stock has held up well this month, Microsoft shares have fallen dramatically because of renewed speculation that the government will break up the company. As of today's market close, Microsoft Chairman Gates' stake in Microsoft is worth $49.4 billion. Oracle Chief Executive Ellison has $48 billion worth of Oracle stock."

But then it so happened Ellison was reduced to Dumpster Diving into M$ trash [theregister.co.uk] "Ellison maintained his company did nothing illegal in commissioning the investigation, which was revealed earlier this month after the detective agency Oracle had retained, Investigative Group International, was caught trying to buy from dustmen the office rubbish of the Association for Competitive Technology, a Microsoft-funded industry front group. To demonstrate his apparent belief that all's fair in Love, War and Corporate Public Relations, Ellison challenged Microsoft to investigate his own company in return. "We will ship them our garbage," he joked. "We will ship our garbage to Redmond, and they can go through it. We believe in full disclosure.""

Characteristically Ellison told a Forbes reporter in 1996 [forbes.com] that he was about to purchase a T-38 Supersonic jet fighter. "Maybe I should fire a few Maverick missiles in his [Gates'] living room," he joked.

His fixation was apparent when he said ""The only software company we care about a lick ... is Microsoft [wired.com] Oracle is second only to Microsoft in terms of operating margin strength. And while much of Oracle's advertising is focused on its database battle with IBM, Ellison conceded that Microsoft remains his main focus. "The only software company we care about a lick ... is Microsoft," said Ellison, who also fielded questions regarding analysts' and investors' major concerns: executive departures and competition in Oracle's key database market."

In keynote speeches, informal gatherings and private interviews [nwfusion.com] , "the Oracle chief slips easily into long rants on what he sees as Gates' quest to dominate everything Microsoft touches. One favorite Ellison refrain is that Gates wants a world of "Microsoft English." Ellison in recent years has built a public image around pointed attacks on his competitor Microsoft, often singling out its Chairman, rich-man Gates, as a villainous copier of technology with a misguided vision of the computer industry."

Other nice juicy Larry_Speak It's Microsoft vs the world, says Ellison [gnu.org.in] He may not quite cut the figure of a David, but as far as Oracle Corporation founder and chairman Larry Ellison is concerned, there is only one Goliath in the software industry -- Microsoft.

  • "The world is divided into two camps when it comes to software. There are those like Oracle, IBM and Sun, who are working on open source software and setting standards through products like Java and Linux. And in the other camp is .NET -- the personal property of one man and one company," explains Mr Ellison in his trademark contentioius manner.
  • The man who once competed with Bill Gates daily for the title of the richest man in the world during the heydays of the dotcom boom maintains that his dislike of Microsoft has little to do with Bill Gates on a personal level. "It's not a personal scoring match. I just want my team (for open standards) to win the software war," he explained. "It's the World versus Bill, and I am with the world."
  • But that sentiment did not stop Mr Elison from taking frequent digs at Microsoft and Bill Gates throughout his address. "Did you know that Bill invented the Chinese language called MS Mandarin and will now license it to all of you to speak in,": he told a 2,000-strong predominantly Chinese audience. "By the way," he continued in a similar vein, "Microsoft also claims that the Internet belongs to it. Only it's now called MSInternet."
  • Another statement, another dig: "Bill divides the world into two things -- the stuff he owns and everything else. And Microsoft wants to own everything."

Ellison and Jobs (1)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767795)

Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs are reportedly good friends - Ellison even serves on Apple' board.

My question is, when they're in the same room together, does the air begin to smell like shit? Because these have got be be two of the biggest assholes around.

I don't even want to know what would happen if Ellison, Jobs and Ballmer got together in the same room.

Saw Ellison Speak (2, Interesting)

love2hateMS (588764) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767910)

He is worse in person than portrayed here. Arrogant, smug, obnoxious, unrepentant.

Took plenty of digs at Microsoft. One could argue they are both evil, but I suspect Larry is not so much against Bill Gates as jealous of him. Imagine Larry with Bill's monopoly...

If I wasn't an "Oracle Certified Professional" I'd probably badmouth his RDBMS as well... but I need to protect my marketability.

Larry isn't a narcissist (2, Interesting)

dmuth (14143) | more than 10 years ago | (#7767926)

I'm not a shrink, but I've dealt with a couple of narcissists in my time. The big thing with narcissists is that they go around with this big chip on their shoulder, thinking that they are perfect and better than everyone else. It's so severe that they are unable to form many friendships or do much of ANYTHING, since their personality is so abrasive that it alienates most people who come into contact with them. (Lots of good info on narcissism is available at the Malignant Self Love [tripod.com] website)

Like I said, I'm not a shrink, so I don't know what Larry's particular dysfunction may be, but I don't think it's narcissism.

Sorry if I sound like I'm nitpicking. :-)

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