Silicon Valley’s Library

When I was a teenager I read a book called Barbarians at the Gate about KKR’s leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco. Two journalists detail the dramatic struggle for power and control of the company between Henry Kravis of KKR and Nabisco’s CEO Ross Johnson. From that point, I was hooked on business history. In the valley, there’s a massive collection of verbal history that is passed around. There are anecdotes of Google’s early days with a high burn rate, personal chefs, unbending founders and without a business model in sight; the handful of times Netflix had just enough cash to make payroll that week; the tactics and psychology behind LinkedIn Series B pitch deck; the genesis stories of YC starlets

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