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Burning the Ships: Transforming Your Company's Culture Through Intellectual Property Strategy

ISBN: 978-0-470-91821-0
208 pages
December 2010
Burning the Ships: Transforming Your Company


Now in paperback, the inside story of "the greatest transformation of Microsoft since it became a multinational company"

Marshall Phelps's remarkable eyewitness story offers lessons for any executive struggling with today's innovation and intellectual property challenges. Burning the Ships offers Phelps's dramatic behind-the-scenes account of how he overcame internal resistance and got Microsoft to open up channels of collaboration with other firms.

  • Discover the never-before-told details of Microsoft's secret two-year negotiations with Red Hat and Novell that led to the world's first intellectual property peace treaty and technical collaboration with the open source community
  • Witness the sometimes-nervous support Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer gave to Phelps in turning their company around 180 degrees from market bully to collaborative industry partner
  • Offers an extraordinary behind-the-scenes view of the high-level deliberations of the company's senior-most executives, the internal debates and conflicts among executives and rank-and-file employees alike over the company's new collaborative direction

There are lessons in this book for executives in every industry-most especially on the role that intellectual property can play in liberating previously untapped value in a company and opening up powerful new business opportunities in today's era of "open innovation." Here is a powerful inside account of the dawn of a new era at what is arguably the most powerful technology company on earth.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors.



Chapter 1 The Collaboration Imperative.

Chapter 2 Like Cortez Burning His Ships.

Chapter 3 Money Isn't Money Anymore.

Chapter 4 A Very Secret Mission.

Chapter 5 Leadership Starts at the Top.

Chapter 6 The Road Ahead (with Apologies to Bill Gates).


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