"World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It" (Portfolio/Penguin), by John A. Byrne: Some businesses become so embedded in our lives it's hard to imagine a day without them. We get up and grab a cup of
In his new book, "World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It," John A. Byrne, the former executive editor of BusinessWeek, gets invitations to sit down with the people behind those big-name companies. It's an impressive accomplishment, but what he gets out of the conversations is somewhat uninspired. Maybe it's the book's format, a short introduction to each person followed by a question-and-answer transcript of the interview, which allows the subject to ramble unchecked. Or maybe Byrne isn't asking the right questions. But readers who expect to come away with any great insights are likely to be disappointed.
Also disappointing: the lack of female voices in the book. Of the 27 people profiled (co-founders share chapters),
Still, the book does contain entertaining and interesting facts, especially for readers unfamiliar with the founding stories of some of the country's most transformational companies. Readers learn that a $40 late fee for forgetting to return the movie "Apollo 13" helped inspire Reed Hastings to found Netfix; Starbucks head