Swipe to Unlock: The Primer on Technology and Business Strategy Info

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Reviews for Swipe to Unlock: The Primer on Technology and Business Strategy:

5

Nov 04, 2018

"Swipe to Unlock" is one of the best books Ive read this year. Written in an engaging way, the authors are really creative at using analogies and every day examples to explain different technologies and business concepts. The book does an excellent job at demystifying the workings of the tech industry.
How does Facebook make billions without charging its users a penny? This is one the many questions which were answered in the book.
Swipe to Unlock offers fascinating insights into the business side "Swipe to Unlock" is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Written in an engaging way, the authors are really creative at using analogies and every day examples to explain different technologies and business concepts. The book does an excellent job at demystifying the workings of the tech industry.
How does Facebook make billions without charging its users a penny? This is one the many questions which were answered in the book.
“Swipe to Unlock” offers fascinating insights into the business side of tech. Why does Amazon offer Prime if it loses them money? Why is Uber so dead-set on self-driving cars? Why did Facebook buy the VR company Oculus? Why did Microsoft buy LinkedIn? On the surface, technology companies may not seem to be following the general rules of economics, but the book does a fantastic job of explaining the motives behind such strategies.
One case which I found fascinating was about how Nordstrom offers free WiFi to learn how and where people are moving through the store by triangulating their location and see where customers spend the most time.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing how the business side of the tech industry works and understand how technology is affecting our everyday lives. ...more
5

Feb 27, 2018

Superbly well written, especially for someone like me with zero tech background. It reads like a bunch of stories (which it is), so you pick up a lot of really important information without feeling like you're learning. Yet I came away with a stronger understanding of the cloud, internet, big data, business strategy, etc. I can't emphasize enough how accessible it is to someone with no experience like me.

My favorite chapter is probably the one on app economics. The way they break down seemingly Superbly well written, especially for someone like me with zero tech background. It reads like a bunch of stories (which it is), so you pick up a lot of really important information without feeling like you're learning. Yet I came away with a stronger understanding of the cloud, internet, big data, business strategy, etc. I can't emphasize enough how accessible it is to someone with no experience like me.

My favorite chapter is probably the one on app economics. The way they break down seemingly strange business decisions like why Amazon offers Prime is sharp and well thought-out, and it's trained me to be a better analytical thinker. Awesome!

Also they cited the hell out of this book. Very well researched.

The one thing I'd like to see changed is a beefier index where you can reference key concepts, not just companies. Hopefully that comes in a later version. But regardless, bravo — telling all my friends about this! ...more
5

Sep 05, 2018

tl;dr a great overview of the tech/biz aspects of tech companies to fill gaps in knowledge and highly recommended for aspiring program/product managers

This book is exactly what it claims to be -- "a guide which enables anyone to understand the core concepts of tech and the business strategy behind it". It is written with the intention of being accessible, which it goes above and beyond with! Coming from a technical background, I felt that the book covers hot tech topics to exactly the right tl;dr a great overview of the tech/biz aspects of tech companies to fill gaps in knowledge and highly recommended for aspiring program/product managers

This book is exactly what it claims to be -- "a guide which enables anyone to understand the core concepts of tech and the business strategy behind it". It is written with the intention of being accessible, which it goes above and beyond with! Coming from a technical background, I felt that the book covers hot tech topics to exactly the right extent for its purposes; no more, no less. My major takeaways were primarily from the business-related insights. That said, this is NOT the read you pick up to learn about the intricacies of network protocols or how to build a neural net, or the details of B2B. But it is the one you pick up to learn about the business/product marketing side if you're a techie, or to learn about core tech industry information if you're a biz person. I'd also recommend this book if you're neither and want to delve into the tech industry without much starting knowledge.
In addition, while this gets a little meta, the authors' writing style is an exemplar of communicating technical information to non-technical audiences in a coherent, engaging way. This is an imperative skill for the program/product management role at many tech companies, and as an aspiring PM I felt that I learned by example from this book. ...more
5

Mar 26, 2018

Fantastic insights into the business side of tech. Why does Amazon offer Prime if it loses them money? Why is Uber so dead-set on self-driving cars? Why did Facebook buy the VR company Oculus? Answers to all these questions are inside. The book does a great job avoiding jargon, too. Heck my mom read it and she could understand it all. Not common for a tech book.

One of the top 3 books business/techies should read, along with The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Fantastic insights into the business side of tech. Why does Amazon offer Prime if it loses them money? Why is Uber so dead-set on self-driving cars? Why did Facebook buy the VR company Oculus? Answers to all these questions are inside. The book does a great job avoiding jargon, too. Heck my mom read it and she could understand it all. Not common for a tech book.

One of the top 3 books business/techies should read, along with The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses and Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. ...more
5

Oct 25, 2018

I liked this book a lot and would like to read it again sometime just to refresh my memory.

The authors are able to explain technology and business concepts in an easy to understand way. They are really good at using analogies and every day examples to explain things that are not in physical life. Take API for example, if you google API, this will come up: "An application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Basically, an API I liked this book a lot and would like to read it again sometime just to refresh my memory.

The authors are able to explain technology and business concepts in an easy to understand way. They are really good at using analogies and every day examples to explain things that are not in physical life. Take API for example, if you google API, this will come up: "An application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Basically, an API specifies how software components should interact. Additionally, APIs are used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components." Instead of using those dry language, the author picked google map API as an example and went through how apps like Yelp and Uber can use it without reinventing the wheel.

For people who are already technology savvy, this may be too simple. For me, this reads kept me interested. Previously, I didn't know the difference between http and https and how public wifi is easy to be hacked.

This book is the new 101 in this era. ...more
2

Feb 19, 2018

Firstly, I'm not sure what the target audience for this book is - non-coders is too broad a category. I'm a product manager and I picked this book up as I have also been planning to write blogs to simplify technology and businesses for a layman. Most of the business concepts it covers can be easily understood by just reading popular tech blogs. It fell short of explaining technological concepts well and it only skimmed the surface most often.
The book generally reads like a congregation of Quora Firstly, I'm not sure what the target audience for this book is - non-coders is too broad a category. I'm a product manager and I picked this book up as I have also been planning to write blogs to simplify technology and businesses for a layman. Most of the business concepts it covers can be easily understood by just reading popular tech blogs. It fell short of explaining technological concepts well and it only skimmed the surface most often.
The book generally reads like a congregation of Quora questions and answers and although I really liked the analogies used, I didn't derive much value from this book. ...more
5

Feb 25, 2018

This book has altered how I analyze business strategy. It was fascinating learning about how Nordstrom offers free WiFi to learn how and where people are moving through the store by triangulating location for instance. I highly recommend reading this book if you want to learn how the tech in your life actually works and why it works the way it does.
5

Feb 25, 2018

One of my friends recommended this book to me because I was interested in going into tech. The book was really insightful and a very quick read, covering topics like machine learning, algorithms, and cloud services. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to learn more about what technologies are being used in the tech space!
5

Feb 25, 2018

This book was incredibly informative giving facts and points about the industry and many things I had always had a question on, but didn't know where/how to find the answer. It was very easy to read with the topics of the books laid out nicely and with many examples that you will be able to remember when telling others about the contents of the book.

I don't work in tech, but the industry is fascinating to me, and this book provided a deeper knowledge into some topics that I have read in the This book was incredibly informative giving facts and points about the industry and many things I had always had a question on, but didn't know where/how to find the answer. It was very easy to read with the topics of the books laid out nicely and with many examples that you will be able to remember when telling others about the contents of the book.

I don't work in tech, but the industry is fascinating to me, and this book provided a deeper knowledge into some topics that I have read in the news. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in tech and would like to have a broader knowledge when reading about the industry or discussing with others ...more
5

Nov 14, 2019

Whether you work in tech or not, this is a worthwhile read to understand the tech-driven (/hindered?) world around us!
3

Nov 24, 2018

I picked this book up because I was interested in reading good examples of essays explaining technology to a non-technical audience, an essential skill for good Product Managers. This book had many great analogies, covered significant ground (everything from tech business strategy to how the internet works to hardware and machine learning), and had one of the most interesting, but not the most complete, explanations of software (algorithms + APIs + A/B testing) I've read. Yet while my initial I picked this book up because I was interested in reading good examples of essays explaining technology to a non-technical audience, an essential skill for good Product Managers. This book had many great analogies, covered significant ground (everything from tech business strategy to how the internet works to hardware and machine learning), and had one of the most interesting, but not the most complete, explanations of software (algorithms + APIs + A/B testing) I've read. Yet while my initial expectation was mostly met, I ultimately felt this book was lacking and would hesitate to recommend it to people interested in product management or anyone who is even moderately familiar with popular tech media (TechCrunch, Business Insider, etc.).

While the topic selection was excellent, many of the explanatory essays were insufficiently ambitious or creative and instead merely summarized popular media coverage. The writing team avoided hard explanations (a more in depth explanation of even one of the algorithms hinted at would have been greatly appreciated), substantive sources (with a few exceptions, including one section on acquisitions where they cite some SEC filings), and gave short shrift to the points of view they did not hold in contentious debates (like in their coverage of net neutrality where they don't really explain or rebut the FCC's decision to classify ISPs as "information services").

This was most painfully apparent in the section entitled "How does Pokemon Go work?". The answer the authors give is essentially camera/sensors + algorithms, the sources cited are mostly written by journalists from publications like Fast Company or by members of fan forums, and the reader ultimately emerges without any additional understanding, regardless of their background (unless they've never heard of Pokemon Go). This is compounded by the continuous anonymous and unqualified references to sources as "experts", "economists", etc. which makes it very difficult to understand who the prominent voices are in each area.

I really like the concept of this book and admire the authors for undertaking this ambitious and broad project. They succeeded in being readable, representing some information using clever metaphors, and highlighting the most important topics in the tech industry. I think a revised version of this book with a pared down topic list, more substantive sources (possibly including interviews conducted by the authors, academic literature from economics, computer science, sociology, etc., legal documents, and the like), and more critical analysis of these sources to give readers a good understanding of the debates going on in technology instead of an almost meaningless taste would be a book I would recommend to anyone interested in learning more about the tech industry. ...more
3

Nov 14, 2018

I believe this book to only be useful to those not already working in the tech industry and are in no way interacting with popular tech news. This book is a "primer" in that if you have never heard of the topics or companies listed in the table of contents, it will provide you with only the most basic of understanding when you finish reading a chapter. I tried to keep an open mind from beginning to end while reading this book but was ultimately left underwhelmed and disappointed. While well I believe this book to only be useful to those not already working in the tech industry and are in no way interacting with popular tech news. This book is a "primer" in that if you have never heard of the topics or companies listed in the table of contents, it will provide you with only the most basic of understanding when you finish reading a chapter. I tried to keep an open mind from beginning to end while reading this book but was ultimately left underwhelmed and disappointed. While well intentioned, Swipe to Unlock reads like yet another book-as-a-business card piece of fluff that doesn't really provide value to readers with even the most basic understanding of today's tech industry. Given the background of the authors, I expected a more in-depth breakdown and analysis of the products and competitive landscape of the companies and events mentioned. I'll give the authors credit for creating easy to understand metaphors between older forms of business and their modern day tech counterparts and useful citations to do additional reading. ...more
5

Jul 19, 2018

The authors not only did a wonderful job of making complicated concepts very easy to understand, but they also wrote in a way that is engaging and inspiring to read. I was deeply engaged by Swipe to Unlock since its first page, and kept on reading it non-stop. This book was so helpful and pleasing to read that it made me, a Social Science student, develop a genuine interest in the world of tech and tech business strategies.

The only suggestion I would give is that I wish the book had talked more The authors not only did a wonderful job of making complicated concepts very easy to understand, but they also wrote in a way that is engaging and inspiring to read. I was deeply engaged by Swipe to Unlock since its first page, and kept on reading it non-stop. This book was so helpful and pleasing to read that it made me, a Social Science student, develop a genuine interest in the world of tech and tech business strategies.

The only suggestion I would give is that I wish the book had talked more about blockchain. After reading the chapter on hacking and security, I was intrigued by bitcoin and wish to learn more about the evolving cryptocurrency market.

If you want a book that engages you in a thought-provoking way about the insights behind major business strategies and trends in the tech world, I would highly recommend you buy Swipe to Unlock.
...more
1

Feb 12, 2019

Duh! If anyone reads TechCrunch, they'd be better informed than this book.

I finished it in two hours. Seems like anyone already working in tech sector is bad audience for this book.

Moreover people claiming this to be the "best book I've read this year" are almost liars. Or they probably felt super-intelligent after reading the fluff and keywords they already know - "Big Data, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Dark Web"....
4

Jul 27, 2019

Swipe to unlock is a very concise and well-written guide on how modern technologies and tech business work and operate. It is written for a general audience with no assumption of any prior understanding of the tech scene, and honestly, it does a really good job getting people up to speed. I especially loved how the book explains much-discussed but esoteric technology concepts like VPN, deep web, data spoofing, self-driving-cars, etc. without dumbing them down too much with a lot of case studies Swipe to unlock is a very concise and well-written guide on how modern technologies and tech business work and operate. It is written for a general audience with no assumption of any prior understanding of the tech scene, and honestly, it does a really good job getting people up to speed. I especially loved how the book explains much-discussed but esoteric technology concepts like VPN, deep web, data spoofing, self-driving-cars, etc. without dumbing them down too much with a lot of case studies which are aptly used to provide real-world context. Highly recommended for people without technological background. ...more
4

Dec 16, 2018

Accessible and fun read for anyone interested in tech

If there is a big tech topic you're interested in, but didn't feel comfortable asking someone about it, then this may be the book for you. The authors structure the content in a question and answer fashion, making it highly accessible for anyone interested in the tech industry. I had fun reading it, just know that the content (e.g. company examples) is predominantly US-centric, but it's still a good place to start for the big tech topics of Accessible and fun read for anyone interested in tech

If there is a big tech topic you're interested in, but didn't feel comfortable asking someone about it, then this may be the book for you. The authors structure the content in a question and answer fashion, making it highly accessible for anyone interested in the tech industry. I had fun reading it, just know that the content (e.g. company examples) is predominantly US-centric, but it's still a good place to start for the big tech topics of the day. Kudos to the authors! ...more
5

Feb 25, 2018

Swipe to Unlock is one of those books that makes daunting concepts easy to understand and more importantly fun to read. I work at a tech company in a non-technical role and I use these terms/concepts everyday. They took years to understand, and I could have really benefited from a book like this. I gave this to my mom so she could better understand the stuff I am doing at work and now she's using terms like "algorithms" and "internet security" in our daily conversations. I highly recommend this Swipe to Unlock is one of those books that makes daunting concepts easy to understand and more importantly fun to read. I work at a tech company in a non-technical role and I use these terms/concepts everyday. They took years to understand, and I could have really benefited from a book like this. I gave this to my mom so she could better understand the stuff I am doing at work and now she's using terms like "algorithms" and "internet security" in our daily conversations. I highly recommend this book for all ages especially those who are trying to be more involved in tech ...more
5

Jun 26, 2018

Swipe to Unlock allowed me to understand technology in an easy manner that was understandable with various simple examples. I love learning about how various companies generate/dont generate revenue: Google, Facebook, Venmo, etc. This book is a must read in order to understand technology today and the projections of what is to come. Swipe to Unlock allowed me to understand technology in an easy manner that was understandable with various simple examples. I love learning about how various companies generate/don’t generate revenue: Google, Facebook, Venmo, etc. This book is a must read in order to understand technology today and the projections of what is to come. ...more
5

Apr 28, 2018

Good Read!

This was a fascinating read, even for someone with tech experience.

The book serves as a handy introduction to many tech trends and business sense required to make tech profitable.
3

Mar 27, 2019

Had some interesting ideas but as light on strategy and focused a lot more on just explaining technology.
2

Jan 15, 2019

Rudimentary if you are in tech. Valuable for those entering or have not been exposed to these topics.
3

Aug 27, 2018

Good introductory book about technology. Very recent (2018) so the information is still relevant. If you work in IT, you probably know most of what is written here.
4

Feb 05, 2019

The book gives us a peek into the technology that we use everyday without which our life would seem impossible, decodes the biggest buzzwords, and shows how technology is changing the world that we live in today for better or worse.

It begins with the technology that we use every single day like Android or iOS apps, to concepts like "the cloud", "artificial intelligence", "dark web", to business, legal, and political implications of technology.

It keeps you engaged with the answers to the The book gives us a peek into the technology that we use everyday without which our life would seem impossible, decodes the biggest buzzwords, and shows how technology is changing the world that we live in today for better or worse.

It begins with the technology that we use every single day like Android or iOS apps, to concepts like "the cloud", "artificial intelligence", "dark web", to business, legal, and political implications of technology.

It keeps you engaged with the answers to the real-world questions like:
1. How does Spotify determine what songs to recommend to you?
2. Why does Amazon offer free shipping with Prime if it loses them money?
3. Why did Microsoft aquire LinkedIn?
4. How do self-driving cars work?
5. How did Target figure out that a teenager was pregnant before her own father did?

I was totally impressed by the analogies used in the book to explain the complex science behind different technologies. It improves the understanding of the technology side of business and the business side of technology.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who's looking to get an insight into the world of technology and understand the rationale behind the biggest business manoeuvres in recent times. ...more
3

Jan 29, 2020

I enjoyed reading this book meaning I found it quite entertaining. It took to me about 4 hours to complete it. The problem is that being a Product Manager myself I haven't learned much. The chapters are mostly trivia to questions that normally are found (including the answers) in Techcrunch and similar websites. It didn't help to develop a strategy or even an approach to Product Management, so if your ultimate purpose is to become one, I advice you to read Innovators' Dilemma and Crossing the I enjoyed reading this book meaning I found it quite entertaining. It took to me about 4 hours to complete it. The problem is that being a Product Manager myself I haven't learned much. The chapters are mostly trivia to questions that normally are found (including the answers) in Techcrunch and similar websites. It didn't help to develop a strategy or even an approach to Product Management, so if your ultimate purpose is to become one, I advice you to read Innovators' Dilemma and Crossing the Chasm at least but not this book.
On the other hand I gave this book to my son that is 12 years old and seems he is enjoying it.
So in conclusion, if you are an average technologist you don't need this book. If you are a total beginner then it might help to get a general knowledge about basic business strategy, marketing and technology. For sure you won't be able to pass any job interview as Product Manager with Google, Facebook, Amazon and any other company using solely the content of this book.
Honestly I'm quite surprised of the positive reviews and the high rating. Maybe there is something I quite didn't get right. ...more
5

Dec 31, 2018

Being a doctor in a business school came with its own set of esoteric experiences, but one thing that always intrigued me was 'Product Management'- one of the most sought after job profiles by most of the engineers at ISB, more so because I had absolutely no clue about what does it entail and what a Product Manager actually does. I tried my best to understand some terms and digital value chains, but trying to understand these in depth was like asking for too much from a fast-track 51 week Being a doctor in a business school came with its own set of esoteric experiences, but one thing that always intrigued me was 'Product Management'- one of the most sought after job profiles by most of the engineers at ISB, more so because I had absolutely no clue about what does it entail and what a Product Manager actually does. I tried my best to understand some terms and digital value chains, but trying to understand these in depth was like asking for too much from a fast-track 51 week course.
I heard about this book called 'Swipe to Unlock' last week and immediately bought a Kindle copy. This book is an honest attempt towards making non-tech people understand the nuances of technology, product management, digital value chain etc and thanks to the book I have a much better understanding of the intricacies and work flow that are involved in a typical product management job.
Thanks Parth Detroja Neel Mehta Aditya Agashe for writing this. ...more

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