Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business Paperback – 15 April 2005
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Praise for CABLE COWBOY
"Cable Cowboy is a first-rate work by a first-rate reporter--excellent, original research on a topic that deserves it."
--Bryan Burrough, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate
"With skill and precision, author Mark Robichaux paints a portrait of a man who is both fox and lamb, cunningly ruthless and surprisingly genuine. . . . We get to watch a man who plays chess against opponents who merely play checkers. And we get a really good read."
--Ken Auletta, author of Media Man: Ted Turner's Improbable Empire and Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way
"John Malone's remarkable climb [is] a tale worthy of a great cinematic Western. For the first time, we get a sharp picture of the man behind the mogul, an unflinching portrait of one of the business world's sharpest dealmakers. I dare you to put it down."
--Tom King, author of The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood
"Robichaux has provided a smart assessment of the cable industry through the wild narrative of John Malone . . . and turned it into a tale that manages to be both colorful and informative."
--Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, former chairman of CNN, and author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
"A terrific saga of American enterprise--how lonely wires on windswept hillsides were stretched and spun into the Information Superhighway--as seen through the remarkable career of cable television's greatest entrepreneur."
--David Von Drehle, author of Triangle: The Fire That Changed America
About the Author
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 047170637X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0471706373
- Best Sellers Rank: 41,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As far as being a kindle book goes, the margins and spacing are a little off. I think that this would be better read as a printed book. Nothing was so distracting that I couldn't read it, though.
I found the description of the many struggles of John Malone and Bob Magness as they built Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) to a dominant cable company an unforgettable story. It is a story of a rancher (Magness) who sold is cattle to "climb on towers and wire homes", and of John Malone a financial and business visionary who saved the company from bankruptcy (some will say multiple time) and led it to its powerful position.
I like the author ability to both describes in technical details the early days of the first cable systems and the personalities of the industry visionaries as they fight against many challenges (regulatory, financial and personal).
This book might be more important today (2012) than it was when released in 2005, as the industry is losing some of its dominance. The few broadcasting companies that were undefeated semi-monopoly only 30 years ago were slowly overtaken by the young cable guys as described in this book. Today some of these guys and the mighty cable industry are facing tremendous challenges (cable video subscription had its first negative year), other players are taking prominent position as leaders in the media distribution industry, and once "hooked" clients are debating about "cutting the cord".
The author neither analyzes the industry nor judge its ways. However, it is telling the story of risk taking people with a vision to create a product against all odds.
One might find that the key lesson in this book is that it is not only a company, a technology or a unique position that creates tremendous success, it is also (some will remove the word "also") the people, the captains of change. Read the book and you will have the opportunity to learn about one of these captains, John Malone.
Author of "Why do we sell low and buy high? The guide you must read BEFORE you invest"
Overall a good read.