Monday, May 26, 2008

The Big Switch or Cold Steel?

Blame it on IPL. My reading (blogging too!) has suffered a slowdown of late. More so because I did not notice seriously appealing business reading in my last few trips to Landmark and Odyssey stores. I also felt quite irritated at the parking problems in Chennai Citi Centre and the crowds at Landmark Spencers to just drop the idea of some serious book-surfing.

However, when you cannot chase books, sometimes books themselves beckon you. I find two books on my table competing for my attention. So what am I planning to read?

Nicolas Carr, thinker and author, who kicked a storm few years with his earlier work "Does IT Matter?" His latest book is titled equally provocatively, "The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google".

The Big Switch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other option is "Cold Steel: Lakshmi Mittal and the Multi-Billion Dollar Battle for a Global Empire" by Tim Bouquet and Byron Ousey.

Cold Steel

 

I remain quite fascinated by anything steel since I first worked at SAIL. The sheer scale of anything to do with steel making is remarkably fascinating be it the production facilities, the mines, the business of steel and so on.

What does not help is that I remain equally fascinated by the transformational capabilities of the wires (read as the information flowing via those wires). Both steel and wires are quite international in its value chain (raw material sourcing, production, technology, markets etc). And by modern growth standards, both steel and wire are considered infrastructure now. There is one stark difference though- the business of wires does not have any clear dominant player, whereas the business of steel has.In a lighter vein it could even be said that one is in the business of flats, whereas the other makes the world flat.

Am I making too many assumptions about these two books.

So perhaps I would be reading both these books in parallel till the point one completely overtakes my attention. Any thoughts?

Test

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