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How to Castrate a Bull: Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Success in Business by Pat Walsh, Dave Hitz

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INTERLUDE: What NetApp Does

My mom periodically brings groups of her friends, mostly people outside the tech industry, to NetApp headquarters for a tour. Everything goes great until one of them asks, "What exactly does your company do?" Explaining high-tech companies is hard. I used to struggle, but now I have an answer.

NetApp sells giant boxes of disk drives—hundreds or thousands of disks—to big corporations with lots of data to store. Many movie studios keep animation and special effects on our systems. Yahoo stores e-mail for hundreds of millions of users. Others store less interesting stuff like financial data, information about customers and employees, or maybe engineering designs for cars and chips. Most Americans have indirectly used a ...

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