It’s summer. Besides eating ice cream, going to the beach and heading out to the latest blockbuster movies, there’s one thing people love to do this time of year: read. It’s the season of the “summer read,” and this recommendation will leave you wanting more — while also giving more.
At first glance, you might think Verizon Untethered - An Insider's Story of Innovation and Disruption - is a history or textbook. But once you get started, you'll see it's anything but. Ivan Seidenberg, the book's author and former Verizon Chairman and CEO, puts you right in the room with C Suite executives during negotiations and strategy discussions. It tells the story of a company that has always been on the cutting edge of the tech landscape. Ivan shared his thoughts on CNBC recently. Be sure to watch the interview here.
A big bonus.
Although now retired from the business, Ivan's gratitude to V Teamers is never ending and sincere.
I wanted one more opportunity to thank the Verizon family. During my career, there were literally thousands of employees who offered encouragement and support. Their hard work and commitment to our business will always be a great source of pride and appreciation. We will donate the proceeds from the publication of this book to VtoV Employee Relief Fund for the use of Verizon employees and their families in need.
The birth of Fios.
Verizon Untethered takes an in-depth look at the beginning of Fios. The business knew that running fiber-optic cable directly to a home or business would provide the best internet, video and voice experience. Redesigning our network was a costly and risky strategy. In 2007 we hadn't realized that we had succeeded in future-proofing ourselves for 5G.
There was no question this was a gut-wrenching decision for the company. Looking back, this is a clear example of balancing the short-term versus the long-term interests of the company.
We defined running to a crisis.
Chapter Five, "Part of Something Bigger," explains the depth of Verizon's commitment to its employees and communities around the country and the world. Losing three of our own employees during the tragic events of 9/11, just a year and a half after Verizon became a new company, added deeper resound and resilience in working towards a great cause, and helped define the Credo we work by today.
In July 2001, we celebrated our first year as a new company. On September 11, we came of age.
Ivan Seidenberg and Chuck Lee
The iPhone rumors.
Urban legend would have one believe that Verizon had the opportunity to launch the original iPhone. The fact is, Apple's Steve Jobs believed the GSM network would ultimately be the long-term global standard. This is why AT&T, with their TDMA network, was Apple's first choice. In Verizon Untethered, Ivan discusses the iPhone 4 launch on the Verizon network, and how it became the talk of all smartphone enthusiasts. The best phone was finally paired with the best network.
Jon Stewart hosted The Daily Show in 2004 and said the following during his monologue:
For the past three or four years, those of us in the iPhone community have sacrificed one thing for the ability to carry around every photograph we've ever taken or song we've ever listened to or home video or compass: We sacrificed the ability to make calls. For years, for years, for years...struggling with the world's most popular "almost phone." Well, our long national nightmare may soon be over.
Verizon Untethered shows the importance of having a family-like culture, and taking innovative risks, to a company's growth and success. Whether you've worked for Verizon, or you simply want to understand how success is built, take your beach chair down by the water, lather up with SPF 50 and take in your summer read. You'll be glad you did.