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In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters, Second Edition
Nov 19, Santhosh rated it really liked it. I couldn't walk past a book with a title like this, could I?
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- Search Stupidity Over Twenty Years by Merrill Chapman.
- In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters;
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- In Search of Stupidity – Over 20 years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters.
Written in response to In Search of Excellence , this book is an excellent read for anyone in the computer industry and interested in the history behind how some companies became icons overnight and how some others screwed their own markets. The book starts from the halcyon days of the late s and comes on toward the first decade of this millennium.
Along the way we get a history lesson on the computer industry, from the genesis days I couldn't walk past a book with a title like this, could I? Along the way we get a history lesson on the computer industry, from the genesis days when everyone knew everyone to the boom days of multi-billion contracts.
We also get a feel of the way different companies were perceived by the public at different times, the aura that surrounded some IBM in particular , the mess that various companies brought themselves into, eccentric characters who helped shape the course of history, snippets and two-way accounts of various stories, and lots and lots of absolutely hilarious accounts of decisions made by companies.
T, the worst game in computing history. The resultant efforts to differentiate the two, and the uncertainty created in the buying public, resulted in MicroPro ceding leadership in the word processing market to Microsoft Word, and ultimately, in the company's demise. Oct 23, Tomas Bella rated it it was ok. This book contains some interesting bits about the software industry in 80s and 90s, but as a whole, it was a big disappointment.
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The author is quite self-centered, never forgetting to mention that "he was there", whether it has any relevance to the story or not. This quickly becomes very annoying. The structure of the book is a bit strange, some parts are repeated several times and the "lessons learned" for each chapter are oddly placed at the very end of the book, where you have already forgott This book contains some interesting bits about the software industry in 80s and 90s, but as a whole, it was a big disappointment. The structure of the book is a bit strange, some parts are repeated several times and the "lessons learned" for each chapter are oddly placed at the very end of the book, where you have already forgotten what the chapter was about.
Also, the book mostly fails to deliver what it promises in its title: it is quite easy to pronounce every bad business decision as "stupid" 10 or 20 years after it already happened and the author, again, never fails to mention that he personally would indeed made better decision , but only in rare ocasions it is really helpful to the reader who is trying to learn how to avoid making such mistakes in future.
To sum it up, this is not a waste of time if you are really interested in history of software and if you manage to ignore all the bragging of the autor , but do not expect too much practical tips about marketing or too much examples of real marketing failures.
In Search of Stupidity – Over 20 years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters | David Gristwood's Blog
View all 5 comments. Shelves: programmers-must-read. Amazing overview of some of the fatal mistakes that some really large companies made and ended up fading into oblivion. If you are fan of Joel Spolsky's writing, you will definitely enjoy this. Most of the things are indeed very practical and the software industry does seem to have learned a lot from these disasters.
I noticed that some of the reviewers are annoyed by the fact that the author has added several footnotes about mentioning his presence at certain events relevant to the story. Well, Amazing overview of some of the fatal mistakes that some really large companies made and ended up fading into oblivion. Well, I think it's cool that he was present there.
Aug 08, Thomas Paul rated it it was amazing. In , Tom Peters told the world about how excellent companies were turning around the US economy. What Peters failed to recognize was that many of the companies that he was looking at weren't actually "excellent" but were in fact huge clunking dinosaurs that were producing buggy whips in the age of the automobile. New, smaller companies came around and ate the lunch of the big "excellent" guys and then proceeded to make either the exact same stupid mistakes as the big guys or new and more inn In , Tom Peters told the world about how excellent companies were turning around the US economy.
New, smaller companies came around and ate the lunch of the big "excellent" guys and then proceeded to make either the exact same stupid mistakes as the big guys or new and more innovative stupid mistakes. This book basically deals with the stupidity found in high tech companies of the 's and 's. Why is Microsoft such a huge company today? It isn't because their products were better or because they cheated other companies out of their rightful place in the market.
It's because they weren't as stupid as their competition.
In Search of Stupidity
Merrill Chapman takes us through the comedy of errors that companies like Digital Research, WordStar, Lotus, and Ashton-Tate went through as they tossed their market leads aside in fits of stupidity. You can't help but laugh or cry at the amazing levels of stupidity that these companies exhibited. Examples: WordStar was once one of the finest word processing programs in the world.
But somehow the company ended up owning two competing mediocre products. Lotus was the leader in spreadsheets but ignored the rise of Windows and allowed themselves to be knocked out of first place by Excel. These and many more examples are well documented in this book. The book is not an in-depth study of the business world. You won't find very much analysis of why a particular company made such obviously fatal errors.
Why did Borland pay an outrageous sum to buy Ashton-Tate at a time when Ashton-Tate had virtually nothing that Borland needed?
Over Twenty Years of High Tech Marketing Disasters
Rick Chapman. Rick Chapman is the author of the first edition of In Search of Stupidity. He has worked in the software industry since as a programmer, salesman, support representative, senior marketing manager, and consultant for many different companies, including WordStar really MicroPro, but no one remembers the name of the company , Ashton-Tate, IBM, Inso, Novell, Bentley Systems, Berlitz, Hewlett-Packard, and Ziff-Davis. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving….
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source Chapman Goodreads Author. It's a funny and well-written business book that takes a look at some of the most influential marketing and business philosophies of the last twenty years. Through the dark glass of hindsight, it provides an educational and entertaining look at why these philosophies didn't work for many of the country's largest and best-known high-tech companies.
Marketing wizard Richard Chapman takes you on a hilarious ride in this book, which is richly illustrated with cartoons and reproductions of many of the actual campaigns used at the time.