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For more than a decade, my time spent with Rick Chapman and at his events has always been an investment in reality-checking. I don’t always agree with him, but the argument is always worth the effort. Rick’s latest look at reality is opinionated, example-rich, and platitude-free: it challenges his readers to look in the mirror, and ask if what they’re reading sounds like what they don’t want to become.”
VP for Strategic Research at Salesforce
his book, IMO, is written like a Porsche is built: fast, fun, and nimble. Though I picked it up because of its subject matter (computers, software), I also enjoyed it for a second reason: the quality of the writing.
Apparently, the author’s career is not as a writer, but you’d never tell it from how well this book is written- humor, irony, and descriptiveness are wound artfully through most of his descriptions.
Take, for example, this passage, where he’s discussing the marketing of the Ford Mustang vs. the Ford Falcon- to illustrate how IBM’s mistakes with the PC Jr. shared some things in common with Ford’s mistakes with the Falcon:
“Mustangs were fun, sexy, and desirable. Mustang owners were intelligent and cool people with a great sense of value, the type of folks you wished would invite you to a barbecue at their place. Of course, the Mustang, also wouldn’t go very fast (though it looked like it could), got good gas mileage, and was very economical to run. This is because it was, underneath its alluring sheet metal, nothing more than a reskinned Ford Falcon. But by dint of good design, … the Mustang became a car you could aspire to, whereas the Falcon was just a cheap set of wheels.”
That’s a lot more interesting to read, IMO, than most high-tech history books, or marketing manuals.
Yet, the author wraps in lots of value in those areas, as well. The book is filled with history, in a level of detail that only an insider (which he was) could know, and marketing insight, with a nuts-and-bolts examination that makes sense out of large & complicated industry situations.
I’ve really enjoyed reading, and dipping back into, this book. I almost never open up books after I’ve read them, but this one is an exception. I find myself keeping it around where I can get to it easily- and reading excerpts just for the fun of it. IMO, this guy’s writing is great.
Perhaps that’s why this book reminds me of a Porsche: it’s valuable, it’s well-designed, but better yet, you find yourself having fun while you’re also getting someplace.