In 2003, the first edition of In Search of Stupidity: Over 40 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters was released to a market still recovering from the release of the best-selling business book of all time—In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies. Such was the influence of the book that for decades millions of innocent executives were forced to read the entire series and attend training seminars to learn how to dispense excellence, control chaos, and worship wow. But as time passed, many of the excellent companies Peters and Waterman had profiled—DEC, IBM, Wang, Xerox and others—either crashed and burned or underwent painful and wrenching traumas. As disillusion set in with Excellence, new business wonderbooks such as the Chasm and Innovator series appeared but alas! these works also failed to guide their adherents to the promised financial Shangri-Las. What went wrong?
In Search of Stupidity provides insights and answers, describing in rich detail how high-tech firms are constantly slipping on avoidable marketing banana peels and falling into the fiery pits of poor product positioning, inept PR, and out-of-control development, all while seeking to throw themselves at the feet of the latest business bodhisattvas. It is thus the sacred mission of this third edition to ensure your company breaks this cycle of despair and suffering. Stupidity:
- Discusses in detail the assumptions and decisions that led the companies profiled to follow the dark trails of marketing ignorance and sales despair.
- Describes the painful consequences of their poor choices.
- Provides detailed analyses of how more enlightened choices could have avoided the woe and misery.
As you walk the path of marketing wisdom with author Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman, the past and future will come alive before you. For example, you will be there as MicroPro, once the industry’s largest desktop software company, destroys itself by committing a fundamental product positioning mistake. You will then journey forward in time 29 years to watch Microsoft repeat MicroPro’s mistakes almost exactly as it destroys its mobile phone business and industry leadership.
Incisive, packed with detail and information, yet very funny, In Search of Stupidity: Over 40 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters is a sacred marketing and sales Vedic text that you must read and study to understand what companies do to fail, what they can do to avoid making yesterday’s mistakes yet again, and who desperately desires to never ever see their learn how to avoid repeating yesterday’s mistakes, and ensure your company is never ever profiled in a new edition.