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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
In the Preface, Karamchedu offers a core premise that senior-level executives in high-technology companies must have a specific mindset which enables them to remain connected, not only with their employer organizations and colleagues but also with their family members and friends. "This book is an attempt to record the [in italics] makings [end italics] of such a mindset. More important, we attempt to establish [in italics] why [end italics] the thinking must be in such a way." Karamchedu also examines the reasons for the failure for so many new product designs which are launched in the high technology sector. "Either the product is not what the customer wanted, or the product did not arrive in time, or [it] did not have a compelling advantage over that of its competitor's. Karamchedu identifies three reasons, any one of which could ensure failure. I was also interested in what Karamchedu had to say about an especially formidable challenge: To coordinate, indeed integrate harmonious collaboration between engineering groups and marketing teams.

Karamchedu carefully organizes 20 chapters within four Parts: The Thinking (e.g. "The Problem"), The Forward Movement Latent in Execution (e.g. "The Context of Execution"), High Tech Contexts: A Semiconductor Company View (e.g. "The Semiconductor Value Chain"), and The Craft and the Mindset (e.g. "Manage Expectations"). If I understand Karamchedu correctly (and I may not), he asserts that more often than not, failure in the high-tech marketplace is not the result of faulty technology and/or a defective strategy; rather, because of a lack of cooperation and collaboration between/among engineers and marketers. This lack of interaction almost always results in ineffective execution. Market windows come and go unrecognized until it is too late. Karamchedu responds to one of the most important questions posed in this book: How is it that, in spite of making remarkable strides in high technology product design, development and deployment of these products in markets, we are still struggling to create a harmony between marketing and engineering professionals?"

For me, Chapter 10 ("The Context of Execution") is one of the most interesting and most valuable because it is in this chapter that Karamchedu focuses on a framework of contexts: the technological, the customer, and the economic. All three must be engaged in driving whatever individual employees create, build, and deploy in the market. Thus viewed, "a high technology company is simply a confluence of the three contexts." Karamchedu views all this as a powerful new paradigm to connect the three contexts with the circle of execution. How? Please see page 92.

Lest these brief remarks incorrectly suggest that this is an especially theoretical, hypothetical book, I hasten to observe that Karamchedu seems well aware of that peril and for that reason includes dozens of concrete examples which effectively illustrate his key points. If I have a concern, it is that the material may seem too technical to marketing executives and not technical enough to engineers. I agree with Karamchedu that "the strength of any high technology product is differentiation and a focused approach to selected markets." Hence the importance of having a vision which provides a clear, unquestionable, solid identity as to [in italics] what we are as a company." Karamchedu views his approach in this book as an "experiment" and it probably is. Be that as it may, executives in high technology companies are indeed provided with "something useful to think about" as they continue to explore and refine the craft of thinking on which the success of their organizations so heavily depends.

Well-done, Raj Karamchedu!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I heard about this book through a friend of mine and bought it. The Slashdot review appeared as I was half-way through the book and it didn't connect. May be it's me, but what I was reading in this book was quite interesting. First of all, this book takes quite an interesting approach to describe the problems in high tech community. It is very readable. The author covers *a lot* of stuff in 230 pages. I do agree with Slashdot reviewer that the author has only described his personal experiences. I've been in the field of IT for over 20 years and I think this is the first time a book talks so much about the people and their mindsets, without trying to offer a new buzzword. Refreshing. Of late I've been dealing with a lot of Indian offshore executives and I highly recommend that high tech companies (may be all companies) in India read this book so that they know how a mature professional ought to think. Part Three of the book is a classic introduction to the real product marketing, just the way it ought to be done in high tech companies. The context framework the author uses repeatedly is quite intriguing, although it just might come across as a little too-rigorous for a professional book like this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Among many other things, I think this is a perfect book to bridge the marketing gap for engineers (and the engineering aspects for product managers). Product specifications invariably evolve as the product is being whetted - and new features may require re-engineering which could delay the product. This stuff happens every day in engineering organizations. Companies have to trade-off between product features and market timing and an inherent tension develops between development and marketing groups.

As with any problem the solution lies in acquiring knowledge - in this case knowledge of the workings of the various groups responsible for the finished product. The book does an excellent job of guiding the user through this process. Like all good solutions maybe the answer is conceptually simple!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I heard about this book through a friend of mine and bought it. The Slashdot review appeared as I was half-way through the book and it didn't connect. May be it's me, but what I was reading in this book was quite interesting. First of all, this book takes quite an interesting approach to describe the problems in high tech community. It is very readable. The author covers *a lot* of stuff in 230 pages. I do agree with Slashdot reviewer that the author has only described his personal experiences. I've been in the field of IT for over 20 years and I think this is the first time a book talks so much about the people and their mindsets, without trying to offer a new buzzword. Refreshing. Of late I've been dealing with a lot of Indian offshore executives and I highly recommend that high tech companies (may be all companies) in India read this book so that they know how a mature professional ought to think. Part Three of the book is a classic introduction to the real product marketing, just the way it ought to be done in high tech companies. The context framework the author uses repeatedly is quite intriguing, although it just might come across as a little too-rigorous for a professional book like this.
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