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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on February 9, 2000
I just finished Kevin Kelly's book, New Rules for the New Economy; it is provocative--"trenchant," as it says on the book jacket. I should preface my next remarks by saying that I'm glad I read the book and will recommend it to certain of you. Some of what Kelly says is compellingly true, and of that part, some of it was relatively new when the book was first written. At the same time,...
I guess it is hard to show what you know in relatively few pages. As a writer, Kelly is clearly his own worst enemy. He uses cryptic graphics that sometimes convey a lot, sometimes convey nearly nothing. He writes oddly--his language is often imprecise, and since he is sort of terse, that occasional vagueness is pretty deadly. Often, too, he reduces what he has to say to sound bites. I'm wary of people who do that. They might be smart, they might be covering up dumb. They oversimplify, and usually end up sounding partly goofy. In this case, some of what Kelly says is sufficiently goofy that I don't know whether he is unaware of what has been written, doesn't understand what he has read, or doesn't believe what he has read.
If you know what you are talking about, you are likely to be interesting. I think Kelly might be an interesting guy. He's no academic, but he's an educational omnivore. He shows evidence of having read some serious work in technological forecasting--but evidence, too, of not having read deeply on the subject. For example, he appears to be unaware of much of econometric and psychometric--that is, measurement--literature, and some of his statements make it appear that he is unaware of fairly well-known literature pertaining to diffusion and substitution in high-technology markets. At the same time, he appears to be intellectually and professionally very much in the center of the transformation of our economy from industrial to informational.
I thought the book was thought-provoking. I recommend it primarily for the relative newcomer to information-economy writings, with the caveat that readers will have to identify for themselves facts, opinions, conjectures, overstatements, baloney, and a few really good ideas.
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on June 15, 1999
An excellent writer, with an overflowing imagination.
An artist, a futurologist, a philosopher, an evangelist, a prophet.
Disturbing, unconventional, and spicy, with lots of humor and a dash of cynicism.
Because of its style, the book could advantageously be delivered as a live conference.
Because of its far reaching vision, the book belongs to a bookstore's fiction department.
The far reaching vision and the stretched reasoning of the author require a rare combination of intelligence, of imagination, and of openness from the reader.
If I go by the use of my highlighter pen, there is a crescendo of thought provoking statements culminating in the last chapter of the book: opportunities before efficiency.
More than just being provocative, the author is a true revolutionary and, in other places and times, he might have been censored and put in prison by the business establishment.
It is amazing how many new words and terms the author could coin and fit into the book. There are enough of them to bust the most robust spelling checker. Here is a sample of them: Chief Destruction Officer, compoundfinitum, econosphere, feelgoods, mess media, pharmagenomics, recommendation engine, rigmarole, taste space, zillionics.
Right off the introduction, the author says: "Even manufacturing companies are affected by the network economy". This statement sets the book apart from many other books, in the same category, that are more explicitly oriented towards services companies. However, there is a huge gap to bridge between the vision put forward in the book and the current state of the technology used by the average manufacturing company.
The weirdest element of vision put forward by the author is, in my opinion, when he talks about a lettuce head with a disposable computer chip attached to its stem, so that the price displayed varies as the lettuce ages and as goes the exchange rate of the Mexican peso.
The book is an invitation to think strategically and to radically change the ways of doing business in the connected economy but, beyond suggesting strategies, it does not provide the reader with specific recipes as of how to actually do it ... and that is fair enough.
The author proposes an action oriented philosophy of quick and frequent trials and errors, betting that the success of some of them will, by far, offset the failure of most of them.
Two characteristics of the books are worth mentioning: a sorted and annotated bibliography and a series of 10 three liner summaries, one for each radical strategy.
Although the author frequently quotes other best-selling authors, as well as well-known economists and futurologists, contrary to other best-selling authors, who happen to be management consultants or university professors, he does not refer to as many company examples and business cases. It is therefore more difficult, for a consultant, to translate the author's vision into practical use for his day-to-day work. The author may be right with the vision he puts forward but, contrary to some other best-selling authors, he does not try to demonstrate that his vision is right, he simply shares his vision and his wisdom with the reader. The reader should not therefore expect to find the same apparent scientific rigor he is used to find in a typical Harvard Business Review article.
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on March 5, 2014
This book is a bit dated, but amazingly dead on with the predictions he gives in the book. Get's a bit preachy
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on January 18, 2001
Mr. Kelly's book was well written and pretty easy to read. I work in the E-Commerce industry, and did not find this book particularly interesting. It is certainly relevant and the information is accurate, but not for someone who is familiar with the industry. I would recommend this as an intro to the field and revolution, but is not particularly insightful for the more experienced. But there are still a few interesting points to ponder...
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