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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Even when he's not at his best, as is the case in The Pursuit of Wow!, Tom Peters is head-and-shoulders above any other management guru. Peters is all about simplicity and excitement, both in his language and in his message. His basic mantra never changes: The workplace is becoming ever more competitive, so you need to make yourself and your company stand out. Do this by viewing your work as a series of critical projects and injecting limitless enthusiasm into each one. In delivering this consistent message, Peters tosses out scores of common-sense lines that are so insightful that you just have to jot them down. You'll find quite a few such keepers in this book, but you won't find too much of an overriding theme. Instead, Peters presents a string of 210 observations that flow together loosely. If you want to get going , we recommend this motivational booster.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2000
Here's Tom Peters' advice: hire "zany" people who don't know how to dress professionally (because they have a lot of energy); throw out every idea, concept, and system that has ever WORKED for your firm (because you don't want to grow stale); and forget any and all conventional measures of success (because they're wrong, and Tom Peters is right). We are not in business to make money or even to provide a great product/service --we're in business to be different at all costs (proof: Peters pooh-pooh's McDonald's as "McOrdinary's"). Although some of his ideas might prove useful to some readers, I found myself increasingly annoyed with Peters' own infatuation with himself ("aren't I crazy? aren't I just rocking your world?"). His tone conveys the sense that he'll say anything to be shocking--hardly a good motivation for writing a business book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 1996
Tom Peters does it again with another gut wrenching hatchet job on dullard business practices.
Sharpen-up your Harry Lorayne or Bob Trudeau memory systems because this time Mr. Peters gives you 210 concrete reccomendations how you can build over-excellence or "WOW!" into your company (Or the next PTA bake sale).
Brimming with everything from one-liners to multi-page essays, this book screams "MUST!" if you intend to drive your organization up to the next level (or perhaps drive your own life).
Leave your steel tip shoes at the door 'cause after devouring this volume you'll want to give a good swift kick in the ass to anyone who says "It can't be done."
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2002
Tom Peters is a management prophet with a lot of fascinating ideas. This book is a collection of his thoughts where you'll see a strong emphasis on destroying superfluous hierarchies and worn-out practices. That's the Peters message and it's worthwhile. However, he has an annoying tendency to insist on his own authority that businesses make radical changes lest they perish. In many cases, I wonder why. Peters has no apparent respect for the point of view that tradition represents collected wisdom about things that have worked and may well keep working.
What really ruined the book for me, though, was a panel discussion on diversity in which Peters attributes his own success to being a white male Protestant born in 1942. That kind of racial reductionism is horse-puckey and contradicts his emphasis on self-determination and constant renewal.
I still give the book three stars for entertainment value, a smart format, and general provocation.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2002
This is the abridged version of the review
If `apple pie' and a business version of `words to live by from mother', is up your alley, then Tom Peters The Pursuit of WOW!, is the soft cover management book for you!!! Peter's book is an amalgamation of `everything you were ever taught' and that has slipped your mind, on how to do good business. Primarily aimed at management and entrepreneurs there is a little something for everyone, broken into 210 sections, which are sorted into 13 categories, Peters for the most part, has an informal narrative style that utilises case studies, interviews, personal experience, examples and photographs that are consumer friendly. The end result is that WOW! can be opened at any page or read from beginning to end (although I wouldn't recommend it all in one sitting).
Entrepreneurs' Dream
Another chapter, another group, this time Peters brings together a group of 11 entrepreneurs for "a free-for-all discussion on the perils and joys of starting your own business". The distinct feeling of `one- up-man-ship' starts to leave a nauseous roiling in the gut, and even Peters himself states "pick your metaphor". Little to no structure is present, while ideas from passion and creativity to staleness and demotion are wildly bounced around.

Attaining Perpetual Adolescence
Peters uses chapter 12 to espouse the value of the `big concepts' that make a difference (in his humble opinion) to the success of an entrepreneur/manager. Iconoclastic, Inquisitive, Audacious, Crazy, Passionate, Advanced immaturity and Self-improvement, to mention just a few. The problem is, without application, they are just words and words that are hard to spell at that. One gets the distinct impression that he has put the most popular jargon and buzzwords of the moment into a hat and written a sentence on the resulting selection. Hype? Definitely. Practical application? Dicey at best.

In summation, one can't help but be left with the feeling that Peters was beginning to run out of things to write, the format of the chapters became shorter as the book progressed, furthermore the input from him lessened and had less `wow' the more you read. The knowledge that Peters imparts for most is known, but through laziness, busyness or lack of practicality is not used. Overall the book was generally entertaining, with a sprinkle of enlightenment, and worth a read (if you can get it from the library). Ultimately, the pursuit of `WOW!' was more like an `amble after ordinary'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 1999
It's not quite the rebirth of business, but it tries to be - and comes close. 214-odd observations from the renowned Tom Peters about work, life, entrepreneurship, management, and how the world as we know it is changing FAST. Plenty of thought-provoking comments that pull everywhere from Bob Dylan to Glide Memorial Church. Analysis of companies as diverse as De-Mar Plumbing and the formerly-no-real-estate Verifone. Round table interviews with executives from around America - for me, this was the most valuable part. And a few ideas that may not be workable in your situation. But The Pursuit Of WOW! certainly makes you laugh, cringe, shout, curse, and think about how you can redo your job, product, life, and whatnot so that you, and those around you, can look and say "WOW!"
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2000
Here's Tom Peters' advice: hire "zany" people who don't know how to dress professionally (because they have a lot of energy); throw out every idea, concept, and system that has ever WORKED for your firm (because you don't want to grow stale); and forget any and all conventional measures of success (because they're wrong, and Tom Peters is right). We are not in business to make money or even to provide a great product/service --we're in business to be different at all costs (proof: Peters pooh-pooh's McDonald's as "McOrdinary's"). Although some of his ideas might prove useful to some readers, I found myself increasingly annoyed with Peters' own infatuation with himself ("aren't I crazy? aren't I just rocking your world?"). His tone conveys the sense that he'll say anything to be shocking--hardly a good motivation for writing a business book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 1998
The Pursuit of WOW is a very versatile book. You can read it straight through to glean some general tips for success in the business world. You can read it slowly and carefully, multiple times, as you reflect on your position in the business world and formulate a plan for renewing both yourself and your organization. You can read it in small segments, whenever you have two or ten minutes free, and pick up an energizing "to-do" for the day. Or, you can even(as I did with great success) use the book as a training manual for improving the level of service orientation within your span of control. After you have digested all 210 segments of it, toss it onto the table at a staff meeting or a management development meeting. Have an attendee randomly open it to any page and read a paragraph; then you can lead an impromptu discussion of why that story/tidbit is important, and how it can be applied to each of the attendees' daily activities. Nobody falls asleep in this dynamic atmosphere(which mirrors the book's content), and everybody learns - even if you only spend 10 minutes on the exercise. That is how eminently useful WOW is. If you are looking for a good starting point, check out the great organizational design, personal development, and book summary info in these segments: 38, 36, 27, 147, 117, 52, 44, 32, 181, 135, 131, 120, 76, 66, 178, and, of course, 1. The content is pure gold, and that is not merely my opinion; I actually did what Peters suggests on pages 50(take the crummy little job in the boondocks - the one nobody wants - and use the extra freedom you will surely have to innovate, create, and leave your own personal mark of excellence, 1(one minute excellence - you change and it is done, then you forever work like the devil to stay changed from your old, less-than-excellent ways), and 303(be childlike, naive, audacious and a bit nuts, iconoclastic, and, most of all, honest). The results were more impressive than I ever could have expected. Tom Peters' WOW is full of very implementable prescriptions for generating amazing improvement in both service levels and personal growth. *The audio tape, while condensed, is also an excellent use of anyone's hard-earned 10-spot.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2005
In a world of dense, boring marketing and business theory books, The Pursuit of Wow! is a rare standout. The book is a set of real world examples of how companies, large and small have differentiated, done things differently, motivatived their employees and thought out of the box. It's organized as a set of stand alone ideas, meaning you can open to any page a read a self-contained idea and (likely) have something to think about, vs. many books where you read verbose chapters hoping to find a nugget or two you can use. I occassionally buy books for clients and friends...I've bought more copies of The Pursuit of Wow! than any other book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2006
A book only a family member could love. Topics include: what Tom thinks of maple syrup, the Peterman catalog, and Amerigo Vespucci. Questions answered: Does Tom jog, swim, or walk? Does Tom like the new Italian restaurant near his Vermot estate? And speaking of Vermont estates: What is his happiest memory of spring? If you are hell-bent on getting answers to those burning questions, then this book is for you.

Insights range from the helpful if somewhat inane (you can change in a second, but making good on change takes commitment and time... or design matters) to the plain old whacko ("revel in life's yeastiness.")

I'm not saying there aren't good insights or that the book is a dull waste. Peters is a good storyteller with a lot of business wisdom. It's just too bad he puts neither skill to much use in this droll dress-up of dross.
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