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A Good Book in Need of an Update
on March 3, 2004
I recently attended a conference where Mr. Kawasaki was the keynote speaker. He gave an excellent presentation, and because he writes like he speaks this is a very good book.
Unfortunately, what keeps it from being a great book is that it was written in the early 90s. It needs a Second Edition to look at what went wrong in the dot-com era, for instance, and whether more (or less) corporate evangelism could have made a difference. It also needs to analyze the Mac Product Introduction Plan and address what went wrong (or at least acknowledge that the document had some flaws in predicting the outcome of the Apple-IBM war). Some Twenty-First Century examples of how corporate evangelism still works would be helpful, too.
The book has a very light tone. If you're a fan of the Dilbert (anti)management books, you'll appreciate Kawasaki's approach. Occasionally the anti-IBM bias strikes the wrong chord (especially since very few of the jibes are directed at Bill Gates and Microsoft). Apple takes its lumps too, mainly in the area of their corportate structuring.
Coming from 1991's perspective, the examples in the book are showing their age. Should a new edition be published, including the suggestions noted above, expect it to be a four- or five-star book. As it is, it's a nice, relatively-inexpensive read that demonstrates there's still hope for the Davids of the world to overcome their own personal Goliaths.