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Smart or Lucky: How Technology Leaders Turn Chance into Success Hardcover – May 24, 2011
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"The Industries of the Future"
Innovation expert Alec Ross explains what’s next for the world. Learn more.
"Hurwitz deftly dissects dozens of winners and losers in the constantly churning tech industry, and offers concrete advice for entrepreneurs wanting to achieve and sustain success." --Don Tapscott, author, Wikinomics and Macrowikinomics
"Judith Hurwitz is known for her talent at anticipating technology trends--and communicating their importance to business leaders. She's done it again." --Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO, salesforce.com and author, Behind the Cloud
"Want to create a revolution, empire, industry standard? Read this book. It provides the formula for smarts + luck." --Christine Comaford, CEO Coach and author of Rules for Renegades
Judith provides valuable lessons on building sustainable technology companies and reminds us that initial spectacular market opportunities and brilliant execution are just table stakes --Ann Winblad, Managing Director, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
From the Back Cover
Using her insider experiences with hundreds of successful and failed technology companies over three decades, two bubbles, and one burst, Judith Hurwitz shows how the most successful entrepreneurs understand the value of the combination of luck and smarts—and make it work for them. Those who fail are the ones who may be lucky but get complacent, believe they're the smartest players in the market, or fail to make the changes needed to sustain leadership.
Smart or Lucky? is for business leaders who are interested in learning what it takes to be successful in emerging markets and how to sustain success over the long term. It shows entrepreneurs how to recognize a lucky break and have the foresight to take advantage of it. Brimming with real-world lessons based on well-tested principles, this groundbreaking book explores why lightning doesn’t strike twice; how to supplant market leaders; how to walk away from legacy products; how to avoid lemming-like conformity; why promising technologies fail; how to gain, win, and retain customers; and how floundering companies can come back from near-death experiences.
Informative and highly detailed, Smart or Lucky? is a key resource for all business leaders and emerging entrepreneurs who want to understand how to stay nimble and succeed in complicated, competitive markets.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I started reading Smart and Lucky with no expectations, but found it to be tremendously helpful in creating context as to why some companies succeed while others have failed. With the massive disruption taking place in business models within and without the technology industry, Smart and Lucky is timely. It will help many technology executives to navigate change. From putting "cloud" "mobile" and "social" into perspective, to creating contrast between old and new, "Smart and Lucky" nails it. We are having our entire management team read it to create a framework for strategic reference.
You could repeat the mistakes made by some of the companies in the case studies. Or you can read the book. My suggestion - read the book. There aren't many that I put on the required reading list, but Smart and Lucky is on mine.
Chapter 7 gave the game away.
It was clear the author doesn’t have deep knowledge in many of the topics. They were not different point of views, misinterpretations or minor inaccuracies. In many cases, the material demonstrated a clear lack of knowledge of the subject matter. Some may excuse it by pointing this isn’t a book for technical audience. Unfortunately, no such luck. Many of the discussions are part of the tech industry collective knowledge and lexicon, far from the hard core technical stuff. Any casual home PC magazine readers, weekend tech support warriors, or half decent graduates would have known.
Some examples from Chapter 7-10.
1. Not knowing the difference between Open System and Open Source.
Open Systems is about interoperability, allowing diverse and competing vendors (big and small) to create products that work/talk to one another. Vendors could and often did, create “closed” systems for their own products. As long as they all agree to use a common language (eg. drive on the right side), then all should be fine. TCP/IP is the best example of the benefits of Open Systems. The author thinks open system = open source, free and flexible...blah, blah, but no market, ....etc.
Open Source is a whole different ball game.
Clearly very limited understanding of what Open Systems is.
2. Eleven pages on why Client/Server is a failed technology. Somehow the author got the idea that Client/Server was a “graphical development approach”.Read more ›
I've been building startups for 20 years, some very successful, some not so -- I wish I had had Judith's book way back then. Judith Hurwitz is a technology industry analyst to whom large and small companies listen to for advice. I'm going to buy a stack of this book and give them to my team, it will be a modest investment compared to the wealth of immediately usable information in the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Smart or Lucky?” I found myself nodding my head in recognition or smiling in entertainment. Read morePublished on November 18, 2013 by Gabi M Zijderveld
As soon as i started reading this book I recognized that Hurwitz put her finger on a major pitfall in my own company: sticking with a successful product while failing to invest... Read morePublished on February 3, 2012 by Kayakkk
Once again, Judith nails a core question we all want to understand, what is repeatable about success, if it can be repeated at all? A great read heading into winter holidays.Published on November 13, 2011 by TDeL
I love the fact Judith included the word "lucky" in the title of this book. Even better are all the examples of how some great entrepreneurs had some amazing runs and then got... Read morePublished on October 2, 2011 by R W Bickel
Judith Hurwitz has done it again. Here is a book that is full of lessons learned from the technology industry over the past 40 years. Read morePublished on August 16, 2011 by pdar
Judith writes great books, so it's no surprise this is a great book--the surprise is, this is her greatest book so far. Read morePublished on August 14, 2011 by Richard Soley
Most of us in the technology business have witnessed company successes and failures like those reviewed in this book. Read morePublished on August 7, 2011 by Andre Pino
Judith provides a fun, factual and insightful journey on what it takes to be successful (i.e. smart or lucky)in the IT industry. Read morePublished on June 29, 2011 by HollyT
Most of us have very little time to review the latest in business perspectives and have little tolerance for rehash of what we know. Read morePublished on June 10, 2011 by TTuell