- Paperback: 408 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 2nd ed. edition (September 26, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590597214
- ISBN-13: 978-1590597217
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 80 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In Search of Stupidity: Over Twenty Years of High Tech Marketing Disasters 2nd ed. Edition
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About the Author
Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman is the author of the first edition of In Search of Stupidity. He has worked in the software industry since 1978 as a programmer, salesman, support representative, senior marketing manager, and consultant for many different companies, including WordStar (really MicroPro, but no one remembers the name of the company), Ashton-Tate, IBM, Inso, Novell, Bentley Systems, Berlitz, Hewlett-Packard, and Ziff-Davis. His first computer was a Trash One (you antiques out there know what that is), and he began his career writing software inventory management systems for beer and soda distributors in New York City. He is the author of The Product Marketing Handbook for Software, coauthor of the Software Industry and Information Association's U.S. Software Channel Marketing and Distribution Guide, and periodically writes articles about software and high-tech marketing for a variety of publications.
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If you want the REAL story as to why some of the biggest and most profitable names in the early tech space aren't with us any longer, get this great little book by Rick Chapman.
What's that old saying about being doomed to repeat history if we don't learn from it? (George Santayana)
Well, there's some really excellent lessons in this very well-written history of the early PC years.
Thanks for the memories, of course, but the lessons are worth way more than the price of the book.
Still, it's a blast to learn about the boneheadedness of some of these people.
I'm so relieved to finally see a book written by someone that not only recounts the history accurately, but also explains very logically why so many marketing tactics were so bad. In the very beginning of the book he describes Motorola's Iridium system (a satellite-based cellular phone that allowed anyone to use their phone any where in the world by launching 66 extremely expensive low-orbit satellites to cover the entire planet Earth.) Not only were the phones large and barely portable, but you had to use them outdoors, with no obstructions (like a tree) and 'point them at the satellite.' With all those inconveniences, no one apparently considered that 70% of the Earth is covered by nothing but water.
I never thought of that before. It's both obvious and, at the same time, brilliant and clever thinking/deduction.
He repeats this logic throughout the book, citing examples that refresh my memory of the fabulous 1980s and early 1990's.
If you really want to know the real reason why things turned out the way they are today, read a book written by someone who not only observed it, but interacted with it. For example, this book.
That being said, I don't want to detract from the overall thrust of the book, which is that a lot of failures were do to inept marketing by the failed companies. In fact in general all of the blunders were due to the ineptitude of upper management in most of these ultimately failed companies. Also the author, Rick Chapman, has a nice sense of humor from my point of view.
While the content of the book is excellent (5+ stars), I was hugely disappointed by the print quality. It just looks like a cheap photocopy. The letters are not evenly filled with paint, and it breaks the reading experience.