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Smart or Lucky?: How Technology Leaders Turn Chance into Success by [Hurwitz, Judith]
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Smart or Lucky?: How Technology Leaders Turn Chance into Success Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Smart or Lucky? takes you on a fun ride through the information technology industry. Judith Hurwitz brings together a wealth of personal experience..." --Steve Mills, Senior Vice President and Group Executive, Software & Systems, IBM

"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

To be successful in any highly competitive market, you have to be smart, but you also have to be lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. And you have to be smart enough to realize which you are.

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.


Product Details

  • File Size: 539 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WG3UFK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,523,662 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Judith Hurwitz provides unique practical insights into success (and failure) in the last 40 years of the technology industry. She has experienced the industry from many vantage points - first as a journalist, and second as one of the industry's most respected, and objective analysts. I believe that Hurwitz has also served on several boards and has been intimately familiar with how technology companies make their BIG decisions.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Judith Hurwitz brings clear writing and intelligence to the task of defining participation in technology markets. The core theme of the book: do not over engineer your products, make them simple and compelling is central to understanding markets and market innovation. Customers want simple to use technology, technology that is available and responsive to current needs. Listen to customers is the theme of the book, but this is not simple to achieve and Judith lays out a valuable road-map - required, enjoyable reading for all. The book provides compelling insight for those wanting to build a viable modern business.
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Format: Hardcover
Smart or Lucky? is a real gem of business book! Each of the ten chapters tells a compelling story about the rise (and occasional rapid demise) of some of the most innovative technology companies of the past 30 years. Judith Hurwitz was a consultant to many of the technology companies in this book and witnessed their adventurous ride to success first hand. Her insight into the various styles of management decision at these companies makes this book compelling and fun to read. The book is chock full of well-crafted stories about how smart technology leaders have capitalized on great technology and taken advantage of the luck of being in the right place at the right time to build profitable and powerful businesses. Judith does an amazing job of identifying the patterns of success and failure in these company experiences and highlighting the most valuable lessons learned. One of the most important reasons to read this book is to learn what happens when business leaders believe too much in their own marketing messages, when they stop listening to their customer needs, and when they forget the role that a little bit of luck played in catapulting their company on its rapid rise in the market.
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Format: Hardcover
Judith writes great books, so it's no surprise this is a great book--the surprise is, this is her greatest book so far. In case study after case study, she dissects a high-tech success (or a high-tech failure, or even better, high-tech failures turned at the last minute into successes) and carefully details the reasons, the processes, the major decision factors and the key decisions. Everybody knows some of these stories (IBM's turnaround, Digital's failure, Apple's rebirth, etc.); Judith knows them all, and has thought very deeply about why they happened. Too often tech-watchers just toss off a high-level, simple, and incomplete answer--the new generation of management wasn't up to the founders' visions, the old management didn't give way soon enough to the young bucks--but it's never that simple, and this book is a great way to understand what's smart and why.

Just as important, and as implied by the title, success is just as much about luck as it is about being smart. And quite a lot of "being smart," as Judith points out time and time again, is understanding when you've been lucky and "at the right place at the right time." You can't always be lucky, but you can try to be smart and learn from your failures. That theme runs through quite a lot of business books and magazines lately--the April 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review comes to mind--but nobody puts it as succinctly or clearly as "Smart or Lucky". Judith has hit the nail on the head, and then carefully understood the impact of that impact!

It's common for this sort of review to end with "this remains on every so-and-so's bookshelf," and while that's true, I think it's more important that every entrepreneur, every industry pundit, every corporate manager and most important every high-tech executive run out and buy & read this book immediately. It'll save money immediately, and perhaps save the company down the road.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Smart or Lucky? is an essential user's guide for the entrepreneur in both startups and established businesses. Judith Hurwitz explains, with real life examples, how to make the transition in your business from a lucky break to making smart strategic decisions that will allow your business to survive and prosper.

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.
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