Quotes from Readers of In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters
If the truth hurts, then In Search of Stupidity will reveal the painful truth about computer marketing. Incisive and written with flare by Chapman, Stupidity will educate anyone who wants to succeed in marketing.
author of IBM and the Holocaust
and War Against the Weak
It's not just a cynical historical romp, it's also a tremendous guide to not repeating the mistakes that have been made in the past. Also includes a forward and interview with software design guru and entrepreneur Joel Spolsky, creator of the CityDesk content management system.
Zack Urlocker, Valley of the Geeks
In Search of Stupidity is an invaluable history lesson in how to avoid monumental marketing mistakes that are unfortunately common in the software industry. Perhaps caused by the lack of institutional knowledge Rick points out that is caused by the youth of the industry, the only thing that would be stupid now is to not read the book! If you don't do it for your career, do it out of fear that Rick will highlight you in a sequel!"
BusinessWeek special sections contributor
Author, Software Product Management Essentials
"Rick Chapman knows where the bodies are buried -- when most people have forgotten there was even a murder. This history of tech marketing disasters is well-written, enjoyable, and gets its facts straight."
Jonathan Angel, Senior Editor, West Coast Adweek’s
Technology Marketing Magazine
A funny AND grim read that explains why so many of the high-tech sales departments I've trained and written about over the years frequently have homicidal impulses towards their marketing groups. A must read.
Author of Solution Selling, Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets and
co-author of Customer Centric Selling (McGraw-Hill, October 2003)
The history of high-tech marketing is riddled with cautionary stories that stick up like dung covered punji sticks. Read this and avoid stepping on one.
Jeff “Hemos” Bates, Director OSDN Online,
Executive Editor, Slashdot.org
By the time I had made it through the introduction I was laughing my head off. I was part of that generation that grew up on all the things Rick Chapman writes about, but being a typical blissfully ignorant 20-something at the time, I was completely ignorant of what was going on behind the scenes. The book has great appeal to others like me--tech-savvy people in their 30's and early 40's who weren't in the thick of it at the time and need to learn the lessons Stupidity teaches.
Scott Allen, About.com Entrepreneur’s Forum
Rick Chapman names names and takes prisoners in this expose of stupid marketing tricks. Read how Ed Esber, Ray Noorda, Jim Manzi, Philippe Khan and others didn't let their intelligence stand in the way of making a stupid mistake. A sure way to stay off the list in his sequel (there will no doubt be several sequels) is to read the book and take the lessons to heart. Even if you don't think you need to learn these lessons (and you're wrong), it's a funny read.
Therese Padilla, President, Association of
International Product Managers
In Search of Stupidity is a clever, pithy, well researched tome that analyzes what can go wrong when an entire industry applies too little collective knowledge. It's written in a highly visual fashion, so even those marketers who are responsible for some of the greatest product disasters of all time can sit back, close their eyes and imagine just how they could have done it differently. You'll love this book!
Linda Kazares, President, Face-to-Face Connect
In Search of Stupidity is that special class of business book that is incisive, educational and funny! The high-tech industry has always lacked an institutional memory, well, now it has one and it's long past due. For those who have lived and are still living through the fundamental marketing mistakes Rick so lovingly describes, Stupidity is tonic, catharsis and cure. This book should be required reading for anyone involved in marketing and sales, regardless of whether you're involved in high-tech or not.
Carol Crowell, Publisher, Software Success Newsletter
Written like a soldier's manual on how to avoid minefields -- mines armed with weapons-grade stupidity. The stories will make your eyes bug out like they do when you visit the proctologist.
J.D. "Illiad" Frazer, User Friendly
Unlike the fairy tales in most management books, Rick's anecdotes emphasize "worst practices"--Keystone Kops strategies, careerism, cover-your-butt management,and other symptoms of out-of-control corporate cultures. It would be nice to know that entrepreneurs today have learned to be much smarter. But of course they haven't."
--Jeffrey Tarter, Editor, Softletter
In Search of Stupidity Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters gives us an amusing (and sometimes embarrassing) array of anecdotes of how far we've come in high technology, as well as the path we've tread along the way. This is a fun read, with some excellent lessons."
Brenda Bennett South, Vice President, Weber Shandwick
In the two decades of existence of the PC software and hardware industry, there has come about a fair amount of legend and mythology about the elements of success, and conversely, how to avoid failure. Rick Chapman's Stupidity really sets conventional thinking on its ear, and is a must-read for anyone who plans to work in, or with, the high-tech industry. Those who don't will probably be showing up in the next editions of this book.
Jeffrey Geibel, APR, Principal, Geibel Marketing and Public Relations
For old tech-marketing hands, it is a mirth-filled walk down memory lane; for newcomers it will be a revelation about how many smart people could do so many dumb things. In among the rich tales of corporate ineptitude, Rick Chapman quietly slips summaries of the marketing lessons, punched up by a Dave Barry attitude. Every tech marketer should read this syllabus of errors and hope the faces he sees belong to other people.
Donald K. Rosenberg, Open Source The Unauthorized White Papers (John Wiley & Sons)
"When I was learning to build a web site, I really loved to visit www.websitesthatsuck.com to learn good web design by looking at bad web design. Rick's comical chronicle teaches us tech marketers good marketing by looking at bad marketing. I just hope I'm not fodder for volume 2."
Dave Morse, Boston Technology Marketing Summit
I am in the middle of reading your most excellent book In Search of Stupidity and have recommended your book to several people in the industry.
For me it’s a trip down memory lane since my career has traced the rise of the high tech industry. Your discussion of Novell was right on target.
Robert Kane, a reader