July 23rd, 2011

Not a Review, _The Innovator's Prescription_, several authors

This is Not a Review, because I have found myself completely unable to continue, despite having forced myself through to location 7600ish (87%) in the kindle edition. I've complained earlier in this blog about problems with the text, but here are the sentences that really make it impossible to continue.

"When executives in this circumstance [widespread agreement within a corporate culture on Goals and Means to Attain Goals] see big changes in the future and realize that the organization's momentum is propelling it in the wrong direction, the culture often fires the manager. Just ask former CEOs John Sculley (Apple), Durk Jager (Procter & Gamble), Carly Fiorina (Hewlett-Packard), and George Fisher (Kodak)."

I think we can all agree that Sculley, Jager, Fiorina and Fisher suffered really big failures at the companies the authors have associated with them (some/all of them had significant successes elswhere). What I do _not_ think we can agree on is the idea that these executives could "see big changes in the future". Let's not lose track of the fact that Sculley decided to go with PowerPC, and let Apple metastasize into a bunch of ridiculous ... words fail me ... and then when he finally got around to pruning, pruned the wrong stuff. Sculley fucked up but he does not get to blame corporate culture for how he fucked up.

This isn't an isolated instance. The authors repeatedly screw up stuff they are using as the basis for analogy, and they screw up in a way that blows up the point they are trying to make. Don't waste your money. Don't waste your time.