Sunday, February 22, 2009

Business @ the Speed of Stupid: Building Smart Companies After the Technology Shakeout by Dan Burke @ Rm70.00

Publisher: Basic Books - 2001-10
Hardcover | 1st Edition | 272 Pages

Book Information:
Reading the headlines, one could easily conclude that many of today's technology-driven ventures are dying because of a lack of funds or a shortage of business opportunities. But what really lies at the root cause of their demise is a technocentric disregard for strategy and general management principles.Business @ the Speed of Stupid brings to light many of the myths that stymie unwary investors, entrepreneurs, and managers who are seeking to turn a profit in the digital economy. It highlights why smart entrepreneurs buy into dim-witted business beliefs and exposes the "big lies" that have crippled so many companies. With ultimate know-how, verve, and humor, Dan Burke and Alan Morrison reveal why brilliant engineers don't always make brilliant business leaders, how innovation is far less important than customers and quality, and that, yes, you do need to be profitable to survive on the Web. Bringing realism and experience to the table to counteract the lingering technology industry hype, Business @ the Speed of Stupid explains how to survive and profit in the next phase of our technology-driven economy.

Business @ the Speed of Stupid is Dan Burke and Alan Morrison's plainspoken prescription for healing the disorders that inevitably develop when unprepared executives rush headlong into high-tech projects. Geared to those reeling from today's techno-shakeout, it starts with 10 troubled corporate scenarios that are colorfully illustrated by anonymous examples drawn from the pair's consultancy practice. In the book's first part, they use them to identify complications that arise when a perceived need for speed gets in the way of serious preparation--such as those stemming from an ill-advised push to launch a flashy new Web site, integrate existing software from numerous departments into a single system, dive wholeheartedly into e-commerce, develop an intranet--and then offer an assessment of the missteps, along with suggestions for avoiding them. ("Never underestimate the difficulty of managing the conflicts between artists and engineers," they write in a chapter called "Mars And Venus." "Both are necessary but solve different problems. You must know which problems are the most important to solve if you are to create the proper team mix and resulting authority structure.") In the second part, they describe tackling the overall problem with their Executive Thought Framework, designed to foster "appropriate and targeted" technology decisions. --Howard Rothman


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