The Friction-Free Economy: Marketing Strategies for a Wired World

Ted Lewis, Author, T. G. Lewis, Author HarperBusiness $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-88730-847-5
Silicon Valley is sexy again. This summer, Steve Jobs was on the cover of Time and Newsweek, and sightings of Bill Gates remain a popular sport. But business execs hoping to learn from the valley's example would be better off looking elsewhere than this book by a professor of computer science at the Naval Postgraduate School in California. Lewis's text follows no logical sequence. Terms can have more than one meaning--early on, ""mainstreaming"" is defined as ""[g]iving away first-generation products... to capture the lion's share of a market segment""; later the introduction of the Model T is held up as the quintessential example. Tiny companies are mentioned without our being told what they do or what made them successful. And sentences such as ""Nonlinear inverse economics has enormous implications"" don't help. Lewis's premise is true: The world is moving faster. Yet we aren't offered a strategy to deal with that fact. Repeatedly, he advises businesses to be first to market in order to be successful in the long term, but IBM and Apple did just that in personal computers and are far from being dominant players today. Readers seeking marketing strategies for this ""wired world"" should look elsewhere. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
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