View Full Version : Review of "Code Name Ginger"

Karen M.
July 13th 03, 08:22 PM
Hi all--
Today's Detroit Free Press contains a sardonic and pithy review of
this book, which details How the Segue Came to Be. Regrettably, it's
not yet up at http://www.freep.com/index/books.htm , so check back
tomorrow. Reviewer is Marta Salij.

Good quotes:
"Kamen, my friends, is a piece of work. Brilliant inventor, dumb
boss. On nearly every page, Kamen commits on or all of the Eight
Deadly Sins of Bosses: Parnoia, Indecision, Parsimony,
Unpredictablility, Interference, Favoritistm, Egostism, Hypocrisy.
Kamen was sure that Honda or Sony would steal his idea, so he
refused to let his marketers show the machine to consumers. All the
while, he was showing Ginger off to dozens of business partners and
friends. Then he blamed the marketers for not having a sales strategy.
He was so cheap that he wanted his engineers to drive to Detroit
from New Hampshire--in winter--to save on airfare, while putting a
deposit on a new ...jet for himself. He refused to pay a competitive
salary for software engineers...
...his employees were agitating for stock options, a point Kamen
could never understand. He expected his employees to be grateful that
he controlled everything. When [he] finally agreed to a stock
offering, he doled out the options with wacky logic, giving the
director of engineering less than other department heads because he
didn't have to relocate for the job and because --get this--he liked
his work. 'He should pay me to work on this project.'"
"There are no women in this book...and the men here often behave
like 5-year-olds jazzes on Juicy Juice and Transformers."
"[the author] can't say why the name changed from Ginger to Segway
Human Transporter, with the ripe-for-ridicule abbreviation SHT. He can
say why Flywheel, a neam the team loved, wasn't chosen: By the time
Kamen authorized them to buy the doman name www.flywheel.com, it was
gone. Foiled by the boss, once again."

--Karen M.


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