Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Any more books of the month?

I've found your list excellent so far, BTW.

Vince Indriolo
Thursday, March 25, 2004


I actually have a big stack of potential "books of the month" but the truth is none of them is QUITE good enough to get my recommendation. (Harsh, I know...) So I had to tame down my Oprah* ambitions and now books-of-the-month will be something less than monthly.

* Oprah is a popular American talk show host whose book of the month club inevitably casts a book into the #1 bestseller position for the whole month, until the next Oprah book comes along.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Request: It would be helpful (to me, anyway, and probably to others) to see the past recommendations added to the "Book Reviews" page (or maybe aggregated under their own heading).

(Yes, I know there's a "search" thingy over there on the left, but my results using it have been, um, inconsistent.  Besides, "don't make me think... " )

- former car owner in Queens
Thursday, March 25, 2004


Have you read CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN's books?

Prakash S
Thursday, March 25, 2004

I Recommend

Dan Browns Da Vinci Code

Friday, March 26, 2004

I can vouch for the size of the shelves of books in the office. Not sure if Joel's read them all though..

Mark Gadsby
Friday, March 26, 2004

Clayton Christenson does a good job of explaining the problem many small software companies have.  That is, the company focusing so much time and resources on maintaining and improving the existing product that they don't invest resources in finding the "next big thing".  He calls this the innovator's dillema.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Clayton recently published "The Innovator's Solution" showing what to do about the dilemma.  Haven't read that one though.

fool for python
Monday, March 29, 2004

The Innovators Solution seemed to me just an attempt to capitalize on the first work. From reading the synopsis on Amazon it looked like the solution was already described in the dilemma.

Also, a documentary I saw a month or two ago about US Steel and how it's union contracts - hundreds of retirees still drawing a paycheck - crippled the company make me question the validity of Christiansen's analysis. US Steel is literally a textbook business case and about as open to reinterpretation as books about the Freemasons or WWII. I learned about US Steel first in high school while taking a college level business class. I believe the text presented yet a third reason for it's rise and fall.

Disclaimer: I never read his work, just saw a video of a presentation he gave to some of my bosses back in 99 or 2000.

I read a lot too, and distilling everything into the few books that really said something new and interesting would give me a very short list.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home