Listeners smarting from a recent humiliation can take solace in Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment, a compendium of the biggest blunders in recent history. Some of the wretched ideas listed here will live forever in infamy for their negative example - say, New Coke or Bernie Madoff. Others are rescued from obscurity by authors Daniel Kline and Jason Tomaszewski, like the idea to put record players in Chevy cars, or Cop Rock, the (thankfully) forgotten musical police procedural by the creator of NYPD Blue. Narrator Patrick Lawlor's droll, winking descriptions of the worst that sports, entertainment, and pop culture have to offer is an antidote to a bad day. Those prone to noisy laughter might want to listen to this one in private.
Mistakes so big they seem like fodder for The Onion - but they really happened!
From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure the likes of Dennis Miller’s disastrous run on Monday Night Football, a political one such as John Edwards’ odd decision to run for president while cheating on his cancer-stricken wife, or a technological misstep such as Apple’s Newton OS, Worst Ideas Ever uncovers the ridiculous stories behind mistakes so huge, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself that they actually happened.
Moving from Mariah Carey’s “performance” in Glitter to the Minnesota Vikings decision to trade away their future for an aging Herschel Walker, Worst Ideas Ever offers the real stories behind some of the dumbest things ever done. Whether it was ego (Michael Jordan leaving basketball for baseball), greed (nobody questioning their impossibly high returns when investing with Bernie Madoff) or simple stupidity (Jay Leno moving to 10 p.m.), Worst Ideas Ever brings it all back in hilarious detail.
©2011 Daniel B. Kline and Jason Tomaszewski (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This book has NO insights, just anecdotal stories. It’s easy in hindsight to point out some unsuccessful events but little sight as to why – what should they have done differently, what was the flaw in their thinking. Jimi Heselden was kill driving his Segway off a cliff so it’s a bad idea – but Thomas Selfridge, one of the first passengers was kill in a flight, was the airplane a bad idea? New Coke was a classic stinker, but Pepsi did the same thing with Crystal Pepsi – what were they thinking, I don’t know, the book doesn’t go there. The humor wears thin quickly, assertions are made without foundations. I didn’t enjoy at all.
Anyone who has an ounce of marketing or product knowledge will have their stomach turned by the lack of research and stupid conclusions drawn for the sake of flat humor in this book.
I mean, yeah, it's fine to point out that the "new coke" roll out was botched, but to not point out that coke had years of taste panel data saying that the new coke was wildly preferred over classic coke is a little disingenuous (not to mention that coke was losing ground to Pepsi very fast). To say that customer base dropped during the Taco Bell dog adverts is just wrong...yes it fell in the last couple of quarters before the ads were discontinued, but skyrocketed before then. To call the Dominos Pizza "Noid" add a mistake is just idiotic...given that it was wildly successful, so much so that the company has brought the character back in limited ways multiple times...including an arguably very successful Facebook push in 2011.
I'll stop there. Even at a 99 cent special, this book was a waste.
what, me worry?
Engaging/entertaining stories. There must be some bad worst ideas ever.
Perhaps more research than quoting a Wikipedia article. I swear the Taco Bell dog was lifted word-for-word.
Snarky, uninspiring, uninflected
I'm glad I only paid 0.99 for this on special. I listened to it and within ten minutes concluded that either I was incredibly discerning or it was incredibly uninteresting. I'm not too discerning, so...
I got this as a "Daily Deal" for 99 cents, so I can't complain too much. I'm just glad I didn't pay a full credit for it.
Judging by the description and title, I anticipated this to be about products, services or other ideas that turned out to be bad. I also fell for the cliche of judging a book by it's cover (thinking the cover would represent it's content). While the book does cover some of these topics, a HUGE chunk of the book is about entertainers, media/broadcasting, TV, movies and sports/athletes. This is not what I thought the book would be about so I ended up skipping several chapters.
If you get this for the price of 99 cents, go for it. But don't pay more than that or especially a full credit.
This has been the funniest book I've heard or read in a long time
It's a humorous trip down memory lane ..More than worth the buck I paid
idea could be cute, but the putdowns are continuous and somewhat pompous and the narrator delivers the text in such a way that I feel like I'm sitting in a classroom with a grumpy lecturer who is monotone unless being rude
Bad or untimely products are not evil, just poor ideas - that doesn't make them stupid. Stop treating all unsuccessful products like they were stupid ideas
see my previous comments
A light read. I found this book a nice tonic to some of my Heavy books. This book laughs at stuff in pop-culture from the past decades. You probably know about many already like New Coke. The book is written in two voices: the pop-culture part and the sports part. It's fun to hear about other people messing up. 'Makes ya feel not so dumb after all.
Brings nothing new to the any of the truly bad ideas and throws in a few that aren't even really that bad. The narration is decent but can't save this truly bad book.
I would change the narrator first. His tone seemed too angry or cynical. If the book is supposed to be funny or lighthearted, his performance never allowed that to come through.
Seemed like they were grasping at straws to fill space. One or two worst ideas in each category would have been fine and then include more categories.
Absolutely not - unless it was a book that is supposed to be cynical or angry.
I'm glad it was only a buck as Deal of the Day.
While this book does relate many failed ideas, it seems very obvious that they are only bad ideas in retrospect. More specifically, some of them are only bad ideas according to the authors and aren't universally reviled. Context was the biggest missing component here, in my opinion. For example, don't just say that New Coke was a failed idea; give us the context surrounding New Coke and why it may not have seemed like a bad idea at the time (Formulation of Diet Coke, Pepsi gaining ground, etc). Don't just say the KFC double down was unhealthy, tell us why KFC decided to sell it in the first place (catering to people on low carb diets).
So much of this book just sounds like anecdotes and opinions, when I had hoped it would be a tale of why certain ideas might seem great at the time but can still turn out to be failures in the long run.
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