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The Unicorn Project

A Novel About Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data
Autor: Gene Kim
Sprecher: Frankie Corzo
Spieldauer: 12 Std. und 24 Min.
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 Bewertungen)

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Inhaltsangabe

The Phoenix Project wowed over a half-million readers. Now comes The Unicorn Project! 

“The Unicorn Project is amazing, and I loved it 100 times more than The Phoenix Project…” (Fernando Cornago, senior director platform engineering, Adidas)

“Gene Kim does a masterful job of showing how … the efforts of many create lasting business advantages for all.” (Dr. Steven Spear, author of The High-Velocity Edge, sr. lecturer at MIT, and principal of HVE LLC)

“The Unicorn Project is so clever, so good, so crazy enlightening!” (Cornelia Davis, vice president of technology at Pivotal Software, Inc., author of Cloud Native Patterns)

This highly anticipated follow-up to the best-selling title The Phoenix Project takes another look at Parts Unlimited, this time from the perspective of software development. 

In The Unicorn Project, we follow Maxine, a senior lead developer and architect, as she is exiled to the Phoenix Project, to the horror of her friends and colleagues, as punishment for contributing to a payroll outage. She tries to survive in what feels like a heartless and uncaring bureaucracy and to work within a system where no one can get anything done without endless committees, paperwork, and approvals. 

One day, she is approached by a ragtag bunch of misfits who say they want to overthrow the existing order, to liberate developers, to bring joy back to technology work, and to enable the business to win in a time of digital disruption. To her surprise, she finds herself drawn ever further into this movement, eventually becoming one of the leaders of the Rebellion, which puts her in the crosshairs of some familiar and very dangerous enemies. 

The Age of Software is here, and another mass extinction event looms - this is a story about rebel developers and business leaders working together, racing against time to innovate, survive, and thrive in a time of unprecedented uncertainty...and opportunity.  

©2019 Gene Kim (P)2019 Gene Kim

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  • 21.01.2020

An underwhelming second entry that feels rushed

I wanted to like this audio book. Really. But Gene Kim didn't make it easy, and Frankie Corzo made it hard.

First, for the book itself.
If you have read The Phoenix Project or The Goal, you pretty much know the plot to this book. Something in a firm goes horribly wrong and our protagonist (in this case Maxine) is in the middle of it and now has to deal with the fallout. She will overcome obstacles with her cunning, optimism and the help of a mysterious mentor, who mostly speaks in riddles that self-explain themselves throughout the story.
So far, so good.
The problem is that Gene Kim is obviously no novelist. Now, I will be the first to admit that he knows way, way more than I about economics and how to run a business, and the ideas presented in this novel are wonderful and truly a great way forward, but I cannot help but feel that this book would have been way better as a simple textbook instead.
As it is, I have to slog through hundreds of minutes of uninspired description, more monologues than dialogue and a dreadfully boring middle section where the initial high stakes of the beginning (and decent ending) are mere memories.
The biggest problem this book has, in my opinion,is that Kim relies far too much on exposion through monologue. You will hear "As you all know..." at least 15 times throughout this book, followed by a character taking 3-10 minutes explaining a concept all the characters , well, um....know. This turns an otherwise interesting story into a pain to listen to, because they completely destroy your suspension of disbelief. The characters all wow and ohh and ah at each other, nodding along while being told simple truths about the company they have been working at for 10+ years.
Most of these mistakes could have been remedied if there had been a good editor allowed proper access to the text, but seemingly, that was not the case. In the Phoenix Project, I could forgive these things because the narrator did a good job of bringing the somewhat clumsy story to life, and it was clear that it was Kim's first narrative. But in this book, that's no longer the case.

Frankie Corzo reads it like a bed time story. No way around it. At the beginning, I felt like she tried to give the characters an Iota of life, but these attempts are quickly abandoned for "read it out" style of dialogue. More than that, there are hundreds(!) of passages where it is clear she had to re-record over her own mistakes (some of which are still in, mostly intonation but sometimes also a noticeable lisp). This results in a text where sometimes. Seemingly a new sentence starts in the middle. of an existing one. It confuses the heck out of me, and I wonder who let this go through quality control.

And there it is, the thing that connects both problems: Quality control.
For a book that puts so much stress on Customer Satisfaction and the importance of good QA, this book has provided neither. It feels incredibly rushed, like the Author and Narrator both had to meet some arbitrary deadline, delivering a book that would have needed at least another half a year to a year in order to be properly ready. With more time for editing and rewriting, and more time for Mz. Corso to find her reading legs (and maybe put some effort into breathing life into an arguably lifeless text), this could have been a great reading experience, instead of just an educational one.

As it is, I can recommend this book for people who abhor textbooks and need something to wash down the medicine with, but hardly anyone else. You're far better off just reading The DevOps Handbook and the inevitable companion book to this novel.