Slack

(explaining the difference between
business and busyness)
by Tom DeMarco

Published by Random House

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Early Praise for Slack

• Dan Gillmor, San Jose Mercury News columnist:

"During the rise of the so-called 'New Economy,' too many business books reflected the same crazy logic that marked countless dot-con-game business plans. In other words, common sense disappeared. Tom DeMarco's volume is refreshing because it starts with common sense and goes from there."

• David Kaplan, author of The Silicon Boys and Their Valley of Dreams:

"This book is the ideal tonic to the '90s craze of down-sizing restructuring, cost-cutting — all in the name of efficiency and global competition. What DeMarco shows is that the resulting costs in human capital (stress, pressure, over-commitment) may ultimately deprive an organization of the very success it seeks. DeMarco's remedy is what he calls 'slack.' Read this book and learn why."

• David Liddle, General Partner, U.S. Venture Partners:

"DeMarco understands the temptations we all experience in the high-pressure management world, and is able to separate incentives from accomplishments and process from culture in a clear and memorable way. Buy this book for your CEO or your favorite entrepreneur, or better still buy a copy for yourself and profit from DeMarco's insights."

 Bob Metcalfe, inventor of ethernet, founder of 3Com, author ofInternet Collapses

"DeMarco puts his finger on something I'd only vaguely felt during my years in Silicon Valley. When asked to cut people some slack, I knew something was amiss, but not exactly what. Reading this tight little book clears up the trade-offs between efficiency and effectiveness, between doing and planning, between switching and concentration, and shows how squeezing excess capacity out of your company can sometimes leave it terminally unresponsive."

• Michael Schrage, MIT Media Lab, author of Serious Play:

"Tom DeMarco's insights are shockingly pragmatic. Where other writers aspire to be Machiavellis of management, he is a Montaigne: pithy, sharp, intimate and wise."

• David Weinberger, author of The Cluetrain Manifesto:

"Tom DeMarco goes after one of the most pervasive and pernicious myths of business -- that humans are efficient the same way machines are. This book will change the way you manage and understand your business."