Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Pull" by David Siegel: Book Review

I just finished the final pages of "Pull" while watching the People's choice awards on TV. Who could have thought few years back that there will be a category for most popular "Web Celebrity" award which will be won by Ashton Kutcher for his more than one million followers on Twitter. Such is the power of web technology! Are you curious about the power of Semantic Web technology? Read "Pull" by David Siegel.

First of all, I would like to acknowledge the courage of David Siegel to write a business book on a difficult topic like this. The book is more about the power of Semantic Web to transform your business and is meant for business managers and enterpreneurs. It is not easy to write a "business book" on a topic like Semantic Web which has more sceptics than believers. In general, I have found that most of the good business books are more about analyzing the past and there are very few which are visionary or predict the future. In this complex world, it is so hard to see the future even beyond five years from now! So don't expect perfection! David makes a very good attempt in this direction.

Other than explaining the benefits of pull vs the push approach as practiced in most of the businesses, you will find some very useful information and statistics. The book is more conceptual in nature and talks about the recent developments in the world of semantic web and also takes you to the decade between 2020 to 2030. Some of you might question his timing also, if you are in a mood to question everything, but that is not that important from my perspective. Eventually the market forces dictate everything so why should we worry about it? You can always argue that he has become over enthusiastic about certain topics and is almost Utopian in its approach at some places but keep in mind that many of the concepts in this book are about a distant future. You may wish for more details or hope that he should have covered more domains but then he had to draw a line somewhere to make it readable for everyone. Overall, he has done a good job in doing gap analysis between the present state and the future state across various verticals but don't expect that you are going to get the perfect technology and process roadmap to achieve future state - the book is not about making incremental improvements but to find a completely new learning curve.

In the end, this is a thought provoking book which you should read with an open mind. It will definetely make you think! Without giving away too much about this book, I just want you to know that I really enjoyed reading it. It is a passionate work by someone who has put two years of life writing about a subject he believes in. The level of effort he has put in research also shows. Apart from that, for $18.45 on, this book is value for money. A real bargain! I will recommend all of you to read it.

1 comment:

  1. Good review. Now, put in an Amazon affiliate link and you're a millionaire!