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Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment

2.86  ·  Rating details ·  407 ratings  ·  82 reviews
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 pre ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 8th 2011 by Skyhorse
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Average rating 2.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  407 ratings  ·  82 reviews


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Tony
Feb 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
This feels more like a series of poorly-written blog posts hastily cobbled together than a professionally published book. It fails on multiple levels. At the most basic, there appears to have been no copy-editing: the book is full of poor sentence structure, bad grammar, etc. On top of that there seems to have been no research — many of the accounts are full of factual errors that even five minutes on Wikipedia would uncovered.

But most disappointing is the complete absence of any attempt to und
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Cute book, not as funny as I expected. A good deal is based on poor sports decisions so know that if it concerns you. As noted mildly interesting. I think most of already knew "New Coke" was a bad idea. ...more
Terrible Book Club
May 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is essentially a long-form and bound Buzzfeed listicle. There are no behind-the-scenes interviews or analysis of why bad ideas are allowed to get as far as they do, or any insight into the creative process that made them seem like a good idea. A lot of the ideas are common cultural touchstones, like New Coke or Jar Jar Binks. There are SOME things you might not have known about depending on what you followed in the 80s-2000s, but ultimately, if the authors themselves admit in the book they' ...more
Elizabeth
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
hahahaha I can't stop laughing at what a weird book this was. But I'd still give it a solid 2.5.

Despite its poor editing (random word mistakes and periodic poor grammar), I enjoyed listening to the book while I cleaned the house. It was kind of like a road trip with your uncle -- the one with the great memory who likes to grumble about stuff...the one who has all the little factoids about hilariously lame things that happened in the past and makes you say, "Oh yeah! I totally forgot that Rush L
...more
Ryan Troll
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
We listened to this during a car ride to visit the in-laws, and it was exactly what we needed. Something lightweight, enjoyable, that multiple people could discuss together. The wife and I could both remember some of these, and agreed - what were they thinking? Others, we did not remember, and of course, some we didn't care about.

All in all, it was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. I don't think I could just sit down and read this, but sharing it was others made it the perfect audiobook for
...more
Kay Siuti
Oct 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Worst ideas ever include: reading this book.
Superconformal Hassaan
Jul 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
An account of failed attempts from various areas. I will write the rest of the review when I get free.
Douglas
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
It was OK, but I would've liked to hear some deeper digging into each topic. Although I guess it just wasn't that sort of book, I would've liked to hear both sides of each story a little more. It was a lighted sort of read though, more "point and laugh" sort of thing rather than any insight into each. Not that I wasn't amused, I was, but would've liked fewer stories in more detail than so many superfluously. ...more
Matthew Cirilli
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a lot of fun but is marred by an absurd number of grammatical/mechanical errors. Thankfully, I only payed bargain price for it.
Blake Petit
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, nonfiction
Mildly entertaining, but far too many entries were matters of taste rather than inarguable failures, and the editing on this book is terrible -- typos and punctuation errors galore.
BJ Rose
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
I got this for a bargain price, and it sounded like it should be a humorous read, but I was underwhelmed - I guess just like many of the Worst Ideas Ever!
Sylvia Snowe
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: culture
An extraordinarily dated book examining mostly bad ideas in business and pop culture--pretty much the same thing in the US--its content is so dated that it is not of interest to anyone under the age of fifty. It's barely interesting to boomer me, since I never watched much tv or had interest in Hollywood. For anyone who studies decision making, there's plenty of source material. Makes me wonder how many boardroom and group decisions are made while the participants are high on testosterone, liquo ...more
MrsIcarusPain
Interesting but some comedy is outdated.

There are some interesting stories but I wish they sited their sources . I'm not sure if books like these site their sources. I also feel like some sections are more an opinion of a failure rather than an actual failure. Such as saying parents fail by giving their children unusual names. There are no sources stated on how the children become failures or their parents just because they have names not fitting to society.
Also there are alot of mygsnostic jo
...more
Wendy
Mar 31, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. This was one of the books that currently comes included in my Audible membership, it served its purpose in terms of providing a decently engaging listen while I loaded the dishwasher, cooked dinner, folded laundry, and did assorted other household chores, and I learned a few things. But I can't really recommend it. Each "dumb" idea is discussed very briefly, and there's not much analysis of why the ideas were dumb, or how the often otherwise smart people involved came to make such dumb deci ...more
Julie
Jan 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a fun book- nothing outstanding but it was entertaining. I enjoyed some chapters more than others but I enjoyed that the authors covered a range of topics from foods, to marketing campaigns, to politics, to sports. I didn’t agree with all the things the author said were the worst ideas but it still managed to be amusing. It was also a fun to remember some of these mistakes- blue Pepsi! It reminded me of simpler times.
CM Tallman
Jul 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
Possibly because I'm an optimist or because I prefer to look at the positive side of things, I didn't enjoy this book. I thought it was going to poke light fun at horrible ideas, or how they lead to good ideas. It's just a list of bad ideas. ...more
Dr.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Occasionally funny
Deb
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it
It was a fun quick listen.
Sheila
Sep 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining and fun to look back on other mistakes.
Christopher Mcdermott
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Funny and brief.
AttackGirl
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
Great Analogies, you can really picture exactly the point Daniel is making.
Jaana
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
The stories lack depth and are not great in tone. They also gave off a strongly sexist air. Luckily it is over before I got too angry
JC
Aug 29, 2021 rated it it was ok
Meh. It's a short listicle in a book. A few minor interesting things but nothing I didnt already know. ...more
Book
Jan 23, 2022 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit too liberal for me. I didn’t want to hear their political opinion, I wanted to hear about embarrassing moments.
Bob McCormick
Aug 01, 2022 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Not a book. It's a listicle in book form ...more
Joel
Apr 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: history, humor
This wasn't just a bad book about bad ideas, it was a complete waste of time. A cursory - very simplistic - overview of surface level pop culture "bad ideas" from the past forty years. To younger people, there might be some basic stories they might find interesting enough to Google to get a real description of the events, but to anyone older who at all follows the culture, there's nothing here that is informative.

In fact, there's information that's flat out wrong. I know something about video g
...more
Ray Campbell
Mar 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Silly. Kline explores American pop culture and provides his editorial opinions on "bad decisions. While much of this is entertaining, there is virtually nothing of substance here. Each chapter has a theme ranging from sports and politics to marketing campaigns and products. No one thought New Coke was a good idea. saying that it was a bad idea in a book about bad ideas is a brief walk down memory lane, but Kline doesn't go beyond that.

I was particularly baffled by his chapter on sports. He focus
...more
Dee Eisel
Dec 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
One of the things my Shadow self does is to tell me no one but me ever makes huge mistakes, no one but me ever humiliates themselves in public. I grabbed this book in Scribd to shut that voice up. It didn't work, but I did learn a bit more about why this kind of public humiliation happens, and that it can, in fact, be survived - but the idea might not make it.

Kline and Tomaszewski talk about New Coke, the XFL, the affairs (literally) of a certain former South Carolina governor and the presidenti
...more
Jessica
Bought this for $.99 during an Audible sale. It was sort of an interesting flyover take on failed things like technology & marketing (and Prohibition), but ultimately left me feeling like "hey, I should go read something more detailed about that subject!" instead of feeling like I'd learned something new. And some of the segments were just judgemental & snarky (like the celebrity baby names section) and really turned me off the whole thing. So all-in-all not something I'd recommend, unless you'r ...more
Vincent Wood
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
The one primary thought that went through my mind throughout reading this book was how hindsight is the only sight in which we can see perfectly, or as the cliche goes hindsight is 20/20. Now that the events and the products have come and gone, we can look back and laugh at the sheer stupidity of the idiots who made the dumb moves. Of course these ideas may have had some real sound logic behind them when they were made. Even so, this book is a good nostalgia look at the past and we always love t ...more
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