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QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business Into the Ground

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  314 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Easy to digest tips and tools on how not to run a business Experts are constantly telling us what we need to be doing to improve our businesses. Hundreds of books in the market are filled with advice from these experts. But how can you filter out all of the bad advice, misinformation, and misuse of business tools that is out there? None of us needs another list of what we ...more
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published October 7th 2013 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  314 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In the words of the inside cover "It's a freaking picture book; you either like it or you don't." Well, I've loved all of Scott's books so far and this one was no exception. It's a quick read and a humorous approach to what NOT to do in business.
Bonnie  Zink
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Learning and laughter go hand in hand! Stratten uses modern examples to remind us of traditional values. Learn how things can go very wrong in the digital universe when you do before you think.

I highly recommend this and Stratten's other books to anyone working in the digital space.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
QR Codes Kill Kittens is a really light, fast, fun read. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who has any part in social media at their workplace.

Honestly, I wanted to give the book 3.5 stars, but Goodreads forces me to round. While the book is funny and does give you a few good pointers for "don't do's" it is by no means comprehensive. And it doesn't give you the slightest clue how to fix anything if you've accidentally already killed some kittens, so to speak.

The examples in the book are pre
Popzara Press
Feb 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Works best as a handy reference of cautionary “don’t do”s and things to avoid for anyone hoping to ride the social-media craze wave to their own success stories. It’s hardly a comprehensive how-to guide by any means - never forget that Stratten moonlights as president of a successful (un)marketing enterprise - but that’s hardly the point. Chock full of cringe-worthy moments it successfully merges those two universal truths: humor and stupidity.

Codes Kill Kittens Book Review on Popzara
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved it. Very funny and informative. Slightly disagreed with something on p.90: "A Kitten has Died During Your Presentation If... ...Everything you say is on the screen." Granted, when I present, it's not verbatim...but I do like to include the gist of what I'm saying because the presentations are almost always posted to the conference site afterwards. So anyone who couldn't go to my presentation can still get the content later.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
It's possible this book, which is sort of a cross between a business book and one of those snarky blogs that make fun of poorly-written signs, is my favorite professional book I've ever read. The advice is sound, the illustrations are memorable, and even if you're not in business, it's possible to enjoy the book as pure comedy. I've never given a business book five stars, and I doubt I'll do so again any time soon, but I laughed out loud so many times while reading this that it only felt fair.
Emily Smith
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marketing
This quirky book pokes fun at both everyday and epic marketing fails that left me laughing out loud on the train home from work. Totally tailored for this generation's multitasking brain, this marketing picture book succeeded in firmly holding my attention cover to cover. Page-turning felt more like swiping through a feed of memes and I quickly found myself finished and tweeting for more.
Teena in Toronto
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
I've read a couple books by Scott Stratten and find them interesting. This book is about QR (quick response) codes, which is a kind of bar code. To read them, you download a QR code-reading app which will allow you to scan the code. It is supposed to take you to a website, download a link or take you to a mobile-friendly destination. I've never downloaded a QR code-reading app so I haven't had the experience of seeing what happens when one does ... so I thought I'd see if I was missing out on an ...more
Christa Van
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I knew better than to pick up any book that references QR codes...but there was that now I've read the book. I didn't realize the pub date was 2014 when I first checked it out and this was probably great in 2014. Today we know that QR codes are a joke. Anyway, this has lots of examples of bad signs, bad policies and silly stuff that nobody is doing any more...right? Or course all that bad stuff still exists but maybe not as many large QR codes. Still, that kitten is cute.
Sunny Purdin
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book was the first book in a long time to make me laugh out loud. The lessons are a good reminder of what it is to be the gatekeeper of social media for an organization.

Marketers who have been doing this for a while will laugh, while those are new to social media will learn.
Abbie Miller
Jul 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a dumb book. It was a website of marketing and business mistakes printed and bound into a book. I didn’t get anything out of it outside of a few chuckles during a car ride.
Alexander Kelley
Quick read that had me laughing pretty hard. Mostly because I've experienced a few of these but also because I agree with a lot of it.
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book, humor
Very humorous book about how the misuse of QR codes can kill a business...and apparently kittens.
Ben Rogers
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hilarious book about a real UX problem.

Oct 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Most of this advice is obvious and/or tongue in cheek. I think it ay be in picture book form for two reasons: 1. To remind us visually. 2. To make money for the author. More humorous than helpful! And at $18 for a tiny, 196 pg picture book that is mostly a slice show. I'm returning the book to barnes & noble ASAP.

ON pg 109, about not allowing photos: ART is copyrighted. Releasing your own under pixelated version is fine; allowing others to take high quality version photos, as suggested on this p
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I like Scott Stratten. He's funny, he's a great speaker, and he knows his stuff. But this book felt more like a vanity printing than something truly useful to his audience. QR Codes Kill Kittens is essentially a blog in book format. Each page consists of a headline, an image, and a sentence or two of commentary or quippy response. Many of these pages feature QR codes where they just shouldn't be (on the backs of trucks, towed in the sky by airplanes), or screenshots of very unfriendly "customer ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Everyone with a QR code should read this book. Ditto for anyone on social media.
Lexi Acca
Feb 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little miffed to see that this had more than 3 stars as an average rating. While it was mildly entertaining, it was incredibly unorganized and repetitive. The author makes the book out to be about QR codes, firstly. And then inserts pictures and tweets about businesses. Okay, so I got over this after a few because he mentions how he is also going to include tips to businesses in general.

But what was so frustrating is that the book is marketed as a 'how to', or rather, a 'how to not' in t
Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was confusing - I feel like I'm not getting something.

I was excited about the premise, but the book didn't deliver. I think the book was supposed to be about how not to do marketing in general, but the chapter introductions focused entirely on QR codes. The content of the chapters was primarily examples of what not to do, but not all of the examples were adequately explained.

Unfortunately, the book was poorly organized; it read like a series of blog posts. There was also content that
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book had SO much potential, but was poorly executed. It's divided into sections, but tips in each seem arbitrarily chosen with no flow between them. Some of the examples/tips have detailed explanations while others are meant to speak for themselves. For readers who are already aware of why an example is funny and/or a bad idea, great. For those requiring explanation, not so great. Many of the fails pictured were new to me, but there were some old classics included

That said, this book was a
Carsten Hansen
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Scott Stratten is amazing. As a public speaker he blows me away and his books are fantastic. That's the background is will set for this book.
However, while this book is fun and entertaining, as the title will hint at, then it is far from heavy on content. Many pages are mostly blank, with a screen shoot from facebook, a picture, and advertisement or similar illustrations then with a little, sometimes very little, text to highlight the point that Stratten is trying to make.
Some of the illustrati
Dana Sheehan
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marketing, business
I saw Scott speak in 2011 and have been a fan ever since. This book rehashes some examples from his previous books, but is a great, quick read. Like all of Scott's books, I found myself nodding in agreement throughout. I can also attest that he practices what he preaches and has responded to me every time I've mentioned him in a tweet, even though many times I did not tweet him expecting a response, but was just sharing some information about one of his books with my followers.

If you are new to
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you get as irritated as I do when you see a QR code where it has no business being (back of a truck, being pulled behind a plane, in someone's email signature), then you will enjoy this book. As you may suspect, picking on overuse and misuse of a somewhat lame and oft misunderstood technology does not an entire book make, so Scott Stratten turns to other marketing and communication foibles to fill the thing out and make it worth your $11.95. Granted, I'm not sure this book is really breaking ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I freakin' loved this book! I found myself laughing out loud (in parts). Additionally, I learned some obvious but often overlooked principles of client/consumer engagement via epic fails (some very obvious and others not so much). The book allowed me to let the creative juices flow and gave me time to strategize (surprisingly). I was privileged to have attended the NMX conference in '14'and Scott Stratten was the guest main speaker. His talk was the most engaging and entertaining speech I have h ...more
Joseph Rizzo
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is sort of a book, but it's sort of awesome too. It's pretty short with lots of pictures....but what makes it amazing is the hilarity of marketing stupidity.

Ask yourself when was the last time you scanned a QR code with your smart phone........exactly. Nobody really does, but you still see them everywhere. They are so prevelent and so universally useless. The author gives us examples of all of the useless places you find them and the useless places they take you too.

On a subway.....with n
Dani Shuping
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have to admit I was extremely disappointed in this book. It had such great potential! Catchy title, interesting images in the book, and valid points for what they're talking about. But instead what we get is a book that reads more like a tubmlr blog, interesting images, catchy caption, and...that's about it. It's not even organized well, it just seems to be randomly thrown together. The only way that I could recommend this book, is a) the author records a presentation to it and we can find out ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I saw Scott Stratten speak at an event conference recently and picked up this book afterwards. This is a quick and easy read about how to use (not use) social media to market your business or event as well as some things to avoid when communicating on social media platforms. It is incredible to me that some of the examples that he provides are actually real. It shows that we need to slow down and take time to think out our social media plans for our companies and lives. Loved this read. I have a ...more
Nov 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is entertaining, but why does it need to be a book? Almost every page is an image with 1-2 lines of text. Or sometimes it's just the text. I got through the whole book in half an hour, going at a leisurely pace.

Additionally, the introduction and conclusion both sound like the entire book is about QR codes. Most of the content is about other things entirely.

This would be much better as a blog or twitter account. Actually, I think the text on many pages is short enough to make a twitter versi
Christopher Obert
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
This is a very interesting and informative book about the pros and cons of using social media to promote you and your business. The book is a quick read (I read it in one night) and gives the reader many real life examples of things that you should never do online. With so many books written about having an online presence for your business, this book is a welcome addition. The only drawback of the book is that some of the examples are hard to read because of their small size.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you've ever rolled your eyes at any sort of gimmicky marketing ploy or campaign, you'll enjoy this book. (Also, this seriously needs to be read by every senior management level and marketing professional in any organization to avoid those missteps that make some of us throw up in our mouths a little bit. I'm looking at you, people who came up with the U of MN's gawdawful "Discovery Illuminates Everyone" campain with its clunky wording. Eesh.)
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