Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Success

S. & S. Jun. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781982135799. $28. BUS
Reverse engineering involves analyzing an appealing product or service to discover the patterns or formulae that were used to develop it. Psychologist Friedman (The Best Place To Work) here identifies reverse engineering as the way to “analyze the works of others and distill their approach into a reproducible formula”—not the same thing as mere copying because the reverse engineer is looking for “the right formula for the right person within the right context.” Friedman’s book, through many examples, identifies techniques of reverse engineering. One technique discussed at length is the use of a performance scoreboard to measure key behaviors identified through reverse engineering, which allows the individual or organization using the scoreboard to improve its performance. Friedman makes the case that reverse engineering often results in the acquisition or improvement of skills. He effectively balances theory with his rich collection of real-life examples, thus avoiding clichés and vague aspirations.
VERDICT A practical and sophisticated handbook, useful for readers who wish to learn from the successful experiences of others and effectively apply the lessons to their own work and careers.
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