~ SPECIAL FEATURE ~
"Archibald Putt meets The
An Excerpt from the New
"Putt's Law and the Successful Technocrat" is a 25th Anniversary
remake of the howlingly funny classic on climbing corporate hierarchies. This
excerpt contains Putt's advice on the Internet.
"Putt's Law" was originally released in 1981 and achieved cult
status for its scathing satire about the way groups behave. "Every technical
hierarchy, in time, develops a competence inversion," says Putt, in his most
oft-quoted corollary. Readers of Putt's Law will learn such valuable
techno-Machiavellian skills as how to leverage failure and how to beat out colleagues who are
always right. The author's anonymity gives these teachings the air of
omniscience you want in a rule book.
the excerpt below, Archibald Putt shows he's learned a lot from bloggers and
others on the Internet. Putt's third law of decision making is "a decision is
judged by the conviction with which it is uttered." Sounds like a page from the
bloggers handbook, doesn't it?
information about the book, "Putt's Law and the Successful Technocrat" -- and
author Archibald Putt -- follows the excerpt. Enjoy!
"Archibald Putt meets The Internet"
At the beginning of 1993, the World Wide Web had only 50
known users. After the Internet was made available for commercial purposes in
1995, the use of e-mail and the World Wide Web skyrocketed. Ten years later, an
estimated one billion people throughout the world were making use of the
Internet. In theUnited States,
well over half the people were connected to the Internet, and half of those
spent more than three hours per day online.
Already, some people
were going online to obtain all their information and merchandise and to conduct
most of their business and social life. They were caught in the Web. Somewhat
surprisingly, studies revealed that technocrats who were caught in the Web were
more likely to be successful than those who were not. At stated by Putt's
"The more firmly you are
caught in the Web,
the faster you can
outpace your competition."
The pace of business
has quickened. Communications, which a few years earlier would have been sent by
"snail mail," are now sent by e-mail. Responses are typically received the same
day, often within minutes. Even people at lunch or on vacation can review their
e-mail by cell phone and respond immediately.
There is no time for
ambitious technocrats to look beyond the Web for information, and there is no
time for serious reflection between communications. The results can be
disastrous. Nevertheless, the Law of Internet Usage continues to be
"Failure to keep up with the
leads to failure in
the race for success."
Early users of the Web
were primarily scientists and engineers who shared technical information. People
who shared social or religious views soon formed Web sites, as did men and women
seeking marriage prospects. Web sites were also formed by politically active
groups, including terrorist organizations. There are sites for people interested
in cannibalism or group suicide, and sites offering pornography have long been
among the most popular and financially rewarding. Indeed, there are Web sites
that cater to every imaginable human desire. According to an Internet
"If somewhere it is
it is more so on the
Even many popular Web
sites engage in ethically questionable activities. One of the more common is
placing adware or spyware in a Web-site visitor's hard drive to obtain personal
information. Of greater concern is outright fraud and theft practiced
intentionally by bogus Web sites and unintentionally by legitimate sites that
are victimized by the crafty thieves and hooligans who pervade the
The popularity of the
Internet has made it attractive to organizations that send spam. These
unsolicited communications are now the major part of Internet traffic. They are
inexpensive for senders but costly to service providers and time-consuming to
users. In addition to selling products and services or swindling naive people
out of their savings, spam may contain malicious software programs, designed to
disable the recipient's computer.
Viruses and worms on
the Internet are estimated to cost users and service providers over $100 billion
a year, primarily in lost productivity. Government agencies and large
corporations are increasingly active in attempting to protect individuals and
the nation's infrastructure from cyber attacks.
Aware of these and
many other risks, some individuals and groups have resisted getting involved in
the Web. Nevertheless, the Web continues to grow. Valuable information and
services lure people in, and there are not-so-subtle pressures from airlines and
other vendors that are reducing their operating costs by replacing
person-to-person services with Web-based transactions. It is only a matter of
time before everyone will be caught in the Web. Once inside, the Law of the Web
"There is no
from the World Wide
Vast quantities of
information available on the Web make it possible for researchers and authors to
create publications at rates never dreamed of before. Plagiarism is so rampant
that it seems socially acceptable.
Technocrats can no
longer survive without help from an online computer to collect and analyze
information to support a position or fend off attacks from competitors.
Simultaneously, their computers must be kept up-to-date with the latest hardware
and software to protect against the onslaught of computers maliciously
programmed to do them harm.
It is comforting to
know that, even in the seemingly lawless realm of the Internet, all the laws,
corollaries, and tools of the trade discussed in this book apply. It is less
comforting to know that the law of the jungle has been replaced by the Law of
"Survival on the Internet
better hardware and
software than you have."
About the bookâ€¦..
Putt's Law and the
Successful Technocrat: How to Win in the Information Age
Published by John
Wiley and Sons, Inc.
171 pages, illus., hardcover, $24.95)
Available through this
site or directly from the publisher:
or phone 1-800-225-5945
Law: "Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what
they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not
by an industry leader in R&D management, this title examines the above law
by following the (often humorous) business development of both types of
individuals in a Research and Development setting. By examining their
performance, the book provides practical advise on how to succeed in the
author, using a pseudonym, details how to survive and thrive in the world of
technology. The book follows the
fictional business careers of two vastly different individuals in industry. By comparing and contrasting their
amusing experiences, business styles, successes, and failures, the author
comprises a series of laws to guide readers through the difficult world of
technology corporations. Bright,
lively, and very funny, "Putt's Law and the Successful Technocrat" uses satire
to highlight the author's deep understanding of the real world of
published in 1981, "Putt's Law" has become widely know and quoted in technology
circles. The mysterious identity of
the author is the subject of much scrutiny and debate.
a classic. It reads at first like humor, but one eventually realizes that it's
all true. The first edition changed my life. I loaned my copy to a subordinate
at IBM, and he didn't return it to me until he was my
Dave Thompson, PhD, IBM Fellow
(retired), Member National Academy of Engineering, and IEEE
humor ranges from sharp to whimsical and is always on target. Readers will be
reminded of many personal experiences and of lessons in life they wish they had
learned earlier in their careers."
Eric Herz, former IEEE executive
who thinks 'engineering management' is an oxymoron needs to read this terrific
book â€” then they will know."
Norman R. Augustine, author of
"Augustine's Laws" and retired
Chairman & CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation
Copyright Â©2006 by the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. All Rights Reserved.