The Unicorn Project: My Review of a Vivid Story with Profound Lessons for Technology and Business

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Gene Kim has once again produced an amazing set of lessons in technology and in the business of IT while making it a relatable, and profound story that will feel familiar to nearly everyone who has been involved in an IT department or technology project of any kind.

This is not a marketing one-sheet about the power of digital transformation that leaves you asking “now what?”. It is a chronicle of the journey as it has really played out with all of the ups and downs laid out before you as a minefield map to learn and avoid in your own path to changing the way your company (and you) take on the next generation of software-driven life and business.

Human Stories with Technology Lessons

It’s a rare capability to use a very human tale to emote lessons that developers, IT Ops, and technology leadership teams can relate to, while also giving intense lessons that would easily make a great 300 level course in any business school. Gene pulls this off with splendor.

The Unicorn Project is touted as a companion novel to The Phoenix Project, which Gene penned alongside fellow industry leaders Kevin Behr, and George Spafford. Modeled in style after The Goal by Eli Goldratt, The Unicorn Project and The Phoenix Project will inevitably live on as true stories from the trenches that can change the industry if we take the lessons from within and apply them.

Developers, Disruption, and the Thriving Age of Data

I was lucky enough to have an advanced digital copy of the Unicorn Project and have finally caught up to my own lengthy backlog and finished up both the eBook and the audiobook. Both of which are must-haves if you ask me. Just like the Phoenix Project, this is an engaging read and one that you will revisit often if you’re like me. Listening to the audiobook is also something I wanted to do as part of the review

The audiobook is exciting in the way it is read and will definitely keep your interest throughout with the characters coming to life in the voice of Frankie Corzo.

Gene navigates some of the most difficult areas around software development, security and IT breaches, organizational adaptation with software leading the way, and much more. You will feel the reality of the scenarios played out in the book as if you have lived them yourself. If you’re like me, you’ve already lived some and this is what makes the style of writing so engaging and meaningful.

Who is This Book For?

If you’re reading this blog or are a listen to my podcast, then you’re absolutely in the target audience. I would recommend this for anyone who is in IT operations, IT development teams, IT leadership, IT security, or who interacts with technology teams and vendors as part of their role.

The story begins at Parts Unlimited with some intense challenges in recovering from the brink of a difficult situation. A situation (and the people effect) which will be familiar to all of us, hopefully without first hand knowledge. Your goal in reading this should be to learn from the lessons that we don’t often hear when companies and people make their way through difficulty and come out the other side with new approaches and methodologies.

I often say that the business books and self-help books are not as effective because they tell you the positive story without the taste of adversity. This is no 7 Habits book or something you will use as a checklist for making your day better. This is a story that you will draw your own learning and lessons from depending on your role in your organization. It’s meant to bring out the emotion that led us to love the jobs we have, and teach us how to find a way to bring new ways into the old system.

DevOps or not, you’re going to find a lesson in this book. It’s truly made for all audiences.

Download or Buy the Hardcover Today!

This post is going out on the very day of the official launch of the book. Congratulations to Gene and all the folks who were a part of the production. You can get the book here and you’ll read (or hear) for yourself just how powerful this story is to give lessons that we all can take from it:


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