My First Book, Lessons Unlearned, Is Officially Launched!

This week I get to put a big check mark next to an item on my bucket list: become a published author.  This has been a dream of mine since childhood, and even though I’ve been publishing 300-400 pages of research reports every year since 2001, a book is different. And this week that dream came true.

My first book, Lessons Unlearned, was launched this week at our Technology Services World Conference in Santa Clara, and this morning I gave a keynote highlighting sections of the book for TSW attendees. Monday and Tuesday evenings I spent on the Expo Solution Stage, signing copies and answer questions. It has been a lot of fun.

I’ve been calling Lessons Unlearned a “memoir-based tell-all book” about my 25 years in customer service. It is definitely a memoir, and it is definitely filled with gossip from Silicon Valley and the world of service. But I’m hoping many of you will see it as a resource, especially for customer service professionals. God knows I have screwed up many, many times over the years, and hopefully by reading this book, you can learn what I’ve learned without having to screw something up to glean the knowledge. There are a million books out there on how to be a sale person, or a developer. But you don’t see much on the subject of how to be a high performing service technician or service manager. Well, now there is a book on the subject, describing my approach to customer management and employee management, with tips on hiring, coaching, motivating, and writing reviews for employees.

Though clearly the book is written as a business book for the service industry, but it is also written for customers. I believe if customers understood how support works, the metrics that drive us and the cost associated with giving good service, they would not only have more appreciation for the service professionals they encounter, but also better understand the support process and maybe even help it move along more efficiently. If nothing else, I hope consumers who read the book take this point away: good service is worth paying for.

Lessons Unlearned talks about more than customer support. From my years working for high tech firms, I have chapters on knowledege management, and how to select and implement enterprise technology. I also have a chapter called “advice for startups,” with a list of challenges I see small companies struggle with on their way to becoming big companies. In my 12 years of being an analyst, I have worked with some of the most messed up companies ever created… but I’ve also worked with some incredbly successful firms…and quite a few who didn’t succeed financially but were filled with brilliant people and ideas. I tried to capture the best approaches for all of these experiences and include them in the book.

For all your technology marketing folks, you should definitely give the chapter on “working with industry analysts” a read. In it, I discuss the realities of “pay for play” in the analyst world, as well as give advice on working effectively with analysts, how to get a briefing scheduled, and how to shape that briefing for the maximum benefit of all involved. I’ve never seen a book address this topic, and am already getting feedback from our partners who have read the book along the lines of, “Thanks for confirming my worst fears.”

The hardcover and electronic versions of Lessons Unlearned are available on Amazon. For multiple copies you can receive volume discounts by purchasing through TSIA.

I’d like to thank the TSIA team for all the help in making Lessons Unlearned a reality, in particular, our tireless editors Suzanne Hite and Suzanne LaBounty, who gave up many nights and weekends to meet editing deadlines for the book.

Thanks for all the kind feedback. I look forward to answering all your questions about Lessons Unlearned!

Explore posts in the same categories: Best Practices, CRM, customer experience, customer satisfaction, customer support, Enterprise Support, knowledge management, Professional Services, self-service, social media, Technology

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One Comment on “My First Book, Lessons Unlearned, Is Officially Launched!”

  1. Bryan Person Says:

    John: I have my copy from the conference. Looking forward to reading it on the flight home!


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