KARAOKE NATION by Steve Fishman


or, How I Spent a Year in Search of Glamour, Fulfillment, and a Million Dollars
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Colorful, funny tale of the rise and fall of an interactive sing-along Internet site, related with considerable insight and wit by journalist Fishman.

One fine day our hero had an epiphany: he would make a million dollars. Why not? Others seemed to be doing it with ease via online enterprises. It was in a time not so long ago, when entry-level entrepreneurs were besotted with everything Internet, our not-so-young hero went out into the dot-com world to seek his fortune. He would launch his very own Web site. Hip-hop karaoke would be the totally cool killer app. Naïve as Candide, Fishman had never seen a spreadsheet. Nonetheless, he formed Team Karaoke with a staunch consigliere, a hip promoter, a slick lawyer, and a board of advisors. Armed with a laptop, some CEO candidates, and a business plan to monetize eyeballs with a stick application (he got the jargon quickly), he would seek leverage from the VCs (venture capitalists). Key VC players, as well as dot-com legends, rap stars, and wacko promoters all got treated to Fishman’s vision, but it didn’t quite come together before the acolyte businessman extricated himself from the baleful influence of modern commerce. His story, an answer to the memoirs offered by the likes of Messrs. Welch and Iacocca, reveals why he still waits for the pot of gold at the end of the online rainbow. Management gurus, Tom Peters in particular, are dissed nicely. Fishman may not have decided on what he wants to be when he grows up, but this anti-self-helper has some cogent thoughts about work now versus work in the days when the Organization Man commuted to the job. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has given way to an edgy cult of individuality, it appears, and now style rather than results (or even veracity) maketh the entrepreneur. Clearly, it's not his father's business world.

Readers may profitably take a meeting.

Pub Date: May 13th, 2003
ISBN: 0-7432-2902-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Free Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2003


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