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59 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic. Fast-paced, colourful and lots of fun to read
Just in case anyone had forgotten how insane things got in the internet in 1999, this should refresh their memories. What was everyone thinking? The really scary thing is that it's hard not to get excited all over again when reading this book. It moves really quickly and has loads of interesting characters. Having worked for a startup myself, it was all really eerie. Like...
Published on 6 Nov 2001

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gripping reading but one sided
This was a gripping book from the very first chapter. It was writen in a "John Grisham" style where both pace and tension glided easily throughout. Not an artistic piece of work at all or even mildly philosophical like the some good business books. This is perfectly made for the airport book stand like no other.
The content leaves less to be said. Totally one sided...
Published on 11 Dec 2002 by peter woods


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic. Fast-paced, colourful and lots of fun to read, 6 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Boo Hoo: a Dot-com Story (Hardcover)
Just in case anyone had forgotten how insane things got in the internet in 1999, this should refresh their memories. What was everyone thinking? The really scary thing is that it's hard not to get excited all over again when reading this book. It moves really quickly and has loads of interesting characters. Having worked for a startup myself, it was all really eerie. Like probably everyone else, I don't agree with what these people did, but it's hard not to be fascinated all the same. Although I'm not an especially fast reader, I sailed through this in three days.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only real life could be like this, 14 Nov 2002
By 
Jonathan Kettleborough (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Much has been written about the dot com boom and the dot bomb bust. Of all the companies involved, Boo must surely rank amongst the greatest.
This book takes you from the early days where the germ of an idea was taken around Europe to be funded by some of the biggest names in glabal fashion. Read how Boo worked at breakneck speed to build the impossible and then weep as you see it all fall apart.
The excesses for me were the hightlights. On being told that they had a security issue at their office, most people would have installed iron bars - not Boo. They hired in a team of ex Gurkhas to mind the business - excess indeed.
The book excellently shows the passions, greed and determination of the dot com world. If you want to know what it was all about then read this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget buying a thriller - this is thrilling fact!, 14 Aug 2002
By 
Bernard Hawkes (Windsor, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
O.K. so I was passing through Gatwick airport on my way to Lanzarote for a sun and sea and relax holiday - and spent an avid seven days unable to stop reading Boo Hoo! What a book, o.k. easy to throw bricks but overall it takes you into a world where few of us will ever venture. If you have just half a toe in the business or internet world just get it and read it - it's mesmorising! Whether you love it or hate it, this was for real!
I have never in my life read a book twice...Boo Hoo I shall read again. The outcome was easy to see, but amazingly so many trillion'aires could not even see it...what the hell are they doing in business? There's a moral to it all somewhere!! Enjoy Boo Hoo but be warned dont start reading it at 8.00pm one night...you may well lose a nights sleep...but enjoy anyway!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down - what a great story!, 29 Dec 2006
A brilliant story - although it isn't a story, this REALLY happened. An unbelievably fast-paced, high-energy read, reliving, moment by moment, the incredible rise and fall of one of the internets most promising businesses. A great read for anyone interested in business or the internet. If you;re interested in both, this will probably be your favourite book...ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Action in Slow Motion, 15 July 2004
By 
N. Evans "sassylad" (Notting Hill) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Boo Hoo is one of my favourite reads, it's like watching a car crash in extreme slow motion rewind; you know there's going to be an impact, you're just not quite sure when.
The narrative throughout this enthralling read is fast and furious and gives a real sense of the whirlwind of excitement that powered what still stands as one of the most innovative retail experiments on the net to date.
Well worth reading!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!, 5 Sep 2002
By 
This book is fantastic! I wanted to read a dot.com disaster and remembering an article I heard on the news about Boo.Com made me buy this book. You almost can't believe what you are reading, you know the big fall is coming but are powerless to intervene - millions and millions of dollars are being handed over like pennies, "cool" people front a fantastic idea but don't have the technology to back it up (eye off the ball and onto the next business class flight methinks!) It's like being transported into another world of launch parties (but no launch), decadent resturants and private jets! You will be gripped - I read this book twice in 1 week.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where are you now, Miss Boo?, 7 Aug 2002
By 
Curns "curns" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
What a fascinating book. Take two Swedes, a desire to be "cool" and throw $135 million at them! Ernst Malmsten's story of boo.com is a warning to all new enterprises everywhere: get some strong financial controls and make sure you stay in charge of your costs. Most of all, it tells us that there is no substitute for some experience when running a shop.
I was sceptical that Ernst et al. would hide behind others and not shoulder the blame. However, what comes through clearly is the founder's vision, belief and desire to build a world class product as well as the management's failings when developing that business. It is possible to read much by what is not said, as well as what story is directly told and in that, an incredible tale unfolds before you.
The book is well written and highly addictive. As the inevitable end approaches it becomes one of those books you pick up all the time, even just to read the next two paragraphs. As a story it is thoroughly thought-out, well-paced and fascinating. As an insight into online business history it may be one-sided and sometimes lacking but it remains compulsive reading and a captivating look a never-to-be-repeated economic boom (and bust) time.

Boo.com became synonymous with the "live the high live, party hard" culture that many cash fuelled Internet start-ups went (and spent) through. "Live hard, die young and leave a beautiful corpse" could almost have been written of Miss Boo.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 20 Oct 2004
By A Customer
Un-put-down-able. I also worked for two years launching '3', the major new telco and believe me, it is an uncannily similar story. So much so that I actually wonder if some of our senior managemeent worked at Boo. New technology and too much cash. This is a story that will surely be repeated all too often.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gripping reading but one sided, 11 Dec 2002
This was a gripping book from the very first chapter. It was writen in a "John Grisham" style where both pace and tension glided easily throughout. Not an artistic piece of work at all or even mildly philosophical like the some good business books. This is perfectly made for the airport book stand like no other.
The content leaves less to be said. Totally one sided but fascinating to read in some detail how it all came together. It was like seeing how lottery winners spend their first year, dazed and thrilled with endless talk of the what will happen next once things calm down a little.
From a business point of view this must be read as a classic guide for how not run a business. It is incredulous to read about the high spending on business trips despite the rather paltry attempts to justify it. Patrik Hendelin his co-founder is beaten up and dragged through the nettles for letting the finances slip, but hang on, didn't Ernst let all the technology deadlines slip and everything else besides? Patrik didn't seem that bad, actually, given less overblown responses from investors i reckon he would kept his head and done OK. Kajsa was portrayed more balanced -but- reading through the lines you could see she was the colleague (and client) from hell when it came to disagreements.
But there was something else that came across again and again about Ernst. What is it? It is something to do with the occasional anecdotes he drops about the glow from the christmas lights seen from his office window, or how he felt like a fish in Boo's glassed walled conference room. It was this "literary" angle, the poetical expressions he employs. You see, this was him, this was the real Ernst. Most business books are clipped and efficient. This reads well but it could be about rock music.
Despite thousands of words of imagery suggesting we are on a roller coaster ride with exciting business stars, it's an illusion. At heart this guy is a poet not a business man. And that, as the man said, is why we went bust.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boo-by Prize, 23 Nov 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If ever there was a business that was more style than substance, it has to have been boo.com. In this first hand account of the rise and fall of the global operation, it is difficult to get to grips with what the real problems were, because Malmsten just continually lauds the concept, even as the bus was going over the cliff. Occasionally, he has a flash of insight, but if he states that boo.com was essentially a clothes retailer more than once then I must have missed it. But the fact that boo.com was an online shop, albeit a stylish one, seems to have been forgotten early on. The main issues discussed were things like what Miss Boo's (the electronic shop assistant) "attitude" should be. "She needs to be so un-cool she's cool"......"She's young and streetwise, has gone a bit off the rails, but recovered from it". Meanwhile the website became so Flash and digitally encumbered it took an average of four minutes for the front page to load. At times, and with hindsight, you do wonder what planet Malmsten and Leander were on, hiring top rate staff at outrageous salaries when they'd hardly managed to sell a pair of socks. And whenever there was a problem, the solution was basically to throw someone else's money at it until it went away. Malmsten's attitude often seems to be "never mind the numbers, feel the concept and look at my new blue Paul Smith velvet suit." When he sacks one of his co-founders, he can't resist stating that the guy's dress sense was never all that good anyway. As if that mattered, but you just cannot escape the feeling that to both Malmsten and Leander, appearance was all. As long as boo.com looked good and sounded good, then surely it had to be good too? Unfortunately for them, despite all the ideas, design and electronic infrastructure, when the cash failed to come in to compensate that which was flooding out, boo.com was left exposed and fell even more quickly than it rose.
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Boo Hoo: a Dot-com Story
Boo Hoo: a Dot-com Story by Charles Drazin (Hardcover - 1 Nov 2001)
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