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The Unicorn Project

A Novel About Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data
By: Gene Kim
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Phoenix Project wowed over a half-million readers. Now comes The Unicorn Project! 

“The Unicorn Project is amazing, and I loved it 100 times more than The Phoenix Project…” (Fernando Cornago, senior director platform engineering, Adidas)

“Gene Kim does a masterful job of showing how … the efforts of many create lasting business advantages for all.” (Dr. Steven Spear, author of The High-Velocity Edge, sr. lecturer at MIT, and principal of HVE LLC)

“The Unicorn Project is so clever, so good, so crazy enlightening!” (Cornelia Davis, vice president of technology at Pivotal Software, Inc., author of Cloud Native Patterns)

This highly anticipated follow-up to the best-selling title The Phoenix Project takes another look at Parts Unlimited, this time from the perspective of software development. 

In The Unicorn Project, we follow Maxine, a senior lead developer and architect, as she is exiled to the Phoenix Project, to the horror of her friends and colleagues, as punishment for contributing to a payroll outage. She tries to survive in what feels like a heartless and uncaring bureaucracy and to work within a system where no one can get anything done without endless committees, paperwork, and approvals. 

One day, she is approached by a ragtag bunch of misfits who say they want to overthrow the existing order, to liberate developers, to bring joy back to technology work, and to enable the business to win in a time of digital disruption. To her surprise, she finds herself drawn ever further into this movement, eventually becoming one of the leaders of the Rebellion, which puts her in the crosshairs of some familiar and very dangerous enemies. 

The Age of Software is here, and another mass extinction event looms - this is a story about rebel developers and business leaders working together, racing against time to innovate, survive, and thrive in a time of unprecedented uncertainty...and opportunity.  

©2019 Gene Kim (P)2019 Gene Kim

What members say

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Excellent Story Telling

A great follow up to the Phoenix project. This book really captures the challenges business go through with traditional IT models.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-12-2019

Audio was horrible

The splicing of redo’s was bad, distractingly bad. Seems like they rushed it. I like the story, but not a quality audiobook.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Vegas
  • 06-12-2019

This book is just ok. You are much better with The Phoenix Project

Let me start by saying the authors prior work The Phoenix Project is the best book ever written on Devops. This book really doesn’t match up. Simple put if you listen to the Phoenix Project you can ignore this book. What is unfortunately missing is more mr miyagi recommendations and frameworks that folks can leverage. There are just brief glimpses of it from The board member / bar owner Erik but overall it’s nothing profound. Unlike the last book where there are so many transformations with Bill and John. Sorry Gene this was the most anticipated book I had and I think you let us down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • 匿名
  • 29-11-2019

Terrible performance distracts from the story

The audio recording contains randomly spliced in sections that appear to have been added later on, it is extremely distracting and really throws you out of the story.

For such a highly anticipated book the lack of care that went into this recording is simply astonishing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • louvipi
  • 01-12-2019

Enjoyable, fast paced, Will re-listen to it again

Great book. Managed to be a sequel without being a sequel. Great listen. I hope this bit of fiction will continue to have a positive impact on our industry and the workforce. Be nice to people, remove obstacles, keep on learning.

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  • Megan Atkinson
  • 29-11-2019

Long live the rebellion!

Such a great story. I'm not a developer but I work side by side with them everyday. I can see so much of my organization in Parts Unlimited. This book gives me hope for the rebellion. (But there is a lot of weird post-editing in the audio - almost sounds like a different narrator here and there. It's distracting.)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-11-2019

I liked it.

It was good enough for me to go back and buy the Phoenix Project. This is not damning with faint praise, it is worth a listen.

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  • Kevin Fairchild
  • 28-11-2019

Inconsistent Narration

The story was great, as expected. I had some minor gripes, but overall it was enjoyable. I have already shared physical copies of the book with others.

That being said, the audiobook narration was a bit distracting for me... It's like portions of the audio were lost, someone re-recorded just those small pieces, and no one cared how jarring the transition would be...

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  • Shawn Scarber
  • 27-11-2019

A great fictional account of applied DevOps

I'm a huge fan of the original Phoenix Project novel. In it, we follow an IT department attached to a retail car parts supplier through their journey of total dysfunction to a solid partner with the business. The Unicorn Project takes us on a journey with the same company, and the same time-period, but instead of following along with the IT operations, we follow closely along with the development teams.
And like the Phoenix Project, this novel is full of all sorts of ideas and insights that are sure to inform the next generation of IT and Business leaders, because as the novel makes clear, there cannot really be a stark line dividing these two parts of the business body.

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  • Jeremy Hillin
  • 27-11-2019

Must read for all Companies

If you are in IT, make your teams read these books and if you work in business, read them too to better understand how Tech should work.

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  • Marc Grant
  • 11-12-2019

Another Compelling Technology Book from Gene Kim

For those in the IT industry for any period of time, 26 years in my case, The Unicorn Project is a sign of the times and a guide for navigating those times. While the speed of change presented is a little unrealistic, the foundation and steps to build upon are solidly provided. I may be jaded a bit from past experiences.
The narrator does a great job and has a pleasant voice. Her pronunciation of words with the letter “t” in the middle is no’able but you get use to it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan Gannon
  • 07-12-2019

Not very imporhant

A poor attempt to create a dev version of Project Phionix. The original having been more relevant. The story is poor, only getting going in chapter 10. And the narrator was exceptionally bad. Poor annunciation and no attempt was made to provide characters with distinct voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Martin Woodward
  • 27-11-2019

The DevOps parable

As a software engineer helping with some of the largest DevOps transformations, I can honestly say this is one of the most impactful business transformation books I’ve ever read. The fictionalised narrative form is so hard to do well but like Goldratt‘s ‘The Goal’ or Johnson’s ‘Who Moved My Cheese’, Gene’s latest book manages to pull it off. What made the tale even more relatable was that for many of the characters, it wasn’t that they didn’t know how to build systems or were incompetent. Most of the characters in the book (with a couple of notable exceptions) are well intentioned, seasoned professionals - but that in the fog of difficult deadlines and complex problems it’s easy to forget the basics that allow you improve engineering velocity and focus solving problems for your customers. After listening to the book, I’m constantly spotting signs that remind me of Parts Unlimited but Gene’s DevOps parable is helping me hone in on these problem areas and bring them back to basics. It’s a book that will live with me for many years.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 30-11-2019

As good and important as The Phoenix Project

As a developer/DevOps engineer in a large enterprise struggling to move into a digitally focused business I found this book a great source of knowledge and inspiration. The Phoenix Project was the same, but the ideas always felt more high level within the business I worked in so struggled to apply them for any real change, The Unicorn Project I feel closer to the key characters and will be attempting to use the teachings in my work.