Worst Ideas Ever, A Book Review

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 Worse and Worst

The Worst Ideas Ever…Isn’t that a great name for a book? It is a suitable title too. I recently finished reading this brief, entertaining book, written by Daniel Kline and Jason Tomaszewski. It surprised me and had me laughing out loud!

We can probably all think of some pretty bad inventions when asked. But most of the ideas featured here were new to me. Some names I recognized, some ideas brought ‘oh, right!’ moments that took me back.

The book covers an array of subjects from actual inventions to sports decisions, business decisions to movies and celebrities.

For instance, do you remember Apple’s $700 electronic address book? Or the laser disks that came out after the VHR tapes that were even larger in size?

Or how about the television series ‘Cop Rock?’ Did you catch that? In the book they say to think Law and Order. Picture a court scene, or perhaps a chase scene, then break into song during the scene. Loses a bit of its drama, doesn’t it? Though you have to admit, it makes you smile just thinking about it.

Many of the ideas included were short-lived, so you might have missed them. Understandably so.

You will be asking yourself, “why would they do that?”

In their defense, at least they tried. And most of the ideas were certainly different. Since I have never invented anything, it is not my place to criticize the creative mind or its paths. Don’t you suppose that many of the inventions we now take for granted started out not quite as effective? Inventors of all sorts deserve our encouragement and gratitude. At least most of them. Hopefully they won’t be too offended as we laugh while reading this funny book.

The Best–or Worst–in my Opinion

My favorite worst idea was Chrysler’s attempt in incorporate phonographs in cars. A bit questionable to begin with since most of us will remember how the slightest bump would make a record skip. Hard to find an automobile that doesn’t face some bumps in the road. But, on top of that the size would only allow for 45’s.

Do you understand the problem? You had to turn the record over after each song. Not especially practical, is it? And you thought changing CDs was distracting.

They did come out with seven inch records. Oh good, much better. But they contracted with the only company who would supply them in that size—Columbia. As a result you could only play songs recorded on their label. Sadly, that didn’t work out too well.

Still More ‘Worst’ Ideas

Other worse ideas include The Hindenburg for its bad choice of fuel, the Yugo, which is referred to as the disposable car, gaming systems that worked worse than their predecessors, various actors/actresses who decided to break into song, and the debacle of Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno.

There is really something for everyone in the book. Are you a sports fan? Many of you will know about a lot of the bad sports decisions, from draft picks to ten cent beer night. Or there’s a bit of politics (both sides have their share of bad ideas), TV spinoffs, and more.

My 2nd favorite is the decision to force Steve Jobs out of Apple. Smart move for Apple, right? Mr. Jobs went on to Pixar (good job landing on your feet, Steve). Apple finally purchased a company to bring him back into the fold! Subsequently you see the iPod…the iPhone…the iPad…and so on. You’ve probably heard of them, haven’t you?

All in all it was a delightful read. Lots of fun facts to make you shake your head and smile. Some little bits of trivia and some majorly bad moves.

What WERE they thinking?


If you enjoy a sardonic author, you will like these two. Great senses of humor, sometimes in difficult circumstances!

I would have bought this book just for the cover photo, but learned about it through a friend. It was a delight to read, though the trip itself wasn’t quite so delightful for the author.


This is next on my list. Sedaris is always funny. A collection of essays relating to the love and family connections.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .


Author: Merry

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