The Sierra Adventure: The Story of Sierra On-Line by Shawn Mills

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    • #42207 Reply
      Alexis
      Guest

      Hi Ken,

      Did you read the book “The Sierra Adventure: The Story of Sierra On-Line” by Shawn Mills?
      If you read it, what’s your opinion about it?
      Is it an accurate historical summary of Sierra’s history? Which is what the author had in mind I think.

    • #42211 Reply
      Ken Williams
      Keymaster

      The Sierra Adventure is a great book, but very different from mine. I did read it, but most of the information was new to me. My book is about things like marketing strategy, product strategy, technical strategy, etc. Whereas Shawn’s book was focused on what it was like to work for Sierra, deep down in the trenches. Shawn did a huge amount of research, conducting dozens (probably hundreds) of interviews — whereas I sat in front of my computer and typed out my distant memories. If my book had required the level of research that Shawn did, it never would have happened.

      Together, the two books compliment each other nicely.

      As a side note: I always think in terms of “takeaways” — meaning, if you invest 10 hours in doing something, what did you take away from the experience? There are things that are done purely for entertainment value, that have no takeaways. But generally, when reading, I expect to takeaway some new skill. My goal with my book was to give others tools they can use in their own lives. I wanted the “takeaway” from my book to be that people would boost their analytic and strategic skills, regardless of the business they are in, and that through seeing my mistakes, they could avoid similar mistakes in their own lives. That was my goal anyhow. Whether or not I achieved it, only time will tell.

      -Ken W

    • #42246 Reply
      Alexis
      Guest

      Hi Ken,

      Were Roberta and you also interviewed by Shawn Mills for his book?

      • #42251 Reply
        Ken Williams
        Keymaster

        We were not interviewed. My guess is that Shawn contacted us and begged, and we said no. After his book was released I realized that we should have responded and taken it more seriously.

        We get LOTS of requests for interviews, and have had many people over the years say they were doing books or documentaries, 99% of which never happen. Even the Netflix documentary almost never happened because we refused several times before we finally agreed.

        Sierra was a long time ago. It was an amazing time and I very much wish I could relive it. But that said, it was then and this is now. Reliving it over and over again for the rest of our lives accomplishes less than creating something new to talk about. We like to face forward, not backwards.

        My guess is that until I have a new game to promote (if ever) .. I won’t be writing any more Sierra books, and am unlikely to do more Sierra interviews. We do love the fans, and are blown away that people still remember us 20 years after Sierra’s demise, but also don’t want Sierra to be the period on the sentence of our lives. We’re not THAT old, and there are still a lot of great things we can do. That’s our focus.

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