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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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6. Laetrile

Laetrile is a colorless liquid pressed from the soft bitter insides of apricot pits. In Sweden, you can buy the stuff in the grocery store for about the price of almond extract, and you use it in baking much as you would any other extract. In Mexico, you can buy it for fifty dollars a drop to “cure” your fatal cancer. Of course, it doesn’t cure anything. All the evidence demonstrates that it is a cruel fraud. But since no one else has anything at all to offer them, some terminal patients accept the claims of the laetrile peddlers, no matter how outrageous. People who are desperate enough don’t look very hard at the evidence.

Similarly, lots of managers are “desperate enough,” and their desperation makes them easy victims of a kind ...

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