Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

Praise for my ebooks ‘The Intelligence Illusion’ and ‘Out of the Software Crisis’


The bundle

Don’t forget that the two books are also available as a bundle.

Praise for The Intelligence Illusion: a practical guide to the business risks of Generative AI

We’re reading a lot about AI. The Intelligence Illusion is a book we recommend.

Katy Cowan

This is a great book. And very timely. And it doesn’t require you to be tech-savvy, let alone to be an AI engineer, to read this book.

Amid the current AI tsunami, I knew it was time to do my share of learning this stuff by filling gaps among pieces of my fragmented knowledge about it and organize my thoughts around it. This book served that purpose very well.

Generative AI, ChatGPT and sorts, have been released prematurely with too many, too much downsides for possible benefits. It’s especially so when it comes to commercial use. This book walk you through possible risks your business might encounter if you casually incorporate it.

Many of his arguments opened my eyes. I’m glad I found his book at this timing. It’s a hype, at least for now and a foreseeable future. Use cases will likely be very limited. And to protect ourselves from bad actors, we need solid regulations, just like in the case of crypto.

yasuhiro yoshida 吉田康浩

The Intelligence Illusion is very level-headed. It is neither pro- nor anti-AI. Instead it takes a pragmatic look at both the benefits and the risks of using these tools in your business.


The Intelligence Illusion is full of practical down-to-earth advice based on plenty of research backed up with copious citations. I’m only halfway through it and it’s already helped me separate the hype from the reality.

Jeremy Keith

Should we build xGPT into our product?

Before you answer, make sure to take advantage of all the homework Baldur Bjarnason has done for you.

Brandon Rohrer

Back when I worked in publishing, I employed Baldur Bjarnason as a consultant on complex digital publishing projects, as I appreciated his ability to grasp technical detail and translate it into terms that a general manager could understand - and act upon. He has applied that same skill to a superb new ebook on the business risks of generative AI, which I was lucky enough to read in advance of publication. It combines deep research, logical analysis and clear business recommendations. Everyone’s talking about this topic, and anyone who has read this is going to be better informed and prepared than most

George Walkley

I bought it, and I read most of it (skimming the middle part), and it is brilliant. Thank you!

Matthias Büchse

I just bought the book this morning and it’s exactly what I needed. I have not seen a clearer description of how generative AI works, what it might be good for, and what the risks are. The references alone are worth the price of the book.

Dave Cramer

Really enjoying this so far, but that’s not a surprise. 👍🏽

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

Praise for Out of the Software Crisis

The only issue so far with @baldur’s book is how distracted I am by the typography. It’s a bit too good 😅

David Larlet

I’ve bought your book based solely on the extract about the business value of unit testing on the website. I read that and thought “YES! At last! Someone’s said it.” and wondered what else you have to say. I’m looking forward to reading it. :)

Chris Neale

I read @baldur’s book ‘Out of the Software Crisis’ on the flight over yesterday and I’d strongly recommend reading it.

The book tries to frame a lot of software failures by moving up an abstraction from tactics like “hey did you assign the right story points” to a more nuanced look at how companies manage software as a whole

Hoping to beat my roughly 50/50 ratio of big software projects succeeding in my career with (Thing I’m working on) and this book gives me new primitives for thinking about it.

Orta Therox

Reading Out Of The Software Crisis by @baldur and this hits hard:

“Most software companies overshoot their software development system complexity by a substantial margin because the margins on software businesses are so good. When times are good, everything you do seems to lead to growth. You begin to associate your random actions with random fluctuations in the market. Managers build mental models for how the market works that have no relation with reality.”

This is basically a book full of hot takes and I’m here for it.

James Harton

“Out of the Software Crisis” by @baldur is a great book and well worth the read. Highly quotable, and really challenged my view of software development in a few places.

Too many great quotes, but here’s one that hit me in the gut:

“Truly catastrophic software failures rarely get discovered in a sprint review or shipping retrospectives. The serious bugs that induce panic attacks only appear once the software is distributed widely enough to begin to experience edge cases. Most of the time, that only happens long after the software development team has moved on and marked the project as successful or challenged.”

Nolan Lawson

Love this quote about design from “Out of the software crisis” by @fakebaldur: “Decoration [is] the least important thing design does for software…[aesthetics] is part of what design does. It isn’t what you hire designers to do.”

Jim Neilsen

Really great as an introduction to systems thinking as applied to software design. It isn’t used as much as a guide or resource, but as a way to get a lay of the land.

Jennifer Jiang

This book “out of the software crisis” by @baldurbjarnason is really good 👍

I cannot recommend it highly enough

KimSia Sim

Just finished @baldur’s new book “Out of the Software Crisis”. It’s a whistle-stop tour of the history and current state of #software development, and an intro to systems thinking. Very relatable if you’re a #webdev, and has inspired me to read more…

Ben Walker

“Out of the Software Crisis” by @baldur is so good that I shared it with our executive management team. It’s short, non-technical, well-researched and identifies the key reasons software projects fail and how to improve the chance of success. Hoping this authoritative little book will help our team look beyond the waterfall/agile/safe/whatever dogmas to the importance of the wider organization in determining success.


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