Imagine your main business competitor building a satellite-equipped "war room" to secretly monitor your new ventures. Imagine your classified product prototype mysteriously landing on the market under the brand name belonging to your archrival. Impossible? This isn't a story line from the latest spy thriller, it's modern-day corporate America. Spooked thrusts readers into a clandestine world-where business means war and information is worth stealing.Through narrative accounts of corporate spies within companies such as IBM, Microsoft, and Motorola, Spooked dramatically brings to life one of America's fastest-growing industries: Corporate Intelligence. In this page-burning exposé, Adam Penenberg and Marc Barry uncover and describe in thrilling detail the alarming regularity of espionage in industry. They offer an unsettling portrait of America's publicly traded companies, and unravel the truth and hypocrisy behind the multi-billion dollar corporate intelligence industry.
Paranoia levels will shoot through the ceiling among those who read this riveting report on the growing number of companies that spy on their competition in the U.S. Penenberg, an investigative journalist for Forbes, and Barry, founder of a corporate intelligence agency, argue that, in an environment of blistering competition, the edge belongs to the company with the best information on its rivals. In-house spy units, Penenberg and Barry claim, are cloaked behind doors with division titles like external development, market research and strategic marketing and, therefore, can't be accurately counted. Nevertheless, they contend, a clear indicator of growth in the new corporate-spy industry is the emergence of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, which sets ethical guidelines and standards of conduct for the industry and reportedly has 7,000 members. In the tradition of John le Carr , the industry has already developed its own colorful lingo for its various types of snoops, ranging from "the librarian"Dwho only searches publicly available sources of informationDto the "trade-show cowboy," who assumes a false identity to skulk around conventions. Penenberg and Barry report hair-raising tales of corporate skulduggery in loving detail, including how companies like Motorola and Avery Dennison have reaped huge benefits from their corporate-intelligence investments.