Martin Kihn: Hachette Speakers Bureau

Martin Kihn

Author, Digital Marketer, & Recovering Consultant

Martin Kihn is a writer, digital marketer, dog lover, balletomane and spiritual athlete. He was born in Zambia, grew up in suburban Michigan, has a BA in Theater Studies from Yale and an MBA from Columbia Business School. His articles have appeared in New York, the New York Times, GQ, Us, Details, Cosmopolitan and Forbes, among many others, and he was on the staff of Spy, Forbes, New York and Vibe.

In the late 1990s, Kihn was head writer for the popular television program Pop-Up Video on MTV Networks and was nominated for an Emmy for Writing. He lost to Win Ben Stein’s Money, decided to quit writing and got into business school. Ironically enough, the tragicomic world of American business, where everybody seemed to be speaking an impressive language that was not quite English, and not quite clear, provided him with a whole new vein of source material, and his writing career really took off.

Kihn’s first book was a humorous expose of the consulting industry called House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time, based on the three years he spent working for a large consultancy. The Economist said “a more entertaining book about business is unlikely to appear for a long time,” and called it “exceedingly smart and funny,” echoing Publishers Weekly’s reviewer, who declared the book “highly intelligent and deeply funny.” House of Lies will premiere as Showtime’s newest series, starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell in 2012.

Kihn followed up a few years later with a grotesquely satirical stunt-memoir called A$$hole: How I Got Rich & Happy By Not Giving a Damn About Anyone. The premise of this reality TV-type firebomb was that a guy who is too nice to get ahead in business (aka Marty) decides systematically to turn himself into a pricktard and reap the rewards. Film rights were sold to Warner Brothers, where it is in development, and Booklist raved “Kihn’s got a great ear for dialogue - and a comedic sense worthy of Second City.”

For reasons that elude Kihn, A$$hole became a publishing phenomenon in Germany and Austria, sitting for months on the Der Spiegel bestseller list and causing his German publisher to proclaim him “the David Hasselhoff of satirical non-fiction.” Notes from his legion of German fans lead some to suspect Kihn’s gossamer irony was lost in translation.

At the heart of Kihn’s third memoir, Bad Dog: A Love Story, is an intensely charismatic, terribly-behaved 90-pound Bernese mountain dog named Hola. After a shattering personal crisis, Kihn decides to train Hola and together they earn their Canine Good Citizen certification from the American Kennel Club. It’s a journey of redemption, as together man and dog reclaim their lives by working toward a common goal.

Kihn is married to the singer-songwriter Julia Douglass. After many years living and working in New York City, the couple recently relocated to Minneapolis, where Kihn works as a digital marketing strategist for a well-known agency.

Interested in booking Martin Kihn to speak at your next event?

Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau.


  • House of Lies: How to Talk to a Consultant
  • The Dark Side of American Business
  • Laughter and Recovery: Finding the Light in Business and Life

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