Insights (Essays)

Insights (Essays) February 2011
Are there implications for healthcare?

Are Big Wave Surfers Behind the Unrest in the Middle East?

Anton Hart

This is not a review of the book: Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development, Management, Marketing and Investing. Unless you believe shameless publisher’s publicity. I haven’t even read the book that generated this note. It’s not yet available. But I am intrigued. Already. The is a compilation of promotional material from the publishers. Or the author. It appears that “they” may be one and the same. In any case “their” promotion is for a book soon to be published. And it caught my attention. I’ve compiled what “they” say and in a month I am going to buy the book – that’s when it becomes available.

This together with (1) Clayton Christensen’s new book The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care and Paul Batalden’s Lessons Learned in changing healthcare... and how we learned them are on my reading table.

And beware of a Book for Nurses that will come out in April and tells nurses what they need to hear. A sharp wit, a writer’s fascination with human nature, a deep understanding of the profession and a reputation for chutzpah will catch our readers’ deepest feelings about their daily work. If you want to be the first to know that it’s available write me here.

So here is the commentary related to Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development, Management, Marketing and Investing. I’m intrigued because I hope we can now explore the implications of “Big Wave Surfing” for healthcare. Who’s first?

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Feb. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Middle East. Uprisings. Turmoil. Is this what happens when the innovators and networks of the new world of technology hit the networks of the old world order? Is this the inevitable result when protestors using Google, Twitter and Facebook - all technology brought about by Big Wave Tech Surfers - meet the tide of current events?

Three years ago, an economic wave hit the world. Now we are seeing a second wave, but this wave is political.

Ken Thurber, author of Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development, Management, Marketing and Investing, sees this as a normal evolution: "Technological change has crashed upon the world political scene. Like any wipeout it isn't always pretty, but it's the inevitable result of forces that have been forming for years."

Such changes have occurred in the past. 1968 was a particularly tumultuous year in America with riots, assassinations, and the Tet offensive in Vietnam, which caused iconic CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite to break with and publicly criticize President Lyndon Johnson and his handling of the war.

The difference now is that technology has made knowledge and events almost instantaneously accessible to a much wider audience. News travels across the world without censorship.

In fact, in Egypt, a big-wave tech surfer like Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who helped plan the protests, is now seen as one of the leaders in the pro-democracy movement that is sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa.

Thurber observes, "The people are restless. In Thailand last year we saw the pre-cursor to this when people sacked the building that housed the Thai stock exchange."

Thurber goes on to say we have fissures bubbling beneath the surface of American society as well. "How well we deal with these stresses and embrace the next wave, the innovation economy, will determine whether profound structural changes will occur in American society." The effects of rapid communication can already be seen in the state of Wisconsin as it struggles against the fiscal excess of the past and tries to balance its budget. Protests erupted quickly and were coordinated in hours.

The Internet, with its social networks, has just started to tap the power of people for both good and evil. The tempo of social change will only increase. Are we ready for what will come next? Big Wave Surfing answers that question.

About the Author: Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D., is a computer architect. He developed the concept of "technology big wave surfing" to empower readers to understand and harness the opportunity of an ever-changing technological world.

See and read more at: Readers should bookmark this page for the official launch on March 29th.

Order the book at:

Critical Issues Discussed in the Book. The United States has evolved from an agricultural to a service economy. To maintain our standard of living, we must become the world’s innovation economy. The Big Wave Surfing Book provides you the insights necessary to survive in today’s technology economy by providing you understanding of rapid technology change and innovation.

Critical Skills Necessary to Succeed in Today’s Economy. Can you think completely out of the box? Is there a completely new product concept that you can develop? Are there entirely new product categories that we have not thought about? What if you took an existing product and tried to determine what that product would look like under a new set of technology assumptions? Can you create new innovative products and jobs?

When the government talks about job creation, the only real thing it can do is be supportive of the innovation environment. The government does not create jobs and economic activity! In a society where a month seems like a lifetime, you cannot make a forty-year career plan unless you can constantly reinvent yourself. The industrial base and environment is in a continual state of disruption. You must embrace disruption to be able to survive in today’s economy. Disruptive technologies will cause big waves to form.

In today’s technology world, demand for and adoption of technology by users create the massive financial impact of big wave products. If you can generate a huge user demand, you can create a massive product structure and rapid growth. Our probabilities of finding a big wave are highest when a new product forms a new industry. Positioning of your new product or service will be the key to its success. There are proven techniques to spot and ride big waves that will contribute to the success of your product, service or investment.

The Big Wave Surfing book brings the issues of our innovation based technology driven economy to the average reader in an understandable form. It is designed to be read by every person from a corporate CFO to the individual trying to make an investment decision for their IRA. It will give you the insights that you need to succeed in our current innovation economy!

Extreme Technology Disruption. The Big Wave Surfing Book is about extremes!
If you want to read the street fighter's guide to the technology business, you are at the right place. Technology disruption creates the opportunity for the application of extreme techniques to quickly build products and create high growth companies.

Big Waves are Unpredictable. The Big Wave Surfing Book is about managing unpredictable events!
Value is created when you can exploit rapid changes in the technology environment. You must be quick because the window of opportunity can close very quickly. Be quick and you will catch the latest big wave. Be slow and miss the wave. Be sloppy riding the face of the wave and you will wipe out.

Storms Create Disruption. Disruption can take many forms: political, economic, legislative and technology. You want to think about the impacts of disruption on the possible future of products and systems. You need to develop unconventional scenarios that look at the possible effects of disruption. You need not be the person who causes disruption, but you can be the person who uses disruption to your advantage.

Appropriate Tactics Avoid Wipe Outs. The main categories of players that can set out on the big wave are the lead developer (and the development team), the technical management, the marketing staff, and the investors supplying money to the product process. Each of these groups has a unique perspective. However, there are some lessons learned about how to achieve success within these various disciplines in fast growing companies. The lessons of how to achieve a fast growth rate and the sacrifices that growth may cause can be very painful.

The author/publisher goes on and gives away a tidbit from each and every chapter. Check it out. I’m not doing to do all their work.

Commentary written and compiled by Anton Hart -- the publisher at Longwoods Publishing Corporation. Their most recent book is Paul Batalden’s Lessons Learned in changing healthcare... and how we learned them.


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