Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development, Management, Marketing & Investing

Kenneth J. Thurber, PhD
Beaver's Pond Press (2011)
ISBN 9781592983803

Reviewed by Richard Blake for Reader Views (6/11)

Kenneth J. Thurber has a cutting edge insight, recognition and understanding of today’s rapid change in technology development and the impact this has on management, marketing and investing. Using a dynamic surfing metaphor he guides the reader to prepare for the next wave of “economic dislocation and disruption” throughout his book “Big Wave Surfing.”

The book is divided into two parts: Spotting Big Waves and Riding Big Waves.  Thurber describes the purpose of his book is: “to discuss techniques, attitudes, reasons, and ways to balance extreme optimism and risk in the technology business.”

In an easy to read, conversational style Thurber helps the reader identify with some basic principles. I found the following especially significant and beneficial:

•    Recognize that the process of change in technology is ongoing, constant and one must adjust.
•    Embrace change knowing that change creates challenges and opportunities.
•    Accept the fact that innovations and technology create risks for investors in the field of development and provide opportunity and potential for success and wealth.
•    Understand that economic development is driven by technology which creates jobs.
•    Grasp the fact that the world today is in an innovation culture.
•    Realize that development is evolutionary, not revolutionary.

The visual illustrations added to the effectiveness of the book’s practical helpfulness. Each chapter is divided into self-contained compartmentalized sections organized topically with descriptive headings which clearly identify principles, concepts, and issues being presented. Chapter summaries serve as a tool for digesting, retaining, and assimilating the practical principles covered.  

Filled with practical and proven techniques, Thurber’s insight and challenge will help the reader survive today’s rapidly changing job and economic climate. It is more than a theoretical book. It is for the technical practitioner at every level, a book filled with clearly written proven strategies for success and effectiveness in a rapidly changing and growing business environment.

Thurber writes with conviction, sometimes unconventional, always cutting edge, and reader-friendly.  I enjoyed his writing style, his humor, his principles, strategies, suggested techniques, and personal observations.

“Big Wave Surfing” will be beneficial to the corporate CFO, for the management team, the small business entrepreneur, or for anyone trying to make investment decisions for an IRA account.

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