Trends, Waves, Windows & Bubbles

Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D.
Digital Systems Press (2014)
ISBN: 9780983342465
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (5/14)

Article first published as Book Review: ‘Trends, Waves, Windows & Bubbles’ by Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D on Blogcritics.

“Trends, Waves, Windows & Bubbles” by Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D. presents the third book in his technology series looking deeper into the effects of research and products. This particular book focuses on how one can pick up on an existing trend and profit from it without having to invent an actual product.

This idea is something I would have never really considered but it is all too true when you look at the iPhone and its first appearance. Not too long after, other phone production companies like Samsung popped up with their own version of a smart phone.  Adding to this trend of – there is now a whole new of options for those who can create apps for these smart phones. So to look at this example, Apple created the iPhone and other people latched on to this trend, creating their own versions, even cheaper ones, and didn’t have to invent or re-invent, but rather just ride the big wave while its hot. To this day the things we can do with our smartphones keeps changing, for instance paying at retail with your phone and touching phones together to share files.

The book is divided into four parts, one for each of the title categories: trends, waves, windows & bubbles. Each section elaborates on how to tell the difference between trends and decide if it is something that will be around for a while and you can profit from or whether it’s a wave that will come in big and then crash at shore being long forgotten by consumers.

There are lots of examples of different trends and waves, then it’s on to windows of opportunity, finally leading up to how to determine when the bubble is about to burst. The bubbles are described as basically like blowing bubbles with bubble gum and how the bubble can only get so big before it bursts.  Knowing when the right window of opportunity arises and then how to “get out” before the bubble bursts.

One other example used in the book is the more recent switch from analog TV to digital TV. How funny and true it is that the manufacturers of TV’s may have thought that this new found need for the fancy flat screen, really was a wave of consumers making the switch because they had to or lose their program channels. Most of these manufacturers loaded up on making tons of new TVs only to find that after the majority of consumers had replaced their TV’s would not be upgrading for a very long time, leaving them with a lot of TVs that were not selling.

I found this to be true because personally, I didn’t upgrade my VCR until Blockbuster stopped offering VHS as rentals. I was then forced to get a DVD player if I wanted to watch movies at home.  This upgrade on my end was because I had to switch, not because I was chasing the next big thing in technology. Where there are some consumers, like my boyfriend, who want the newest and best, I am content with my DVD player for as long as DVDs are available.  I will be honest and say that my boyfriend upgraded one of my DVD players to Blu ray at Christmas and I do love the fact that I can actually watch Netflix and VUDU right on my TV with just one machine. Call me old fashioned but the truth is in the pudding. Thurber knows what he is talking about.

I found that “Trends, Waves, Windows & Bubbles” by Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D. is very easy to read and comprehend even though the information can be rather complex. I read the book fairly quickly and most “techies” could probably read this book in one sitting.  I also found that throughout, the author has inserted his own humor making me giggle at some of the facts and examples in the history of technology. I would recommend “Trends, Waves, Windows & Bubbles” to the technology geek who wants to be able to spot the right product and make big money the right way.

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