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.

In The US Review of Books

Reviewed by Jenny Luper
The US Review of Books
PO Box 11
Titusville, NJ 08560

Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development,
Management, Marketing & Investing
by Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D.
Beaver’s Pond Press

“Big wave surfing is an extreme sport practiced by a few unique individuals. It is quite similar to the high-tech industry in that a few individuals take high-risk chances played out on steep growth curves.”

The concept of surfers catching the really big waves and riding them to shore is uniquely compared to making money within the field of technology. The ocean storms which create the impetus to the giant swells are shown as similar to disruptions in society which bring about industrial innovation and the potential for large-scale profits (i.e. riding the big waves). Yet Thurber goes beyond the analogy to describe a state of mind where one needs the acuity to spot the disruptions in society and the fortitude to follow through in taking these technological advances to market. As Thurber describes, not only do big wave surfers and their counterparts in technological innovation have nerves of steel, but a focus and drive to see their products reach the topmost levels of earnings, then they can jump off the wave and find a new one to ride.

This in-depth guide to becoming a technology entrepreneur is thoughtfully organized. Each chapter has numerous brief vignettes to illustrate multifaceted ideas as well as a quick summary at the end of each chapter for a handy reference. Thurber also has a great ability to simplify intricate theories for those new to extreme technology and gives interesting examples from within the front lines of his background as a developer, manager, marketer, investor, and educator. His synopsis on the lion hunters, wounded rabbit killers, and assistant trainers that attended his seminars is eye-opening to would-be presenters. With the ease of a seasoned speaker and businessman, Thurber boils down dramatic yet complex business concepts for the not so faint of heart.

In ForeWord Clarion Review

Reviewed by Barry Silverstein
ForeWord Clarion Review
129 ½ E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49684

Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development,
Management, Marketing & Investing
by Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D.
Beaver’s Pond Press

“Four Stars (out of Five)

Kenneth Thurber’s book, BIG WAVE SURFING, is a big book in more ways than one. Weighing in at a hefty 408 pages, this tome has a big purpose: to be “a street fighter’s guide to technology change and how to manage risk and profit from that change,” as the author puts it.
This isn’t the first time surfing has been compared to the technology business, and it surely won’t be the last. While the metaphor can be a bit tiresome at times, it is appropriate for the manner in which the author structures this book.

In Part One, Thurber addresses the concept of “Spotting Big Waves” —how big waves occur in technology (and more specifically, computer technology) and how the reader can identify them. Thurber makes the point throughout this part of the book that it is necessary to “embrace change caused by disruption” in order to ride the big waves of the technology revolution. He talks at length about technology disruption, indicating that the Internet “is one of the best examples of multiple disruption occurrences.” He also says “The only constant in big wave surfing is change. You must make your own product obsolete.”

Part Two of Big Wave Surfing addresses techniques to use in order to ride the technology wave. Here, Thurber devotes a chapter each to the product developer, the development manager, the “product sales guy” (who incorporates marketing), and the investor. For each of the four audiences, the author offers advice, suggestions, and somewhat unconventional tactics based on his experience.

The author believes that developing a technology product is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, because developers “take a new concept and graft it onto an existing concept or evolve an existing concept in a novel way.” He observes that most management tends to be reactive, but “big wave management” must be proactive. Thurber thinks a new product launch must generate marketing buzz to succeed. As for investors, the author says “the money guys are not fools. Whenever possible, they are trying to take your money.”

While the book is repetitive at times, it is packed with good information that should provide guidance to anyone who works in or has an interest in the field of information technology. Big Wave Surfing will also prove valuable to entrepreneurs who may be on the verge of starting a technology business.

If anything emerges loud and clear in Kenneth Thurber’s book, it is the fact that information technology is in a state of constant change. Like big waves, new technologies are always crashing onto shore to replace the previous ones. If Big Wave Surfing helps an individual ride these waves successfully, it will prove to be one big book worth reading.

In Reader Views

Reviewed by Richard Blake
Reader Views
3267 Bee Cave Road
Austin, Texas 78746

Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development,
Management, Marketing & Investing
by Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D.
Beaver’s Pond Press

“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:
1 – Recognize that the process of change in technology is ongoing, constant and one must adjust.
2 – Embrace change knowing that change creates challenges and opportunities.
3 – 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.
4 – Understand that economic development is driven by technology which creates jobs.
5 – Grasp the fact that the world today is in an innovation culture.
6 – 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.

In Readers Favorite Book Reviews

Reviewed by Anne B
Readers Favorite LLC
223 Truman Young Rd.
Hawesville, KY. 42348

Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development,
Management, Marketing & Investing
by Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D.
Beaver’s Pond Press

Five Stars out of Five

“The current economy leaves many of us with knots in our stomach. The stock market is volatile, jobs are uncertain, and retirement and social security benefits are eroding due to inflation. “Big Wave Surfing” offers hope in this insecure environment. Mentioning technology terrifies many workers, but it is the wave of the times. No longer can a factory worker expect to get by with their work ethic and their brawn. Manufactures want and need employees that are willing to adapt with the times. Kenneth J. Thurber Ph. D urges readers to look at their talents and develop them. Challenge yourself to invest in “skills that you need to survive!” A business, no matter what size, must become efficient in management and marketing.

Thurber creatively uses the image of a wave to illustrate what the reader must do to prosper: spot the coming wave, wait for it, meet it and maneuver it our way to successfully ride it to shore. “Big Wave Surfing” is written in an easy to read style offering tidbits of information on technology, promoting, and other strategies that will help you succeed in today’s economic market. The reader will find Thurber’s ideas to be unique and outside the box. This book is chock-full of interesting anecdotes and illustrations which are interesting and add much to the text.

This book teaches you to prepare yourself through education and research, learn what to watch for, be patient, and then grab your opportunity when presented. I found this book to be very helpful and encouraging.

Spotting Big Waves
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.
Riding Big Waves

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.