Cloud Surfing: A book review by Bob Morris

Posted on: July 25th, 2012 by bobmorris

Cloud Surfing: A New Way to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale, and Success
Thomas M. Koulopoulos
Bibliomotion (2012)

Why and how hyperconnectivity technologies will help “builders of a brave new future” 

In the Introduction, Thomas Koulopoulos asks, what is the “single greatest phenomenon contributing to global growth, prosperity, and social and political change over the past two hundred years?”   I don’t what your answer is but mine was wrong. “It is the dramatic increase in connections. Not just an increase in person-to-person connections [but also] an increase in connections between every machine, device, process, and person.” What Koulopoulos has in mind – and addresses in this book – involves more, far more than a network of computers “that can be used in the sane way as an electric utility.” His purpose is to examine and explain a variety of forces “that are driving fundamental changes in behavior for individuals, businesses, and nations.”

Koulopoulos provides a wealth of information, insights, and counsel to help prepare his reader to understand issues and achieve strategic objectives such as these:

o   What the cloud is…and isn’t
o   The cloud’s most promising potentialities
o   The evolution of different cloud models (e.g. “time to community”) How each model can deliver value over time
o   How to manage the “pull-driven” framework of personalization
o   Key considerations: transparency, security, and trust
o   How and why mobility is a “killer app”
o   Multi-derivative forms of innovation
o   The relevance of commerce to alignment of investments, value, and risk
o   Cloudsourcing’s most promising options and opportunities

I agree with Koulopoulos, “The greatest possession in the coming century will be the community and the connections we form within the cloud.” It is important to keep in mind how much more time and effort will be needed as the human race makes its way to what the cloud represents, “the extremities of markets and the economy to which the power has been slowly but surely shifting for centuries.” Thomas Koulopoulos concludes his brilliant book with a bold, compelling vision: “Why not move the power further into the hands of the people who make up the communities, to amplify their voices and ambitions well beyond today’s constraints?”

Why not indeed?

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