TECHNOTRENDS by Daniel Burrus


How You Can Go Beyond Your Competition by Applying Tomorrow's Technology Today
Email this review


 In a readable departure from the mass of business books, technological futurist Burrus invites seven fictional characters to enjoy a week of after-dinner card games, where they learn profitably to use his business axioms and predictions by playing them as winning cards in a postindustrial form of poker. The characters include the grumpy CEO of a dying mainframe computer manufacturer, a middle-aged landscape designer, a young female insurance agent, an entrepreneurial farmer named Tanya, a dedicated but despairing high-school science teacher, the owner of a food-products distribution company, and an ambitious assistant hospital administrator. One evening is devoted to solving the professional problems of each--which include massive investment in the wrong product (the CEO), cutthroat competition (the suburban landscaper), untameable bureaucracy (the hospital manager), and slim profit margins (the farmer). The author deals out cards from a ``new rules'' deck--there are 30, ranging from cards reading ``Make rapid change your best friend'' to ``Build a better path to the customer''--and the characters then add appropriate cards from a second deck consisting of 24 technological ``tools,'' such as electronic notepads, recombinant DNA technology, and ``fuzzy logic.'' Consequently, the farmer decides to rededicate her unprofitable cows to pharmaceutical research; the science teacher resolves to launch his own computerized video network for teaching inner-city students; and the landscaper learns to specialize in anti-noise technology to squeeze out his competition. The results of Burrus's game-plan seem sometimes more, sometimes less practical and persuasive, but his ``tools and rules'' are entertaining and provocative. (Helpful appendices provide in-depth descriptions of the next decade's likely core technological improvements.)

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1993
ISBN: 0-88730-627-6
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1993


IndieMIND-SET ADJUSTMENTS by Nick Kenyeres
by Nick Kenyeres