The Pebble and the Avalanche: How Taking Things Apart Creates Revolutions (Hardcover)
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Important revolutions of the past 30 years include the Internet, personal computers, the XML programming language, and the breakup of AT&T. What do they have in common? All are based on innovations that break technology apart. After breaking a technology apart, it still works -- phone calls could still be made after the breakup of AT&T -- but it is composed of smaller and more flexible pieces that can be used to create new innovations. This process is called "disaggregation," so named because the pieces of the technology that were formerly stuck together are pried apart but not destroyed. Using the simple metaphor of the pebble and the avalanche -- prying rocks loose from a mountaintop releases tremendous energy -- this book explains the workings and benefits of disaggregation. Author Yudkowsky uses case studies from familiar companies and industries to explain how to generate similar innovations, in the process identifying strategies and tactics that maximize these innovations.