The Pebble and the Avalanche: How Taking Things Apart Creates Revolutions (Hardcover)
The Pebble and the Avalanche shows how the Internet, the auto industry, music downloading, and other rapidly evolving industries are all connected by the same dynamic -- disaggregation. Moshe Yudkowsky shows why this dynamic is crucial to survival in the 21st century marketplace, and how you can use it to bring about change in your industry. Disaggregation means taking things apart -- for example, the break-up of AT&T, which greatly improved phone service. But there are more subtle examples. Separating information from the storage medium -- digital music doesn't rely on records, tapes, or CDs; digital photographs don't require paper; and digital movies don't need film -- has enabled millions of people to create and share their work (and others') far more easily than ever before, with enormous implications. Think of this process as an avalanche: at the top of a mountain, rocks are jammed together in a solid mass. Pry some of these rocks loose and you will unleash a tremendous outpouring of energy that sweeps everything from its path. The same thing happens in technology: with the right innovation, you can pry the pieces of technology apart and unleash an outpouring of powerful ideas that shake apart whole industries. Yudkowsky details exactly how disaggregation works, describing five different ways of taking things apart, and the many ways it can be used to generate new innovations. The Pebble and the Avalanche provides strategies for successfully adapting to a disaggregation revolution, and points towards the future, identifying several industries that are about to be completely transformed by disaggregation.
About the Author
Moshe Yudkowsky received his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Northwestern University. After two years as assistant director of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory at the Department of Physics at Northwestern University, Moshe joined Bell Laboratories as a member of the technical staff. Moshe worked on a variety of projects at Bell Labs, including the first national deployment of AT&T's "robotic operator." After leaving AT&T, Moshe joined Dialogic Corporation as a senior system architect. Moshe worked with speech technology companies to find ways to simplify their transition to Dialogic hardware. Moshe left Dialogic to found Disaggregate, a technology consulting firm that helps clients understand, create, and apply revolutionary technology. In parallel with his work at AT&T and at Dialogic, Moshe chaired the Automatic Speech Recognition Task Force of the Enterprise Computer Telephony Forum, an industry trade group. In his final year with the forum, he served as technical chair of the organization. Moshe is a founder of the Midwest Speech Technology Association, a professional organization centered in the Midwestern United States, and serves as chair of the organization. He is a member of the board of Applied Voice Input/Output Society, an international professional organization.