The Pebble and the Avalanche

How Taking Things Apart Creates Revolutions

Moshe Yudkowsky (Author)

Publication date: 11/09/2005

The Pebble and the Avalanche
  • Offers a completely new, "big picture" look at what causes whole industries to change
  • Shows how this concept can be applied in any industry to unleash creativity and create dramatic improvements
  • Demonstrates that many of the most important breakthroughs of the past 200 years resulted from applying this concept

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.

• Offers a completely new, "big picture" look at what causes whole industries to change
• Shows how this concept can be applied in any industry to unleash creativity and create dramatic improvements
• Demonstrates that many of the most important breakthroughs of the past 200 years resulted from applying this concept

Read more and meet author below



Hardcover:
9781576752944

$27.95
(member price: $25.16)
Free shipping on all orders from the BK Publishers store.
Or find a local bookseller with Indiebound.

Other Available Formats and Editions

9781609943707

$27.95
(member price: $19.57)

9781576759615

$27.95
(member price: $19.57)
Bulk Discounts
Rights Information


Featured Books



More About This Product

Overview

  • Offers a completely new, "big picture" look at what causes whole industries to change
  • Shows how this concept can be applied in any industry to unleash creativity and create dramatic improvements
  • Demonstrates that many of the most important breakthroughs of the past 200 years resulted from applying this concept

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.

• Offers a completely new, "big picture" look at what causes whole industries to change
• Shows how this concept can be applied in any industry to unleash creativity and create dramatic improvements
• Demonstrates that many of the most important breakthroughs of the past 200 years resulted from applying this concept

Back to Top ↑

Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Moshe Yudkowsky

Dr. Moshe Yudkowsky has twenty years of experience in high-technology product development.

Dr. Yudkowsky is president of Disaggregate, <http://www.disaggregate.com>, a consulting company that helps companies create, understand, and apply revolutionary technology.  He is author of the "The Pebble and the Avalanche: How Taking Things Apart Creates Revolutions" (Berrett-Koehler, 2005). He specializes in a particular high-tech industry: speech technology, which includes speech recognition, text-to-speech, and biometrics.

Moshe received his Ph.D. in Physics from Northwestern University; he joined Bell Laboratories in 1987. At Bell Labs, Dr. Yudkowsky worked on several large-scale deployments of speech recognition applications, with responsibilities ranging from architecture to DSP development to application design.

Moshe joined Dialogic Corp. (later Intel) in 1996 as a Senior System Architect to nurture speech development. Moshe founded Disaggregate in 2002 to implement the principles outlined in his book.

Moshe speaks and writes extensively on various topics. He led the ECTF's Automatic Speech Recognition Task Group for over a decade, and served as Technical Chair of the ECTF in 2001. He was a board member of AVIOS, an organization that promotes speech technology. In 2002, he co-founded and became the first Chair of the Midwest Speech Technology Association, a US-based organization of speech technology professionals.

Back to Top ↑


Table of Contents



Part I. Disaggregation: Why the Sum of the Parts Is Greater than the Whole
1. Disaggregation: The Driving Force of Revolution
2. Starting Revolutions: What to Take Apart
3. Benefits of Disaggregation: the RevolutionaryÕs Bill of Rights
4. Four Stages to Revolution: Devise, Interface, Accept, Evaluate

Part II. Case Studies: Two Hundred Years of Revolution
5. From Horse and Buggies to Jet Planes: The Revolution in Manufacturing
6. The Automobile Takes on the Railroads
7. The Internet’s Permanent Revolution

Part III. Business Strategies: How to Cope, How to Fail, and How to Predict the Future

8. Interfaces and Standards: The Nuts and Bolts of Modern Civilization
9. Coping with Surprises
10. Marx, Lenin, and Gates: Failed Counterrevolutions
11. The Role of Government
12. Predictions: Three Revolutions in Progress
13. Getting Started, Finishing Touches

Back to Top ↑

Endorsements




"A terrific book -- it's full of ideas that helped me rethink our company's position in our commercial ecosystem. And it's entertaining, too!"

—Lin Chase, Ph.D., Vice President, Enterprise Solutions

"An absolutely fascinating book with an entirely new -- and entirely practical -- perspective on what's important in technology. This isn't another generic change-in-the-workplace book. This book offers rational advice and sensible tools that really make a difference when making decisions, both big and small."

—Ed Bennett, Director of Web Strategy, University of Maryland

"For anyone working in the high-tech world, The Pebble and the Avalanche provides a great framework for making decisions about product and market strategies. Yudkowsky's notion of disaggregation gives us a way of thinking about the evolution of industries from railroads to open source software. Through a series of interesting (and often entertaining!) examples, he shows us the fundamental power of breaking industries and products into smaller parts."

—Mike Phillips, CTO, ScanSoft Inc.

"A wonderful, thought-provoking book. [It] shows how at all scales, from the day-to-day problem-solving task to the largest IP issues of our time, disaggregation can be a powerful tool. After reading this book, you will think differently."

—Shmuel Weinberger, Professor, University of Chicago

Back to Top ↑