The Change Function: Why Some Technologies Take Off and Others Crash and Burn

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Penguin, Jun 22, 2006 - Business & Economics - 240 pages
2 Reviews
The ultimate guide to predicting winners and losers in high technology 

Pip Coburn became famous for writing some of the liveliest reports on Wall Street. He quoted everyone from Machiavelli to HAL, Anaïs Nin to Yoda, Einstein to Gandhi. But along with the quirky writing, he consistently delivered sharp insights into technology trends and helped investors pick stocks with long-term potential.

After years of studying countless winners and losers, Coburn has come up with a simple idea that explains why some technologies become huge hits (iPods, DVD players, Netflix), but others never reach more than a tiny audience (Segways, video phones, tablet PCs). He says that people are only willing to change when the pain of their current situation outweighs the perceived pain of trying something new.

In other words, technology demands a change in habits, and that’s the leading cause of failure for countless cool inventions. Too many tech companies believe in "build it and they will come"— build something better and people will beat a path to your door. But, as Coburn shows, most potential users are afraid of new technologies, and they need a really great reason to change.

The Change Function is an irreverent look at how this pattern plays out in countless sectors, from computers to cell phones to digital TV recorders. It will be an invaluable book for people who create and invest in new technologies.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - futureman - LibraryThing

The Change Function has some good aspects but it is too difficult to overlook the many weaknesses. First the good: The idea of the “change function” is not new but Coburn describes it well. A ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PointedPundit - LibraryThing

Finally! A unique and refreshing view of change; and it is penned by a former technology securities analyst. Who would have thought it? Pip Coburn, who runs his own advisory firm and former managing ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
THE CHANGE FUNCTION
ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
SIX
SEVEN
EIGHT
NINE
TEN
ELEVEN
TWELVE
INDEX
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Pip Coburn is the founder of Coburn Ventures, an advisory services firm. Before starting his own company, he was a managing director and global technology strategist in the technology group of UBS Investment Research, where he oversaw 120 technology and telecom analysts worldwide.

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