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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for executives and non-techies
I have been getting involved with "cloud" issues in my career for the last couple of years. What I had struggled to find is something that I can pass on to executives to explain what it means from the a business perspective -- the impact it has on competitive strategy, on go-to-market plans, on partner and customer collaboration, etc.

Everything has either...
Published on June 6, 2012 by Nathaniel

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mind numbingly boring
I was told this was the way to think about the future for all business by a business colleague who met the writer . The book just waffles on about stuff that is already widely known. The book in a nutshell is very boring and poorly put together. Avoid.
Published 18 months ago by John Rose


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for executives and non-techies, June 6, 2012
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I have been getting involved with "cloud" issues in my career for the last couple of years. What I had struggled to find is something that I can pass on to executives to explain what it means from the a business perspective -- the impact it has on competitive strategy, on go-to-market plans, on partner and customer collaboration, etc.

Everything has either been so tech-oriented as to be irrelevant to an executive audience (and frankly most of that I have read on the techie front reads like it was written by a junior copywriter their first year out of school) or it is so high level and puffy with cliche cloud metaphors like "the cloud is going to rain on your parade, can you find the silver lining..."

In contrast, this is the first book I have seen which goes beyond the cliche metaphors, beyond stating the obvious (yeah the Internet continues to change everything, let's move on) yet stays above the fray of data center virtualization and other yawners -- and actually delivers tangible, relatable and actionable information.

The chapter on 'Cloud Economics' is something you can hand to any business executive and get their attention, and understanding. But 'Innovation in the Cloud' is a really a useful primer for understanding and explaining how cloud as a concept and as a collective set of capabilities really can transform business. The bottom line, if your goal is to understand where this is all going (cloud, mobile, social, post-PC interweb, et al.) and you're looking for more concrete info than how to configure a VMware virtual farm, then I highly recommend this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise for Cloud Surfing, June 10, 2012
By 
Judith L. Glick-smith (Cumming, GA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have been reading Thomas Koulopoulos' books since 1997. Each successive book has built on the previous in an evolution of thought and, yet, each appears as fresh and new, as if it was the "ah-ha!" moment of the previous iteration of what was running through Tom's brain at the time. Tom is NOT one of those authors-of-business-books who writes the same book over and over. He has gone from good to great in his writing style, which is much the way he speaks. (If you have never heard him, go to [...].) His message is elegant, intelligent, thoughtful, logical, and rings true. I have enjoyed watching--and participating--in this amazing process of evolution. "Cloud Surfing: A New Way to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale, and Success" does not disappoint in this regard. As the technology and human behavior changes, Tom's vision advances.

To begin with, "Cloud Surfing" is a wonderful primer on how economics has evolved over the last 150 years. However, Tom points out that we can no longer rely on the lessons of the past to predict the future. The cloud represents a place and time we have never before experienced. We do not know the full impact the cloud will have on the world. To illustrate this paradigm shift, Tom asks hard and thoughtful questions, such as, "What if the context changes?...What if all fears you have today about the way in which the Internet can create risk were eliminated, while all the ways that the Internet creates value were increased?" What if, indeed!

The world is becoming hyperconnected where all systems--economic, social, political, and individuals--are linked together and, most importantly, influencing each other in one big Gordian Knot of complex communities. The number of connections is increasing exponentially daily. The cloud is what will enable these connections to work in harmony with one another. Tom touches on the fearfulness of individuals in open systems and how this fear may manifest in the various systems. Then he effectively busts the twin myths of security and control. It will be interesting to watch, over the next 20 years, the "control" dynamic exerted out of fear by governments, corporations, our education systems, and individuals who try to impose rules and laws or who "drop out" or refuse to engage.

The cloud enables the move to open and transparent systems driven by the value of data. The cloud is zeroing out costs, by fostering a pay-as-you-go, scalable, collaborative social economy. As a result, value creation is accelerated. By aligning value with risk, you can scale your infrastructure, people, and systems in direct proportion to your success. The current paradigm is in structured markets and organizations. This doesn't work in fast-paced markets. We are moving toward a more organic, self-organizing model of doing work. Disruption happens when the outliers create big ideas because they don't "know" something won't work. The cloud is a disrupter, but we keep trying to retrofit the cloud into familiar patterns.

The future is about influence. The cloud facilitates the ability for individuals, enterprises, governments, and education systems to exert influence. The value of that influence will be based on reputation, trust, and integrity. Hyperconnectivity will replace the old models of teaming that don't work anymore. As the children of today reach working age, they will introduce a way of thinking that will result in a restructuring of how we think of intellectual property and the patent process, because they understand that a collaborative model enables creativity. The cloud will facilitate an inversion of the current power structure.

We are in the midst of a "perfect storm." Work has become placeless, ageless, weightless, and complex. Tom examines a number of cloud based organizations, which are already working in this space, such as Elance, LiveOps, Amazon's Mechanical Turk, InnoCentive, and NineSigma. "We are experiencing a democratization of ideas without historic precedent and with little sense for how profound the shift may be." This social economy is resulting in a collaborative workforce that could conceivably span five generations which could hyper-jump innovation with its diversity and richness of ideas.

The cloud has enabled a new way of creating value chains, to the point of developing new, virtual currencies. Cloud-based trading has the effect of busting monopolies. Classic marketing analysis doesn't work anymore. The key to survival is continuously rebuilding the value chain to drive liquidity. Operating in the cloud is the same as operating in the "now."

Tom goes even further--beyond the traditional conversation about the impact on commerce--and discusses the impact of the cloud on modern warfare and on our traditional brick and mortar education system. He talks about how living and working in the cloud affects us as individuals. The cloud will enable situational awareness at an individual level, turning the classic decision making process taught in business schools on its head. In the cloud, decision making is based on relevance, not recall.

Knowledge work is changing from focusing on content to focusing on the work itself. What will enable this is the "case concept," where the case--not the file folder--contains all the components of the work product and facilitates collaboration globally. This is the vision that some have trouble getting their head around (including me), but Tom does a wonderful job of illustrating the concept.

Tom's Afterward is a view of 2020--only 8 years from now. He validates one of my own predictions about the impact of a gaming generation on expectations of value creation, education, conflict management, healthcare, government, and living in general. The cloud is in its adolescence, but the potential for the betterment of the human condition is more real than ever before.

This book is amazing. It will make you think and dream and create. And, when you share that creation, you become a part of the community of cloud builders who are creating the future. Dr. Peter Drucker, Tom's mentor, once said, "The only way to predict the future is to invent it."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cloud Surfing - Looking forward to the journey, May 27, 2012
Tom Koulopoulos brings energy and enthusiasm to every subject he explores. Cloud Surfing takes the cloud concept to a new level - whether you consider yourself a cloud novice or an expert, there is value in this read. Similar to "The Innovation Zone", Tom challenges you to think in new ways and helps you stretch your mind far beyond traditional concepts. Tom's interest and ability to share his knowledge coupled with his quest to learn from others shows through yet again in this book. I recommend adding Cloud Surfing to your collection for valuable education, reference, motivation, idea generation and just plain good reading. I started with Tom's idea to "rummage about" the book, but find myself not wanting to miss any of it, so I'm headed back to the beginning for the cover to cover approach. Tom ends with "see you in the cloud"' and I'm far more excited about the journey now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read !!!!, May 10, 2013
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This is one of those books that can really open your eyes to the amazing future and the style and depth of subject matter from the author is enlightening. I highly recommend this book to tech people in addition to investors who want to figure out the great technologies of tomorrow. Awesome stuff !!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Taking The Cloud out of the clouds., October 24, 2012
I am spoiled by having met Tom (we share the same publisher), but he is just as infectious, engaging, intelligent and insightful on these pages as he is in person.

This is not really about about "what" so much as "why"; not so much what to do as how to think. Tom takes a needed step beyond the obvious and goes deep into a subject that would leave most non-techs gasping for air. However, remarkably, he creates a real context around large-scale societal and economic change that will make you lean back and seriously consider the implications for how you lead your business. Your understanding of strategy, risk, invention, collaboration will change before you come close to the last page.

Dispensing with jargon and IT-eliteism, he brings The Cloud down to earth and helps you think more deeply about the tectonic changes that are occurring.

Fresh, smart, relevant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone who wants to stay up-to-date with the cyber world should read this book!, September 24, 2012
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This review is from: Cloud Surfing: A New Way to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale and Success (Social Century) (Kindle Edition)
Very simple to understand explanation of "The Cloud" which goes way beyond cloud storage. He explains what the cloud really means and how business as we know it is changing at a rapid speed before our eyes. Hold on to your seat and read this book or be left behind in the dust......
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great exploration and vision of the "cloud", September 6, 2012
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This review is from: Cloud Surfing: A New Way to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale and Success (Social Century) (Kindle Edition)
Highly recommended for anyone interested in evolution of cloud technologies and solutions for business and life. Very good coverage of history, state of the art, and future of cloud concepts and solutions. Nicely written with excellent use cases.
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5.0 out of 5 stars See you in the cloud, August 13, 2012
Tom Koulopoulos challenges the reader to expand their vision of what the future may look like. Transformation in every aspect of business is inevitable due to the interconnection that the cloud will bring. Tom's book was inspiring and a must read for every business person who is responsible for leading their companies into the future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ride the Rogue Wave, August 7, 2012
As a guy who has been running turnarounds, sitting on boards, advising businesses and operating in private equity for well over two decades, I'm acutely aware of the "wallop" of the web on most everything we've all learned about business since I started. To borrow Brian Solis' recent title...."The End Of Business As Usual."

But as much as I have tried to shoot the curl of the rogue wave of the web, Tom's Cloud Surfing let me know, in a very nice way, that I was nowhere close to even paddling for the swell.... for the tsunami of what's actually going on, right now, as you read this.

Not only has Tom recalibrated my thinking about what's driving business and social patterns into new, for many of us, entirely foreign norms these days, he's also given me a cool new set of shades through which to evaluate everything going on around me. In HD! The ability to sound smart at cocktail parties, even with my kids' friends. And to see things that most business people don't

If you want to stay relevant, not left behind, please read this book. Because you haven't got a lot of time. And nowhere will you find a more compelling way to get into the lineup of waves to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What the Cloud Means to the Human Race, July 11, 2012
There is much being written about the Cloud as technology, and the Cloud as enabler of new business processes, business models, and new products. Those are certainly topics worth exploring, but what makes Tom Koulopoulos's book stand out is that it examines what Cloud Computing means to the human race, now and into the future. This is an important addition, and enhancement, to the conversation on Cloud.
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