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Complexity Avalanche: Overcoming the Threat to Technology Adoption Hardcover – October 19, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. B. Wood is president and CEO of the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA). Wood is a co-founder, along with IBM and Oracle, of the Service Research & Innovation Institute (SRII). He is a frequent speaker at key industry events and has been quoted in Fortune, BusinessWeek, the New York Times, CNET, Computerworld, and CRM Magazine, among others. Wood also co-founded InsightExpress, which pioneered use of the Internet in market research applications, and was president and CEO of Prognostics, one of the largest customer research and consulting companies in the IT industry.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Point B Inc (October 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984213007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984213009
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. It is at once (1) an impassioned argument for making service a more key and integral part of a technology company's total offering, (2) a presentation of some very interesting research on the current and projected state of the service art and its potential positive impact on the bottom line and (3) a clever piece of collateral literature for recruiting members for the technology service professionals' trade association (TSIA), of which the author is President.

I may not be the optimal reviewer for this book, for I'm not a service professional. Some of those folks may chime in with dissenting views. I am, however, an operations manager for a niche microwave test equipment and components manufacturer that still manufactures in Silicon Valley. I was looking for information on operating an organized and responsive product service function conducted not in a dedicated customer service group but in manufacturing, since we have the people most experienced in making the products and all of the expensive ATE to do the job. I didn't find the answer to that specific question but did find some extremely valuable insights into the more global importance of service to a so-called "product" company like ours.

I rank this book with Moore's "Crossing the Chasm" and close to Christensen's "The Innovators Dilemma" as my favorite recent reads on technology business.

BTW, IMHO the book contains a bewildering array of acronyms and appreviations that I had to look up multiple times in the index. For this reason ONLY, I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. It should be shipped with a (large) book mark, on which the dozens of acronyms and appreviations are defined for quick reference. Or, perhaps it just requires a sharper reader than I. HTH. LOL.
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Format: Hardcover
In this accessible, widely applicable book, technology industry executive J.B. Wood addresses a visceral reality: As technology explodes, manufacturers of new products add features faster than users can learn to use them. As a result, returns of perfectly good products skyrocket, consumers turn mulish and sales of new products stall. However, Wood offers a solution: Shift your organization's focus from sales to customer success, in the form of service and support. He details his suggestion by documenting what such a transition would offer and explaining how challenging it would be to implement. His presentation is not perfect. It needs better proofreading and, as president and CEO of the Technology Services Industry Association, Wood perhaps beats its drum a bit too hard in preference to other possible solutions. Those caveats aside, leaders and marketers from every company dealing with technology should read this book. In particular, getAbstract recommends it to executives planning for the future, corporate managers focused on high tech and would-be innovators who don't want to far outpace the buying public.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not much here ... the world is complex and you need it simplified. Why don't we just go interview people in nursing homes who still don't use computers and think the TV is the next big thing? Silly book and the fact that Cisco Management thinks this is key tells you that we're in trouble.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wood's assessment of the gap between what technical functionality we can provide users with, and what they can actually use, is an accurate starting point and foundation for the entire book. The corporate focus of high tech companies must shift to provide appropriate value-add services that enable people to get the most out of the technology delivered. The book is a comprehensive look as the problem and the solution, with supporting real-world scenarios and data to support his assertions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wood did a general good job of getting his point across about a consumption gap around technology and thought behind solving it. Not all of his concepts are ground breaking as they can be seen as variations of past theory. For example, marginal utility in economics could be seen as a long standing theory behind what Wood presents at the consumption gap. His presentation of Days to Repurchase (DTR) was a good reminder, but not new. There were a couple of gaps like Service Science. I had to go elsewhere to find a more detailed explanation around current thoughts of this topic.

All in all, Wood put up a pretty good offering that is definitely worth a read. Just know that you will come across a couple of topics that he does not fully flesh out.
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