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The Future of Technology Management and the Business Environment: Lessons on Innovation, Disruption, and Strategy Execution

Book Description


  • Gain powerful insights for crafting strategy in technology-rich industries, from IT to finance, and healthcare to energy

  • Understand the massive social impacts of technology, and how today’s societal divisions shape your opportunities to innovate

  • For everyone who must manage new technologies and respond to technological disruption

  • From biotech to nanotech to big data, the pace of technological disruption continues to accelerate. Now, leading business strategy expert Alfred Marcus offers powerful tools for anticipating technological change, and managing the threats and opportunities it poses.

    Through insightful case studies, Marcus offers strategic advice for overcoming the pitfalls associated with deploying emerging technologies, or responding to others who use them to compete with you.

    Marcus illuminates the ongoing interplay between technological change and wider societal trends, helping you recognize new opportunities created by these interactions, and maximize the upside–both for your company and the broader society.

    Whether you’re an executive or strategist, technical professional or MBA student, this guide will sharpen your focus on the future so you can navigate radical technological-driven change–wherever it leads.

    Emerging technologies offer immense promise for generating growth, profitability, and prosperity. But they face major obstacles to commercialization, and have environmental and social costs that must be carefully managed to maximize the benefit and mitigate the harm.

    This book is about the foresight and strategic actions required for these new technologies to play a positive rather than negative role. Alfred Marcus illuminates their potential, reviews the risky decisions needed to transform potential into reality, and discusses how technologies might be used to ameliorate social problems rather than exacerbate them.

    Marcus begins with insights about the strategy of technological innovation, using case studies to show why these innovations can fail, and offering methods for dealing with uncertain outcomes. Next, using examples such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, he illustrates how to better manage the dangers associated with technologies. He then turns to technology’s impact on three key societal conflicts: that between young and old, rich and poor, and the potential for scarcity and abundance in energy production. Finally, he focuses on how several pairs of companies, including Intel and AMD, Dell and Acer, and Amazon and Barnes & Noble, have managed technological disruption in their industries, and the difficult challenges they now face in overcoming these challenges.

    Whether you’re an executive, manager, or student, you’ll gain powerful insights into innovation, strategy, execution, technology management, and the fastchanging business environment in which technological change takes place.


    Exploring the horizon in information technology, medicine, genetics, energy, and materials


    Managing the uncertainties and dangers of technological investment and deployment


    How the social environment shapes technological impacts and opportunities


    How enterprises have responded to technological change, and what they might do next

    Table of Contents

    1. About This E-Book
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright Page
    4. Dedication Page
    5. Contents-at-a Glance
    6. Contents
    7. Acknowledgments
    8. About the Author
    9. Introduction
      1. The Next Set of Breakthroughs
        1. The Information Revolution
        2. Medical Technologies
        3. Genetics
        4. Alternative Energy
        5. Artificial Intelligence
        6. Material Sciences and Nanotechnology
      2. What This Book Is About
        1. Part I: Technology and Strategy
        2. Part II: Managing Danger
        3. Part III: The Environment of Technology
        4. Part IV: Coping with Technological Disruptions
      3. Endnotes
    10. Part I: Technology and Strategy
      1. 1. Technological Disruptions
        1. The Powers of the Mind
        2. Information Technology (IT)
        3. Medical Technologies
        4. Genetics
        5. Alternative Energy
        6. Artificial Intelligence, Material Sciences, and Nanotechnology
        7. The Challenge of Commercialization
        8. Endnotes
      2. 2. Commercialization’s Obstacles
        1. Fumbling the Future at Xerox: IT
        2. Medical Technology: Cochlear Implants
          1. Basic Research in Diverse Labs
          2. Breakthroughs in Other Disciplines
          3. A Highly Committed Champion
          4. Multiple Developmental Paths
          5. Private Firms’ Failure to Cooperate
          6. Professional Endorsement
          7. FDA Approval
          8. Lack of Enthusiasm from the User Community
          9. High Costs
          10. Safety and Efficacy Concerns
          11. Auxiliary Services
          12. Withdrawal
          13. New Entrants
        3. Genetics: Agricultural Productivity
          1. Sustainability as a Corporate Goal
          2. Opposition
          3. Rapid U.S. Market Penetration
          4. More Promised Progress
          5. Government Restrictions
          6. Environmentalists’ Criticism
          7. Competition from DuPont
        4. Alternative Energy: The Electric Car
          1. Less Pollution and Foreign Oil
          2. Range and Fossil Fuels
          3. 1990s’ Failure
          4. Hybrid Successes
          5. Weak Plug-In Sales
          6. Battery Subsidies from the U.S. Government
          7. A Solution from Tesla and Panasonic
          8. Not Yet Affordable
          9. A New Business Model
          10. The Slow and Arduous Path to Commercialization
        5. Why Xerox Missed Its Opportunity: Game Theory
        6. Setbacks at Many Points
        7. Uncertain Government Support
        8. Project Management Insufficient to Overcome These Problems
        9. The Inclination to Undertake Safe Projects
        10. Technologies Push and Markets Pull
        11. Determination, Will, and Persistence
        12. Endnotes
      3. 3. Hedging the Uncertainty
        1. Trends
        2. Expert Opinion
        3. Historical Analogies
        4. Industry Analysis
        5. Scenarios
          1. Surprises
          2. Taking Notice of the Periphery
          3. Romances, Tragedies, and Comedies
          4. The Narrative Details
          5. Applying Scenario Logic to Technology Commercialization
          6. Strategic Adjustments
        6. Hedging
          1. Gamble on the Most Probable Outcome
          2. Take the Robust Route
          3. Delay Until Further Clarity Emerges
          4. Commit with Fallbacks
          5. Shape the Future
        7. Conclusion
        8. Endnotes
    11. Part II: Managing Danger
      1. 4. Dealing with Danger
        1. Bhopal: What Went Wrong
          1. Highly Toxic Chemicals
          2. Weak Infrastructure
          3. An Uncontrolled Explosion
          4. Nonfunctioning Backups
          5. Trapped Victims
          6. Organizational Shortcomings
          7. Warnings Ignored
          8. The Price of the Accident
        2. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: What Went Wrong
          1. Beyond Petroleum
          2. Tar Sands Processing
          3. Explosion in Texas City and Oil Leaks in Alaska
          4. The Spill
          5. The Many Mistakes
        3. Inherently Dangerous Technologies
          1. Dilemmas in Managing Dangerous Technologies
          2. Individual Cognitive Limits
          3. Experts’ Cognitive Limits
          4. Organizations’ Cognitive Limits
          5. How Much a Life Is Worth
          6. Inferences from Animal Studies to Humans
        4. Conclusion
        5. Endnotes
      2. 5. Laws of Liability
        1. Vioxx: What Went Wrong?
          1. Merck’s Positive Reputation
          2. The Search for a Blockbuster Drug Without Gastrointestinal Complications
          3. Early Warnings
          4. Failure to Communicate
          5. The FDA’s Required Warning
          6. More Criticism
          7. Voluntary Recall
          8. Thousands of Suits
          9. Criminal Charges
        2. Johnson & Johnson’s Hip Replacement: What Went Wrong?
          1. A Paragon of Social Responsibility
          2. The Acquisition of DePuy
          3. All-Metal Replacements
          4. Design Problems
          5. FDA Investigations
          6. A Voluntary Recall
          7. Suits Against the Company
          8. The Reimbursement Plan
        3. The Laws of Liability
          1. Evolution of the Law
          2. Classic Tort Law
          3. Assumption of Risk
          4. Punitive Action
          5. Strict Liability
          6. The Justification for Strict Liability
          7. Further Movement from a Fault-Based System
          8. Refinements of the Laws of Liability
        4. Conclusion
        5. Endnotes
    12. Part III: The Environment of Technology
      1. 6. Old, Young, and Global Security
        1. The Rise of the Elderly
          1. Declining Fertility
          2. Economic Impacts
          3. Technology to Assist the Elderly
          4. A Cure for Alzheimer’s
          5. Reversing Aging
        2. Among the Young: Hope and Disillusion
          1. Meaningful Work
          2. What Next
          3. Diminishing Youth Bulges
          4. Technology to Combat Terror
        3. Conclusion
        4. Endnotes
      2. 7. Rich, Poor, and Global Inequality
        1. Trends
          1. Within Country Gaps
          2. Between-Country Gaps
          3. The U.S. Wealth Gap
          4. The Rise of Neoliberalism
        2. Technology at the Top of the Pyramid
          1. Sophisticated Models
          2. What Hedge Funds Do
          3. Only for the Already Wealthy
          4. Renaissance Technologies
        3. Technology at the Bottom of the Pyramid
          1. Telecommunications
          2. Potable Water
          3. Health Services
          4. Nutrition and Crop Protection
          5. Energy
          6. Critiques
        4. Conclusion
        5. Endnotes
      3. 8. Abundance, Scarcity, and Global Sustainability
        1. Fossil Fuels
          1. Oil Price Declines
          2. Hydraulic Fracking
          3. Tar Sands
          4. Offshore Recovery
        2. Cleaner Energy
          1. Building Energy
          2. Industrial and Commercial
          3. Solar
          4. Wind
          5. Energy Storage
          6. Biofuels
        3. Conclusion
        4. Endnotes
    13. Part IV: Coping with Technological Disruptions
      1. 9. Missing the Boat on Mobile Technology: Intel and AMD
        1. The Mobile Revolution
        2. The Battles Between Intel and AMD
          1. Memory
          2. Microprocessors
          3. The Sub-Zero Segment
          4. Speed and Continued Price Wars
          5. Branching Out
          6. The Hammer
          7. Global Antitrust
          8. Graphics and Other Products
          9. Divesting Manufacturing
        3. Searching for New Markets
          1. ARM Architecture
          2. Mobile
          3. Gaming
          4. Mounting Mobile Losses
          5. New Leadership at AMD
          6. Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
          7. The Internet of Things (IOT)
          8. Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality
          9. Risks Ahead
        4. Conclusion
        5. Glossary of Computer Terminology
        6. Endnotes
      2. 10. From Mass Customizing to Mass Commodity: Dell and Acer
        1. Financial Woes
          1. An Industry in Decline
        2. The Fat Years: Dell’s Ascent
          1. A Competency in Mass Customization
          2. Gateway Abandons the Direct Model
        3. The Lean Years: Michael Dell’s Resignation
        4. Acer’s Acquisition of Gateway
        5. Dell’s Plans for a Recovery
          1. The Enterprise Market
          2. Becoming a Private Company
        6. Acer’s Efforts at Revitalization
          1. Notebooks
          2. Smartphones
          3. Free Cloud
          4. IOT
        7. Conclusion
        8. Endnotes
      3. 11. Finding Growth and Profitability in Bookselling: Barnes & Noble and Amazon
        1. Barnes & Noble and the Superstore
        2. Amazon and Internet Commerce
          1. Amazon’s Reinvention
        3. Barnes & Noble’s Focus on Books
          1. Sinking Profits
        4. Amazon’s Fluid Identity
          1. Profiting from the Cloud
        5. Barnes & Noble’s Decision to Split Up
          1. Spinning Off the Nook
          2. Spinning Off the College Division
        6. How Attractive Was Bookselling?
          1. Sales Trends
          2. Reading Habits
          3. Leisure Time Choices
          4. Digital Devices
        7. The Publishers
          1. Wholesale
          2. The Big Five
          3. The Spat with Amazon
        8. Conclusion
        9. Endnotes
      4. 12. Escaping the Middle: Best Buy and Charles Schwab
        1. The Evolution of Best Buy
          1. Concept One: 1983–1989
          2. Concept Two: 1990–2001
          3. Concept Three: 2002–2007
          4. The Aftermath of the Financial Meltdown
        2. The Evolution of Charles Schwab
          1. Discounting
          2. High Net Worth Clients
          3. A Category of One
          4. The Affluent of the Future
          5. Following Customers
        3. New Challenges
          1. Competition in Consumer Electronics
          2. Online
          3. Showrooming
        4. Competition Among Discount Brokers
          1. Innovation Dilemmas
          2. Major Industry Players
        5. Best Buy’s Comeback Plans
          1. Transforming E-Commerce
          2. Cost Savings and Product Innovation
        6. Enhancing the Internet Platform: Charles Schwab
          1. Ranking the Platforms
          2. The Robo-Advisor
        7. Conclusion
        8. Endnotes
      5. 13. Content for a New Age: Disney and Time Warner
        1. Vertical Integration: Disney
        2. Vertical Integration: Time Warner
        3. Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures
        4. The Disney-Capital Cities Merger
          1. ABC
          2. The Iger Era
        5. The AOL-Time Warner Merger
          1. Trying to Revive AOL
          2. Slimming Down
          3. HBO’s Edginess and Success
        6. Disney’s Dominance
          1. Cable Channels
          2. The Studios
        7. Internet Initiatives and Cable’s Abandonment
          1. Losing Young People
        8. Conclusion
        9. Endnotes
    14. Final Thoughts
      1. The Future of Technology Management and the Business Environment: Lessons on Innovation, Disruption, and Strategy Execution
    15. Index