In addition to being the author of several business titles, Burrus describes himself as a "technology forecaster and business strategist". He is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a consultancy based in Wisconsin.
Having made a career of predicting technological changes, Burrus maintains in Flash Foresight that the savvy business person can develop this gift of "flash foresight" - the eureka moments that open up opportunities and solve seemingly intractable problems. It's all about tapping into our "sixth sense", he says, citing companies such as Crocs, Starbucks, and Amazon as flash-foresight players.
Case studies bring the author's central idea to life, such as how Netflix redefined the home-entertainment industry or how Singapore transformed itself from a sleepy backwater into an anodyne and chillingly efficient hub of regional commerce.
So how do you nurture flash foresight? Start with certainty. That is to say, identify and verify hard trends. Secondly, anticipate. Yeah, well, we all know that, right?
Thankfully, the chapters that follow the first two are rather less predictable and much more thought-provoking. In particular, the reader will find the chapter entitled "Take Your Biggest Problem And Skip It" an intriguing piece of outside-the-box thinking. Likewise "Go Opposite" - rather easier to put forward on paper than execute in the real world, but a useful part of the book nevertheless. The most boring chapter here is "Redefine And Reinvent", which is one long yawn.
Flash Foresight recalls the message of Malcolm Gladwell's brilliant Blink and also the lateral thinking-inspired tone of Gladwell's What the Dog Saw. But the prose is drier, and Burrus doesn't have the populist touch of Gladwell or the "new Gladwell" - British business guru and author Tim Harford. Close, but no ci