“Go Tech or Go Extinct” by Paul Cuatrecasas

Paul Cuatrecasas
Berkeley Street Press, London, UK (2019)
ISBN 9781916194311
Reviewed by Jan Freeman for Reader Views (2/2020)

Reading “Go Tech or Go Extinct” is a wakeup call for any traditional business, especially in this time of the explosive growth of high tech in every part of our world. Paul Cuatrecasas is experienced in helping traditional (non-tech) businesses acquire or invest in tech businesses in order to update their systems and/or to keep their bottom line healthy. The author is knowledgeable, articulate and compelling in his guide for top corporate officers to understand the necessity to use high tech to their advantage. “Go Tech or Go Extinct” is a very persuasive argument for non-tech corporations to blend into the current high-tech market as soon as possible.  Any person in such a position would get a worthwhile education from reading this book. There is also a very helpful Glossary of Terms in the back of the book for less familiar terms. I referred to it several times.

In Chapter 3, the history of the growth and then the accelerated competition of Amazon and Walmart was a point of interest for me. It’s a true record of how business is changing and how rapidly it is happening. It wakes a person up to the challenges modern businesses experience in very short periods of time. Since most people are familiar with both companies, this is something everyone can find interesting.

Mr. Cuatrecasas uses strong terms to make his points. My favorite is in the beginning of Chapter 5:  “It’s worth repeating: for traditional incumbents, technology is either a virus or a vitamin. The ultimate lever is a double-edged sword – you can use it to kill your competition or it can be used to kill you.” Very concise, and it’s necessary to understand how serious it is in business these days. The discussion forward offers options as well as instruction in how to acquire the necessary technology to thrive in the current and quickly evolving markets. It is exciting to think of how companies must work in order to navigate through the pitfalls of today’s business environment.

Remember your first PC or laptop or other device? Mine was some time in the early ‘80s. It was a very expensive, very heavy desktop that didn’t even have a hard drive – only two floppy disk drives, and those floppy disks were HUGE. I have used computers in one form or another for all these years. Currently I have 3 tablets, one laptop and one iPhone. We have come a long way. Can you imagine what the businesses have had to do to keep up with the speed of change?

I highly recommend “Go Tech or Go Extinct” by Paul Cuatrecasas. I hope he writes another book soon and updates us all on even more changes to look for – he could make it understandable. Undeniably – the future is NOW!

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