If we are able to create an idea or a product then the challenge is to figure out if the product is innovative enough to stand out from the crowd of products or what needs to be done to make it stand out.


Reinvention is the process of taking a known concept and then modifying it based upon insertion of new technology or processes.

Reviewed for RebeccasReads
Reviewed by Charline Ratcliff
3267 Bee Cave Road
Austin, Texas 78746


I found the words “Do NOT Invent Buggy Whips” to be an extremely unusual title for a book; after all, in this day and age who would really contemplate inventing buggy whips? For starters they’ve already been invented and what use would anyone have for them? The last time I saw any type of horse / animal drawn buggy / carriage it was in a movie from the forties or fifties that was set in the early nineteen hundreds. Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued so I decided to read it.

It seems that author Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D has written at least one non-fiction / technical book prior to writing “Do NOT Invent Buggy Whips.” My understanding of his previous work is that it focused on big market waves, i.e. reinventions of technology that the world is already using but made better / more useful because someone with an innovative mind was able to clearly see how a specific product could be tweaked; advertised properly and bottom-line would be able to disrupt the current market demand and then take over / dominate it. A great (and well known) example of technology reinvention would of course be the iPhone… And…if you can follow along with this line of thought; Thurber’s current book title “Do NOT Invent Buggy Whips” probably makes more sense now.

If you go further and research Thurber you too will most likely discover that he’s written / contributed to almost five hundred technical proposals; he’s won over forty percent of them; he has literally raised billions of dollars for research, development, et cetera so it probably comes as no surprise that his friends and colleagues have been going to him for advice for years. For this reason he wrote his first book “Big Wave Surfing” but according to Thurber “this book raised more questions than it answered” which is how “Do NOT Invent Buggy Whips” came to fruition.

In “Do NOT Invent Buggy Whips” Thurber attempts to answer all questions about causing a “big wave” including the most asked one: can a single individual cause / create a big wave? According to Thurber the answer is an emphatic “Yes!” as long as there is imagination, creativity and discipline. There are other questions answered / advice provided in this book but remember…while Thurber can explain his thoughts / experiences to you and then validate them, he can’t understand them for you. *chuckle*

In summary “Do NOT Invent Buggy Whips” is a concise book that, believe it or not, is easy to read.


Defining a product results in trying to figure out how the product fits against other products in the market. having figured out its relative position it is the job of the designers to position the product and its features against comparable competitors.


If you can disrupt the staus quo then you have the opportunity to create wealth and prosperity for you and your associates. Disruption of a product industry or company is a good goal and if you do not disrupt your product or market rest assured someone else will.