Book Review: Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper

Picture 4Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper: The Catalysts Driving Business, [Hardback] By Robert Bryce (2014), Public Affairs Publisher, The Perseus Books Group, ISBN-9781610392051, $17.95

Author, journalist, and public speaker Robert Bryce has published many articles on energy and oil use and five books such as Power Hungry, The Myths of “Green” Energy, and the Real Fuels of the Future and serves as a senior member of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. His latest book –  Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper: The Catalysts Driving Business – provides a positive take on the future.

The author argues that solutions to today’s environmental challenges will come from technology. This technology will in the future reflect a human need to make things better, where better means faster, cheaper, lighter, denser, and smaller. This includes lighter cars and faster computers.

He reports from locations such as California, Oklahoma, Canada, and Panama and shows how companies are providing improved products and services using newer technologies that improve our lives. Not only do they improve our lives, they are earth-friendly.

What kinds of technologies are these? Bryce mentioned the printing press and mobile phones, nanotech medicine and advanced drill rigs, vacuum tubes and mass produced fertilizer.

Which companies are involved? Bryce cites newer groups such as Khan Academy as well as established names such as Intel and Ford. These are both start-ups and well-known companies.

The positive message appears as how we will have a better and more sustainable future as we do what humans do – make things better by making them smaller, faster, lighter, denser, and, of course, cheaper.

If you feel like the future faces social, economic, and environmental challenges, you might enjoy reading about how innovation, technology, and human drive should continue to preserve the planet and the human race.

Is the book fun to read? If you don’t mind optimism about the future, a look at innovation and human progress, comments about a future with abundant energy, lighter cars, and faster computers, you could find the book fun to read. You will also read about how people’s lives continue to improve to be more comfortable even addressing issues of overcoming poverty. Entrepreneurs will continue to improve technologies and provide innovation, solving current problems on our planet.

Note to readers:  A version of this book review is scheduled to appear in Technical Communication.

By Jeanette Evans