Summary of Jerk

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Jerk book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Strategy consultant Christopher Surdak argues that disruptive companies have already figured out that information is replacing capital as the basis of wealth. Surdak calls this shift a “Jerk,” the physics term for “an extremely rapid change in condition – violent, uncontrolled and difficult to contain.” He covers some successful, disruptive Jerk companies, such as Uber and Airbnb, and lays out 12 tactics for your Jerk firm, such as using other people’s capital, turning customers into information-mining partners and creating your own virtual money. Surdak, winner of getAbstract’s 2014 International Book of the Year for Data Crush, is an engaging writer with a knack for relevant historical background, and his presentation is a lot of fun to read. getAbstract recommends his insights to CEOs, investors, strategists in mature industries and, especially, start-up entrepreneurs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How information replaced capital as the basis of “wealth and power,”
  • How Jerk companies use information and abrupt change to disrupt markets, and
  • How established companies can better compete with upstarts.

About the Author

Christopher Surdak is president and CEO of the technology strategy consultancy Surdak & Company. His previous book, Data Crush, was getAbstract’s International Book of the Year in 2014. He also won the 2015 Information Governance Initiative’s Evangelist of the Year Award.



Triumph of the “Jerks”
A new crop of companies is seizing technological trends to disrupt time-honored ways of doing business. These enterprises are Jerk companies, named for a concept in physics where “jerk” describes a sudden change in an object’s condition. You experience a jerk when...

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    Joel Miller 2 months ago
    Tough to get past the unfortunate connotations that come with the term "Jerk". Some of the ideas here are good, seems like he relies on Uber for much of his examples.

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