Last Modified:                                                                                                

Homepage / Publications & Opinion / Uncommon Sense Reviews

"I'm currently reading the copy of your book that I won courtesy of and I have to say I think it's excellent.
It's so impressed one of friends/colleagues that he's just ordered one as well."

Out of the box thinking for an in the box world by Peter Cochrane
by: Eric Davies
1 July 2005

Peter Cochrane spent many years as Director of Research at BT Laboratories and also held the first UK Chair of Public Understanding of Science and Technology. I first discovered his work in Wired magazine and then picked up his Tips for Time Travellers (Orion Business Books, 1997) at a bookshop.

This book, Uncommon Sense, is a collection of short essays or notes, liberally illustrated with diagrams and charts, that explores the digital future (which in many cases is already here) from a managerial, technical and social perspective. His ideas are provocative, his opinions refreshing and his knowledge extensive. The contributions appeared first on the web in his very popular column. The book offers a compact (ideal for holiday reading) and very readable guide to understanding some of the management challenges of the world we live in.

Out of the box thinking for an in the box world by Peter Cochrane
by: Long Range Planning
20 July 2005

A series of challenging insights into work, communication and the family (ie almost everything) touched by the world of technology. Based on his regular column at A must read for anyone who wants to understand what is really going on.

The Institute of Directors : Jim Ewan
15th September 2004
and Reading Chronicle : Jim Ewan 3 August 2004

From the UK's first Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology comes a book full of fascination - plus a few dire warnings.

Peter Cochrane is a visionary with a sound scientific background who acts as advisor and consultant to many organisations around the globe. He predicted, among other things, the rise of email, text messaging and the fate of the dotcoms. So it pays to listen to his ideas.

In Uncommon Sense he explains how to cope with the ever-increasing speed of change, with the exponential growth of information, with the breakdown of copyright laws. He warns about the control freaks, negative management styles and the next oil crisis. The book consists of a collection of 50 of Cochrane's essays on every technology-related topic imaginable. But this is not some try intellectual tone with little relevance to the real world. He dissects and exposes failures of management, politicians, big business and technology itself. He paints and optimistic vision of the future that awaits us while dropping in some timely caveats.

This is a book that will help you make sense of what is happening around you, especially if you, like me suffer from 'information overload'. You will find it hard to put down and my only small niggle is that there is no indication of when the individuals articles were written. It would be nice to have an idea of just how far ahead of the rest of us Cochrane is!

New Scientist : Wendy M Grossman
4th September 2004

Formerly head of British Telecom Research, Peter Cochrane is probably the UK's best-known commentator on the digital world. In this compilation of his columns for, he looks at the future of telecoms, e-commerce, business management, artificial intelligence, and the consequences of infinite data storage.

Illustration in Uncommon Sense is copious: Cochrane says he understands pictures better than words.

Amazon US & UK Various

"…a man with something to say to a world that should listen."
City to Cities November/ December 2004

The Times (Supplement 1) : The 60-Second Business Book
23rd September 2004

"A series of remarkable insights into work, communication, the family, communities and just about everything else touched by technology. Or so it says on the blurb. Alternatively, it's a bloke in a bar - lots of opinions, some repeated.

Yes. That stuff about coffee on page 11, it crops up again on page 30.

But what's his beef?
Technology. Oh, and oil reserves, mobile phones, PowerPoint presentations, pornography, internet, security, ants, the cricket team…

Ant? Cricket? Really?
Ants, yes. Cricket, no. But he probably has a view.

Any real insights into the world of technology?
So far I have purchased flowers, books, toys, tools, CDs, DVDs, computer hardware and software, plus an assortment of services online.

Fascinating. Any more?
The upside of the web is massive compared to the pornographic downside.

Any evidence to support his views?
Lots. Much of it anecdotal, but quite engaging. Heavy use of graphs, some with headings like: 'The circuit and packet-switched (IP-VOIP) space.'

Always useful. Who is this guy anyway?
An IT guru who east, sleeps, thinks and uses technology to create new and competitive business and wealth generation.

Eats technology?
So says the press release.

Yuk. Big question: should I buy this book?
Why not? Then you too can stand at the bar and have a view on everything. But don't if you're irritated by typos: 'hero's' on page one should be 'heroes'. That's technology for you.