This is a great book, for anyone involved with innovation, product management, communication of new ideas or product development.
Bill Buxton has put forth some great examples of what a Sketch is how it is a prelude to a prototype and how to "create" the future cheaply for testers and user groups to experience things with in expensive and fast tools. The idea is to create rapid examples of future good and services to see how well they work.
As Buxton mentions in the book, fail fast and early, learn fast and early. Redesigning a product or relaunching one is very expensive. This is a great read and deals with products and services in their "wholistic" setting. A new idea exists in a context and that context determines its success or failure. I would strongly recommend you buy this book or e-mail me and I might just lend you my copy. I keep only 1 of 10 books I read, but this one I will be holding onto or lending out.
Some fun quotes from the book:
Tell me and I forget, Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand. Confucius
And a personal favorite of mine from an anthropologist:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Meade
Also from Buxton himself: Innovation in process trumps innovation in product. The idea is that corporations that innovate processes or better yet internalize innovation as a process will win hands down over those focused on tweaking a product.
And finally Buxton closes the book with a quote from T.E. Lawrence:
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.
Buxton's last words are: May you dream in the day.
This isn't your average designer hand book and if you want to be an above average creator this is a powerful tool.
A link to one of my own personal dreams