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Econovation: The Red, White, and Blue Pill for Arousing Innovation [Kindle Edition]

Steve Faktor
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Over the last 20 years, China fed our zombie-like appetite for iPhones, Prada and Snuggies. At the same time, its biggest customer, the US, found itself in debt, under-educated, and covered with recreational tattoos. So now what? Will America wallow in mediocrity like Greece or some C-list celebrity? Or, will our legendary ingenuity save us from Tweeting...and eating our way to irrelevance? Econovation is a bold, witty response to those questions that doesn't rely on miracles or government for answers. It challenges business leaders to think differently about the next decade of the US economy and respond with big, sustainable innovations. Written by Steve Faktor, former Vice President of Growth & Innovation and head of the Chairman's Innovation Fund at American Express, Econovation is a trends book on steroids. It's bursting with practical, thought-provoking ideas no executive, entrepreneur or Fed Chairman can afford to miss.

Most importantly, Econovation envisions a very different future. It's one ruled by "producerism", not consumerism. It's a future in which real innovators must do more than slide a greasy finger over the screen of an iPad. Econovation uncovers opportunities in unexpected places. You'll learn how to:

  • Capitalize on a market that will go from making nothing to making everything...for China.
  • Use psychological pricing and some crafty tricks from Google to reduce reliance on tapped-out consumers
  • Sell to consumers whose new identities will be based on what they create, not what they buy, click or super-size
  • Seduce a desperate government to finance your business, then feed you pancakes in the morning
  • Motivate tomorrow's employee with social currency instead of the green, depreciating kind
  • Upgrade your business and your kids with a little help from Mormons and kindergartners with hacksaws

Econovation is a fresh perspective on a future we've taken for granted. It empowers readers to think big, dream big, and conquer economic conditions that will paralyze others. With a hefty dose of data, humor, and actionable ideas, Econovation offers insight and amusement in one, convenient place - a rare treat for a business book.



Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Over the last twenty years, China fed our zombie-like appetite for iPhones, Prada, and Snuggies. At the same time, its biggest customer, the United States, found itself in debt, undereducated, and covered with recreational tattoos. So now what? Will America wallow in mediocrity like Greece or some C-list celebrity? Or, will our legendary ingenuity save us from Tweeting . . . and eating our way to irrelevance? Econovation is a bold, witty response to those questions that doesn't rely on miracles or government for answers. It challenges business leaders to think differently about the next decade of the U.S. economy and respond with big, sustainable innovations. Econovation is a trends book on steroids—bursting with practical, thought-provoking ideas no executive, entrepreneur, or Fed Chairman can afford to miss.

Most importantly, Econovation envisions a very different future. It's one ruled by "producerism," not consumerism. It's a future in which real innovators must do more than slide a greasy finger over the screen of an iPad. Econovation uncovers opportunities in unexpected places. You'll learn how to:

  • Capitalize on a market that will go from making nothing to making everything . . . for China

  • Use psychological pricing and some crafty tricks from Google to reduce reliance on tapped-out consumers

  • Sell to consumers whose new identities will be based on what they create, not what they buy, click or super-size

  • Seduce a desperate government to finance your business, then feed you pancakes in the morning

  • Motivate tomorrow's employees with social currency instead of the green, depreciating kind

  • Upgrade your business and your kids with a little help from Mormons and kindergartners with hacksaws

Econovation is a fresh perspective on a future we've taken for granted. It empowers readers to think big, dream big, and conquer economic conditions that will paralyze others. With a hefty dose of data, humor, and actionable ideas, Econovation offers insight and amusement in one convenient place—a rare treat for a business book.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Econovation

"What do China, RFID food,¿¿libertines, and micropreneurs have in common? It's all in Econovation, a fast, fun innovation ride packed with practical advice for those who will make a difference in the next decade. Made so many notes, my pen ran out." —Brandon Rowberry, Vice President, Innovation Development, UnitedHealth Group

"Econovation is that rare gem, an analysis and prescription for our economic problems done with both insight and humor! A must-read for both policymakers and executives." —Sheldon Laube, former Chief Innovation Officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers

"Econovation is a brilliant read and right on the money. Steve's strategic vision is absolutely cutting-edge . . . I'm going to assign it for my executive entrepreneurship class." —Prof. Alex "Sandy" Pentland, founder and Director, Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, MIT

"In the past, many looked to the government to help spur innovation. But as Steve Faktor so eloquently points out, the winners in the long run will be those who innovate in spite of the government. This fun and easy read provides brilliant insights on how to keep your organization from becoming irrelevant." —Stephen Shapiro, author of Best Practices Are Stupid


Product Details

  • File Size: 1431 KB
  • Print Length: 229 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1118054008
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0060V56ZC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #785,477 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovate Your Blues Away January 4, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a funny, insightful read! Econovation is about freedom in era overtaken by fear and change. Using our collective experiences in this globalized, corporatized, socialized world, Steve takes us on a masterful whirlwind tour of how to break out of our `subjugation prison'. Using wit and humor that are worthy of a stand-up comic, he presents a heuristic on how to unleash innovation in a way that rides the macro-economic waves of the coming decades instead of fighting the tide. If you want to shrug off the business blues, read this book. Heck, even my grumpy MBA-wielding brother liked it!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK! December 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover
In less than 3 years China will be filing more US patents than US companies. Our country has lost its manufacturing base, and is quickly losing control of distribution. This book articulates one of the single most important issues of our time. That emergent issue is the role of innovation in the recovery and prosperity of this great nation. This is my new favorite book.

Nicholas J. Webb
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Based on what I have read so far - as an entrepreneur who has founded three companies on two continents - these are the real, urgent issues that we Americans need to be figuring out, versus the endless scares in the financial news which are worthless and distracting drivel. Ask any global-macro hedge fund manager.

Per the book, I would also like to bring up another trend which is that some of our brightest Americans who are lucky enough to have those "scarce white collar jobs" right now are in fact choosing to leave the US on their own... because the US culture is becoming so unbearable and they can afford to choose.

Sure, it may seem like they still live here, but half their attention and cash is long gone. And if they need something from the US, they just buy it, or lawyer it to death.

Very hard to track but a devastating trend I wish we knew more about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
"Confront the brutal facts, delve into the underlying mechanisms causing the socio-economic challenges, and deal with them with passion & creativity. Don't wait for someone else to fix the problems, each and everyone of us can help innovate our way out of this crisis." That's the consistent message I get from reading this excellent book. I'm a Japanese marketer working out of Tokyo, but in today's highly connected world, understanding the US challenges is crucial for global business. Furthermore, there are tons of very, very important insights in Steve's analysis that the Japanese people cannot afford to miss. The additional bonus is that Econovation is a really fun book to read - it entertains and educates, the best combination to get the message across. My only frustration is that this great book is out of stock at Amazon.co.jp and all major bookstores in Tokyo. I want to buy a lot more copies and give them to my friends! Japanese bookstores, you people need to do a better job identifying a gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Get Real February 22, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a thought provoking approach to economics and America's future. I found it very interesting that the author could hold to both liberal and conservative ideas at the same time. His anti-government approach is not so much political as practical. Not that the government shouldn't do more but that the government is so utterly ineffective at social reform, while Capitalism is the only force that can actually cope with helping social reform. Message: It is time to stop looking to politicians and government for solutions. We are our brother's and sister's keepers. "We the People" is not Washington D.C.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Investment Ideas January 11, 2012
Format:Hardcover
The book provided some great investment ideas for me. I'm always looking for insight that would help me allocate my investment portfolio and this book was fantastic. I have particularly been interested recently in finding the right allocation of investment in China and India. Econovation touches on some critical macro issues that get at the heart of where growth will happen globally in the next decade.
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More About the Author

Steve Faktor is a futurist, digital commerce expert, and author of Econovation (Wiley, Nov. 2011), a mesmerizing, provocative, and humorous tale about the future of the US economy and the innovations it will demand. Steve is the former head of Growth and Innovation and the Chairman's Innovation Fund at American Express. As a senior innovation and strategy executive at Citi, MasterCard, and Arthur Andersen, Steve has created several $100-million-plus businesses, generated billions in sales volume, and deployed three enterprise-level innovation programs. Steve's launches include Zync, LoyaltyEdge, Private Sales (joint venture with Vente Privee), Commerce Intelligence, and Spending Pulse.

Steve is the founder of Blue Beacon Partners, which helps companies think big, invent better offerings, and deliver sustainable growth. He is a popular global keynote speaker on new growth opportunities and leads workshops, ideation and training sessions based on his proprietary 4C's of Innovation(TM) methodology. Steve is also the creator and host of a forthcoming TV series about reinventing American small business.


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