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Innovate or Die : A Personal Perspective on the Art of Innovation Paperback – November 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Paradigm Press Ltd; 1st edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965444902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965444903
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,186,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Jack V. Matson is an Emeritus Professor of Environmental Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University; and was the founding Director of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education where he initiated the Engineering Leadership Development Minor that contained courses involving creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and cultural change. For many years he taught a course he originated titled, "Technology Based Entrepreneurship." he continues to teach Engineering Entrepreneurship. Dr. Matson originated and started up two companies: Matson and Associates Inc. (matson-associates.com) and Envinity Inc (envinity.com). which employ thirty-five professionals in State College. He has written an number of books on innovation and expert witnessing; and has current five patents involving environmental processes and products.

Customer Reviews

Overall I think the book is very well written and deserves a read.
Rajiv M. Gupta
I strongly recommend reading this book if you are serious about wanting to learn how to manage failure & to develop an appetite for risk in your life &/or your work.
Lee Say Keng
He does a wonderful job breaking it down so that anyone can understand what it means to innovate and how to utilize failure to get ahead.
Sarah Gingrich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Gingrich on March 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Before I read Jack Matson's book, I felt that innovation was a term very foreign to me and something that I could never really do, perhaps because it was too risky. He does a wonderful job breaking it down so that anyone can understand what it means to innovate and how to utilize failure to get ahead. I now realize that innovation is something that I use in my life without even thinking about it. He introduced many concepts to enhance my innovation techniques and now that I have followed his advice, I found that I accomplish more. So far I have passed this book onto many of my friends and they, in turn, have passed it along to others, including CEOs of companies. Make the time to read this book, it will change your perspective on everything!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lee Say Keng on October 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
In reality, this is an enhancement of 'The Art of Innovation: Using Intelligent Fast failure' by the same author. The latter was originally published in 1991 by The Penn State University (The Leonard Center for Innovation & Enhancement of Engineering Education).

I had read it enthusiastically (I got it directly from the author) during the early 90's when I felt, as a mechanical engineer by training, I could relate readily to the author's teaching philosophy. I also felt that the author's unique concept of experimenting with creativity would empower me to go forward & experiment with other aspects of my life - research, consultany, training, coaching & personal hobbies. I then moved on, with further inpirations from other authors/books, to establish a strategy consultancy business, run a newsletter as well as operate a small retail outlet in early 1992.

To this day, I still think that this is an excellent book about creativity & innovation in action. It is based on the author's personal experiences in exploring creativity & innovation with some six hundred students who took his 'Failure 101' course at the university. His premise in the book is this: "No issue is more important to the engineer, or entrepreneur, than intelligent failure." He has taught students to unlearn years of practising risk aversion, stressing the connection between creativity & risk. He has encouraged them to realise that failure is essential in developing design skills & judgement.

I strongly recommend reading this book if you are serious about wanting to learn how to manage failure & to develop an appetite for risk in your life &/or your work.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A on September 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book may be ok, but it's extremely difficult to take it seriously with the awful text issues. At least one on every page. Ones in place of Ls, just completely wrong words, like "big" instead of "had", misspellings, etc. This is either a format conversion gone bad or a serious case of poor or nonexistent proofreading. Difficult to read. Also, the author could use some instruction on the use of commas, unless their frequent omission is also a result of the awry conversion. Other punctuation is missing, so that is possible. Two stars because so far the content seems to be ok, when I can focus on it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leif Skoogfors on June 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful book! Time to realize the positive side of failure--its among the best ways to learn. Rather than bottling up the bile of failure, distill it and learn from it. And, with that you can accelerate personal and professional growth.

Leif Skoogfors
Lansdale, PA
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By C. Telenko on December 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really recommend this book and Jack Matson's approach. Just today, I was advising a student who said: "We tested our design and no one interacted with it the way we expected." I said, "That's great!" and she was incredulous. Then, we figured out how to strengthen her team's project before they had gotten too far into building it.

This book has helped me be very enthusiastic and supportive of low-fidelity testing. I really push my students to build and test early. I've gone out and learned even more techniques from multiple fields, such as computer science, graphic design, interface design, and architecture.

The book leaves out some practical questions about applying prototyping. What to prototype? Methods of prototyping? When to prototype? But these questions come from experience. The less experience, the more prototyping and more consulting you need to do. Someone else has the experience! I think the book would be strengthened with more research driven studies of failure and risk-taking in action, but such information is a current topic in research. More research needs to be done, in general, on understanding the balance between learning from mistakes, exploring the negative space, and the realm of successes.

I think the book is a great companion to other current topics, as in Taleb's Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets.
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By Chris Reich on May 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This looks like it was typeset by a local kids club. Every other page appears to have come from a copy machine made in about 1965. The rest maybe arrived at the printer by fax?

The typesetting is good compared to the content. Save your money, This book is awful. There are so many typos it's difficult to read. There isn't much of value in this book unless you've never heard of innovating.

Can't recommend.
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