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Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back Hardcover – October 2, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
-- Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
"The arms race of the last century has been replaced by a new global brain race -- and the U.S. is in danger of unilaterally disarming. This inspiring book frames the challenge facing us and offers immensely practical advice on how to regain our place as innovation leaders."
-- Paul Saffo, Roy Amara Fellow at the Institute for the Future
"John Kao hits the nail squarely on the head. In an engaging and highly readable way he delivers a timely message with important implications for our future -- that the global race for innovation is on, the field is filled with highly focused competitors, and our biggest mistake would be complacency."
-- Sean Randolph, President & CEO, Bay Area Economic Forum
"A nation's capacity for innovation will determine whether it will be rich and powerful or poor and weak. In his insightful exploration of the world of innovation, John Kao makes clear the challenge that America faces as its own capacity for innovation erodes even as the rest of the world's abilities are growing. America's postition of power and wealth will be determined by whether it can rise to meet the challenge of the innovation agenda that Kao lucidly sets out."
-- Peter Schwartz, Chairman, Global Business Network
"It should be a surprise to no one that John Kao's new book is a highly innovative approach to innovation. He analyzes with crystalline clarity the challenges to U.S. innovation hegemony from ambitious and hungry competitors, China, India, Finland, and even Estonia. He does not shrink from advocating specific solutions, including the creation in the United States of 20 $1B Innovation Hubs and a National Innovation Advisor. His vision is not, however, American. He shows us how the whole planet needs to accelerate its capacity for innovation. For those of us who lead institutes dedicated to innovation this is a Bible and a Koran."
-- Reg Kelly, Chairman, Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium, and Director, Institute of Quantitative Biomedical Research
"An insightful, and scary, account of the innovation challenges faced by the U.S... A very useful book that punctures America's complacency about innovation."
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Certainly, the nation's educational problem is dire. But does Kao really believe that innovation is the key to fixing the U.S.'s systematic deterioration in economy (deindustrialization), infrastructure, fiscal soundness, pension security; that clever ideas could deal with our anomalous levels of crime and violence compared with all nations of comparable GDP,political gridlock, or our degraded popular TV and entertainment media?
I might hire Kao to rev up innovation in my company if I were an industrialist, but I would not elect or appoint him to advise on public policy issues. Instead, I suggest that Kao may be a symptom of the fragmentation and willingness to settle for superficiality that has developed in the U.S. over the past 45 years.
The EU is not as flashy and exciting as the U.S. But it has evolved a civilized pattern of cooperation. It leads in environmental policy and acting on (not just writing or yelling about)global climate change. The Dollar is sinking ever lower with respect to the Euro (now trading at 1.55).Read more ›
'Green" has become the new red, white, and blue - yet, is blocked by lack of consensus on need, impact, funding source, etc. The U.S. ranks 17th among 30 OECD nations on R&D tax incentives.
Large-firm CEOs have lately deinstitutionalized innovation, instead eg. buying upstart biotech firms with valuable technologies - innovation by M&A instead of R&D. Even more recently - deliberate outsourcing and offshoring of R&D.
Robert Solow won the Nobel Prize in economics demonstrating that as much as 80% of GDP growth comes from the introduction of new technologies. Similarly, Boston Consulting Group, in a study for BusinessWeek, found innovative companies achieved median profit-margin growth of 3.4%, vs. 0.4% for the S&P Global 1200 median. Disruptive change (eg. introducing the Sony Walkman, the PC) is much more important to boosting GDP than innovative improvement (eg. adding to Oreo's brand extensions, 'me too' drugs). Opportunities abound for disruptive innovation - addressing global warming, education, communicable diseases and cancer, energy sufficiency.
Some assorted background facts contained in "Innovation Nation:"
U.S.Read more ›
Defining innovation as, "the ability of individuals, companies, and entire nations to continuously create their desired future", Kao takes the reader on a quick trip around the globe to demonstrate how the key success factors for innovation are no longer domiciled within the U.S.A. He demonstrates how Talent, Capital, Government Investment, and the Silicon Valley concept are now everywhere - Bangalore to Singapore and Finland to Ireland. It is a shocking view of reality that will be shared by most readers who are regular travelers to countries abroad.
The author then offers his proposal: "...the United States specialize in a more comprehensive, transformational style of innovation, one that allows for placing big bets on the future, deploying its enormous resources, carrying out ambitious and mold-breaking experiments, reinventing the way we educate our young, aligning our federal, state, and local agendas, and recharging the magnetism of openness and opportunity that has historically attracted the world's talent to our shores." And, chapter by chapter he demonstrates how the components of innovation work, and how the U.S. might re-create these components as the foundation for addressing what he has called the wicked problems we face.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got this based off Zakaria'a recommendation on his show on CNN. Luckily, I was able to borrow it from a friend... so did not waste my money on it... only my time. Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by V. Beniwal
A lot of information in this book has been published in either Economist, Wall Street Journal or Financial Times. Further, John Kao is not a good writer. Read morePublished on July 24, 2011 by Rainier
I didn't read the book but saw the graphs on the CNN show. He left out the graph of CO2. It would have matched the curves of GDP and innovation.Published on June 5, 2011 by scrubjay1
great book to read! Up to date info for any one looking seriously at the challenges facing America in the 21st Century.
Berteau Joisil, MSEE
I found this book personally stimulating in terms of what the innovation process entails and what gets it going. Read morePublished on September 12, 2008 by bronx book nerd
The title of Thomas Friedman's most recently published book, The World Is Flat, is explained by the author in the Introduction: his use of the word "flat" refers to "the flattening... Read morePublished on January 23, 2008 by Robert Morris
As an educator, I found Dr. Kao's discussion on education, and the lack of innovation therein, to be right on target. Innovation starts with our children!Published on December 30, 2007 by Polly D. Steenhagen
John's first-hand experience meeting business, science, and political leaders around the world shows how widespread and intense the drive for innovation has become. Read morePublished on October 16, 2007 by Mark Bünger, Research Director, Lux Research