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Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities Hardcover – May 14, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 5.2.2009 edition (May 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422152227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422152225
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich are professors at The Wharton School, where they teach in the innovation and product development field. They have helped dozens of organizations in a wide range of industries - including consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and high technology - to become more innovative. Terwiesch and Ulrich ground their teaching and research on their wealth of practical experience as innovators, product designers, and entrepreneurs.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Clear, to the point and with lots of good examples.
S. Gallino
The central idea in this book - that there is a logical and manageable approach to innovation - holds enormous potential for big companies and entrepreneurs alike.
J. Wooten
On the whole, it has been a engaging book to read, digest & learn.
Lee Say Keng

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Laura J. Kornish on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book about innovation. In the preface, the authors ponder whether there is a contradiction in trying to provide structure to a creative endeavor like innovation. The book then develops a clear answer that there is no contradiction by showing how organizations have and can improve their innovation processes. I found the "innovation tournament" metaphor to be very helpful. I like how the metaphor is developed throughout the book, drawing on examples from industries as different as transportation, pharmaceuticals, and entertainment (movies, and, of course, American Idol).

I like the balance of practical, hands-on advice (e.g., running innovation workshops, using The Darwinator online tournament tool) and explanations of the underlying principles and theories. I especially like how every point is illustrated with a concrete example. And, the authors integrate their own experience and research with both executives and student innovators effectively.

This book is targeted toward professionals, people who are involved in some way with the innovation efforts in their organizations. I also find it relevant and useful for students. (I teach a new product development course to business students.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Wooten on May 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The central idea in this book - that there is a logical and manageable approach to innovation - holds enormous potential for big companies and entrepreneurs alike. In a compelling and logical way, this 'how to' manual for analyzing, filtering, and choosing great opportunities walks through real-world examples and data as it educates on how to change your process of sparking and developing new ideas. Having used these ideas on projects ranging from Fortune 100 companies all the way down to single-person startups, I've seen the difference innovation tournaments can make; Ulrich and Terwiesch have developed a practical set of ideas that are simple and unique to the field. Execellent and fun read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Gallino on May 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book presents an amazing approach to succeed in the idea selection process. The process-driven design of the book is great for managers that will want to implement these ideas right away in their companies.
Clear, to the point and with lots of good examples. A must have book if you are an innovation manager confronting the problem of selecting an innovation portfolio.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Prasad Thammineni on May 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have had the benefit of the experiencing the content of the book in person. I took a class taught by one of the authors, Karl Ulrich, while I was a student at Wharton and number of the ideas discussed in the book where practiced in the class. That was probably one of the best entrepreneurial classes I took. A closed tournament was run in the class and out of 500 ideas that originated on day 1, 4 made it to the end (one of the 4 was ours).

I just got the book and I have read through the first two chapters. I already can think of many ways the ideas of this book can be applied within our startup Pixily. In addition to entrepreneurs, investors also can benefit from the ideas in this book. Angel groups already have some form of a formal process to screen deals and take it through various stages of due diligence before actually making an investment. They may start out with 50 and make only one investment. Venture capitalists may be doing the same but not in a tournament fashion.

This will be one of the few books that I will read cover to cover. I also plan to share more about this book at [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Merrick on June 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book changed my thinking significantly regarding the way to approach the brainstorming, and subsequent evaluation process that results in new ventures (or products). The beauty of this book is in describing this process, as well as the important considerations one has to take at each step along the way. The hidden prize of the book is also an introduction to darwinator.com, which is a very cool (and free) online tool to immediately implement some of the recommendations in the book. Happy reading!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Y. Xu on May 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book provides innovative answers to a billion-dollar question: "How to create and select exceptional opportunities when they are still in the embryonic stage?" The authors take a unique process view of innovation and argue that the innovation process can be rigorously managed by using scientific principles and tools. As the book title suggested, successful innovation is all about generating and selecting big ideas. Drawing on their extensive research, teaching, consulting, and innovation experiences, the authors skillfully articulate a set of practical tools that innovators can implement to generate more opportunities and select the exceptional ones. While takes the understanding of innovation to the next level, the book is also easy and fun to read. Each topic discussed in the book is illustrated with interesting examples from various industries. I especially like the informative and concise figures and tables. As a researcher on innovation, product development, and R&D, I think this book can benefit a wide variety of readers such as entrepreneurs, R&D managers, venture investors, researchers, professors, and students. In short, I cannot imagine a better way to invest my $23.10 than in this book.
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