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Reinventing the Wheel: A Story of Genius, Innovation, and Grand Ambition Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (March 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060761385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060761387
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

From August 1999 to January 2001, veteran journalist Steve Kemper was the only outsider to have exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Dean Kamen and his team of engineers at DEKA. His work has appeared in Smithsonian, National Geographic, and other magazines. This is his first book.


More About the Author

I've been a freelance journalist for more than 30 years and have written two books: A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa, about the African explorer Heinrich Barth (June 2012), and Code Name Ginger: the Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World (2003), which was selected by Barnes & Noble for its Discover Great New Writers award. Harper published the paperback under the title Reinventing the Wheel.

I've written for many national publications, including Smithsonian, National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, Wall Street Journal, and BBC Wildlife. I'm an adjunct professor at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, got a degree from the University of Detroit, then taught literature and writing at the University of Connecticut while earning a Ph.D. I live in Connecticut.

My website: www.stevekemper.net
My blog: http://blog.stevekemper.net

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EJ Norman on January 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the story is told through the lens of the Segway, it is an amazing book on product development in general, the differences between research and mass production, and the difference between a small business and a venture backed startup. Comprehensive and engaging. Everyone interested in product development and innovation should read this book. I enjoyed it watch the Kamen TED introduction of the Segway and rent a Segway a week later. Some people may have a poor view of the Segway itself as a product, but that should not change the learnings you can gain form their development process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tasker K. Robinette on May 19, 2010
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This is a well written book which describes the detailed process of developing a technical idea into a finished product. It is also an excellent character study of a brilliant egomaniac of an inventor who can't give up control of his invention even when it would be distinctly in his best interest.
The book has too much technical detail for the average reader but is an excellent primer for the engineer who aspires to build his own "brilliant" invention into a successful business. It is also an interesting read for all those involved in the FIRST robotics program.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David A Ferguson on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"reinventing the wheel"

In tiny tiny print on the cover is "Previously published as Code Name Ginger", buyer beware if you have read this book, exact same book different name, different cover and nowhere in the descriptions other than in small print on the cover (if you open large cover page and scroll down you see it in small print). It is not listed in the description or any where else on the page.

Amazon did go good and credited me (buy a lot of books) but buyer beware.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matthew A. Welch on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I picked this book from a list for a book critique for my management principles course. I am really glad I choose this book. The book is very well written. It gives you an almost voyueristic look at the development of the segway and a kind of radical and unheard of management style. The author had an amazing opertunity when he experieenced this and does a great job of relaying it in the book. He even did this with not much bias towards the segway company. The book seems to almost be like a movie playing infront of you. You feel as if you are there with everyone during the development.
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By J. Miller on March 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Both of my kids compete on FIRST Robotic teams. This was a must read for them. Dean Kamen is an interesting man and a great inspiration.
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