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Anticipate. The Architecture of Small Team Innovation and Product Success Hardcover – July 1, 2010
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About the Author
Brown & Company uses proven marketing principles and techniques to significantly improve the innovation skills of small development teams. Ronald Brown has been CEO of successful startups and has held senior marketing positions in large firms. He is co-founder and board member of United Keys, Inc., an early stage company bringing interactive display technology to traditional input devices. Prior to United Keys, he was president of eFax.com, where he led in the creation of an internet service that attracted millions of users. He has also consulted for entities as large as Philips Electronics and as small as individual patent holders. He has heavy product development experience, is a patent holder, and has a strong background in leveraging manufacturing and distribution resources. Brown developed classic consumer marketing skills as an account manager at advertising agencies J. Walter Thompson and BBDO, where he also gained valuable insight into using creativity to solve business problems. At JWT, he was part of the team that managed Hewlett-Packard's personal computers and printers businesses. Before that, he worked for The Nestle Company.
Top customer reviews
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Brown covers important topics such as how truly understand what customers want and then craft an irresistible sales message. There is also a great treatment on tapping a team's creative energy to conceive novel solutions and solve tough challenges, and he ends with a series of great questions to a team determine if the quality of a business opportunity.
Brown's writing style is clear and easy to read. In you are in the business of new product development, this book is well worth a read.
Brown's experience and research give us core principles that help us structure and guide our teams to understand customers and develop new and useful widgets that they want -- even if they don't yet realize they want them. He explains clearly why engineers typically don't value customer perspectives, why they must, and how they can. He effectively dispels some of the tenets that technical managers hold dear about creativity and how to foster innovation. Then he follows up with simple, effective techniques.
Written in a easily readable style, the book is full of researched points brought into focus by Brown's faceted career. Read the book if you want to learn more about how to get innovation in business. Give copies to your team and your team leader if want to help focus the group's efforts and yield results for your company. But prepare to replace some misconceptions about innovation with valid perspectives that really work.
How do the best companies accomplish this? Ron lays out the architecture of innovation, examining each of the key points that can either inhibit or enable success. His book is well researched, providing clear, concise examples of each step, with appropriate intuitive graphics. The book is a worthwhile and an easy read, and should be required for all parts of the Customer Value Chain: Marketers, Engineers, Technical Managers and Executives. I found myself highlighting key sections to share with other team members, as the points Ron makes strongly resonate with my experience.
The book also lucidly explains why low cost cannot be a primary selling strategy in today's world. It also has a very interesting perspective on four market risk hotspots -all in context of today's technology savvy customers.
Over-all, I found that the book not only explains various concepts in a simple yet structured way but also articulates in a practical tone in present day context -which makes it very very relevant. There are not very many good books on new product development, but this is one that should be added to any business library.