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Innovating: A Doer's Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong (The MIT Press) Hardcover – Illustrated, February 17, 2017
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In his unique and provocative book, Perez-Breva argues that innovating is a discipline unto itself. As someone leading a multi-generational family business, I found his approach to scaling up particularly intriguing: he shows how innovating can be used by a business to continually rebuild itself on the foundation of its past successes.―Amy Schumacher, President, The Heritage Group
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.95 pounds
- Hardcover : 424 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0262035359
- ISBN-13 : 978-0262035354
- Product Dimensions : 7.19 x 1.03 x 9.31 inches
- Publisher : The MIT Press; Illustrated Edition (February 17, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #353,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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A whole genre of start up and entrepreneurship based books of the lean series and its ilk assume that you already have a good working idea and then lay out the "recipe" to make it to a successful business. However, if you are a somewhat self-doubting aspirer (note that I do not say entrepreneur, which I will come to in a moment), how do you know that your idea is okay and viable in the first place? This school of thought would have you come up with a minimum viable product (MVP in the jargon), but why even go that far when you haven't tested even the basic assumptions and critical elements of your idea. As Dr. Perez-Breva brilliantly lays out, your initial idea is nothing more than a bundle of guesses, and the process that led you to putting this bundle together in a certain way is not the right process to unbundle these assumptions and test the ones that matter. His book simply does that.
There is a second and equally popular genre of books that talk about creativity and innovation. Examples are: Wired to Create, the Net and the Butterfly, Creative Confidence, as well as any of Tina Seelig's fantastic books. In my opinion these are a lot more to the point of you are looking to solve a real world problem in a creative way (i.e. in a novel and impactful way), but the problem I see is that if you are the tinkerer in the spare bedroom, you don't have the means or resources to go and do some of the things these books ask you to do. Also, you may also not have the confidence or the luxury of time to practice doing these so as to become more fluent in them. So after reading these books, I was still seeing a big chasm between where I was (creative idea and all) and a real result that solved a real world problem to scale in value adding way, along with a practical method to test these and come to a viable solution in some meaningful time frame and with very limited resources
Enter Dr. Perez-Breva's book. The thing that sets this book above and beyond anything I have come across are these incisive and critical points that underpin his method, namely 1) innovation and entrepreneurship are NOT the same thing and it is useful to remember that they are different 2) all you are doing is starting with a hunch even though it may be clothed in the attire of a business idea 3) before you do anything with the idea it is critical to get really intimate with the real world problem you are trying to solve, and doing that is within the means of anybody who wants to solve a real world problem 4) you can start where you are with what you have and using his practical and common sense methodology, you will have significantly increased your odds of not only defining the right real world problem to solve, but also of coming up with a viable and "innovative" solution that can scale. The exact form of the scaling up is not critical which is one of the reasons I love this book.
All you need are a hunch, a set of people "parts" to help you make the problem tangible and lastly, and in my mind the most important contribution of this book, a very thoughtful intelligent and deliberate "strategy to engage in trial and error" with an appetite to learn by being wrong first.
There are many things to love about this book, and I found myself highlighting almost every line because it was the first time I had seen articulated in print and with great clarity many of the things that have bothered me greatly about the recipes I have seen so far that for whatever reason have not worked out for me. For example, he talks about the initial "strawman" concepts or solutions you may come up with as "artifacts". That is a very liberating and "agnostic" way of starting this journey of curious, open and receptive inquiry and discovery and an enthusiastic embrace of being wrong without adherence to a debilitating dogma of "success". One other favorite is his brilliant observation that innovations appear so only in hindsight. In other words, an idea is like every other idea in the beginning and that's a great thing for every aspiring innovator.
I can go on indefinitely but I will conclude here by saying that this is the best $25 I have ever spent on my learning and education, with impacts far beyond any narrow business endeavors, and one that now gives me renewed energy and direction to solve problems in an impactful, sensible and grounded way.
As Luis says, “Innovating is about finding a way to bring resources together to demonstrate a path to solving a real world problem. Innovation is the afterthought.” Alex d’Arbeloff, the founder of Teradyne and former Chairman of the MIT Corporation, always had the same question for me, when he served on my board of directors, “What’s the #1 obstacle to sales growth?” An acceptable response was always a restatement of the customer problem we’re trying to solve, and the constraints we see in solving it; one of Luis’s central themes.
Inventing a business is a high stakes game with very real consequences, if you fail. You’ll need a practical framework to help you on your journey, which Luis has provided in Innovating, because business school case studies and “how-to” books won’t cut it. Enjoy Innovating!
What I love most about the book is how it makes an innovation achievable and not overwhelming. It is about the exploration and learning process rather than knowing from the onset how a prototype should look or what the target customer should be. It makes it OK not to know form the begging and it guides you through the process of how to discover and answer those fundamental question as you learn more and as the initial idea evolves.
100% recommend this book!!!
Nice reading full of examples that will make sense to known and unknown successful innovating processes. This is the kind of book that you want to have next to you to come back quite often. It is not only a great group of examples with referrals, its illustrations will be your notes to understand how to find your path to verify, modify and develop your hunches. And it is structured on a way that will flow smoothly
Top reviews from other countries
Se aprecia la experiencia del autor y su afán por darle un valor práctico al libro.
The reader will discover an useful instrument to navigate the different dimensions of innovation. My recommendation: do not waste time predicting the next big idea, just read the book and start innovating!
Challenges the reader on every page to reflect on his current know-how and opens new perspectives.
Great idea to summarize key messages with cartoon like illustrations to guide you through the whole book.
Luis Perez-Breva shows definitely that he is one of THE experts to listen to dedicating your time to this topic.