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The Innovation Delusion: How Our Obsession with the New Has Disrupted the Work That Matters Most Hardcover – September 8, 2020

3.6 out of 5 stars 21 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The authors’ most emphatic recommendations involve talent—and our perception of it. When we overvalue innovation, they say, we forget that the vast majority of engineers will wind up maintaining existing systems, not coming up with the next Facebook. While we revere and reward data scientists and algorithm developers, we overlook the humble IT workers who keep our networks humming. . . . A rebalancing of our priorities is in order, Messrs. Vinsel and Russell contend. . . . [The] authors’ emphasis on maintenance resonates, and their take-down of innovation theater feels well-deserved.”The Wall Street Journal

“[Challenges] us to ask an urgent question: what if we invested as much in maintenance, care, and upkeep as we do in growth, change, and disruption?”—Adam Grant, “The Fall Idea Books to Teach You Something New”

“There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to reveal how much a society relies on maintainers. The Innovation Delusion offers a vital wake-up call. Stirring, sobering, and brilliantly composed, this book is a must-read for everyone who longs for a radical reinvestment in what matters most.”—Ruha Benjamin, professor at Princeton University and author of Race After Technology

“Lee Vinsel and Andrew L. Russell have taken on one of the tech industry’s sacred cows, showing how the chase for the next big thing has harmed countless businesses, left our roads and bridges in a state of neglect, and drained support for the essential workers who keep society going. By equal turns alarming and empowering, The Innovation Delusion is a send-up of Silicon Valley’s empty promises and a much needed plea for sanity in how we think about technology, profit, and work.”—Dan Lyons, bestselling author of Disrupted and Lab Rats

“Vibrant, sure-footed . . . The authors guide readers with clear and contemporary examples of when deferred maintenance led to either slow or fast disaster. . . . The authors also thoroughly expose the unjust hierarchy that leaves maintenance workers at the bottom of the pay scale. . . . A refreshing, cogently argued book that will hopefully make the rounds at Facebook, Google, Apple et al.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] resounding call for sane business growth. Readers will come away from Vinsel and Russell’s urgent and illuminating primer with a new perspective on the importance of maintenance as well as innovation in business.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“In this caring ode to the ordinary grit of maintenance, Lee Vinsel and Andrew Russell light a brilliant bonfire of the vanities from carefree innovation-speak. We should upkeep their message, and repair our corporations, communities, and consciousness. This book is more than a conversation starter—it’s a course correction.”—Guru Madhavan, Norman R. Augustine Senior Scholar and director of programs at the National Academy of Engineering, and author of Applied Minds: How Engineers Think

About the Author

Lee Vinsel is a professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech.

Andrew L. Russell is a professor of history and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Together, they are the founders of the Maintainers research network and conferences, and their writing on the topics of this book have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Wired.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
  • Hardcover : 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0525575685
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0525575689
  • Dimensions : 6.45 x 0.94 x 9.51 inches
  • Publisher : Currency (September 8, 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.6 out of 5 stars 21 ratings

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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5
21 global ratings
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