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The Map of Innovation: Creating Something Out of Nothing Hardcover – August 12, 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What if innovation could be made routine-if assembly-line procedures could churn out brilliant ideas on command? O'Connor, the founder of online ad wholesaler DoubleClick and an unremitting entrepreneur, relishes innovative ideas-from a youthful scheme to shock a troublesome raccoon to DVD rentals that self-destruct instead of having to be returned-and offers here a "reproducible" process that will "force innovation" and "improve both the numbers and the quality of ideas." He calls it the Brainstorming Prioritization Technique, which turns out to be a lot like garden variety brainstorming, with voting to winnow out the likeliest ideas followed by "research" into the best idea; when BPT is used to pair business opportunities with new technology, O'Connor says, "solutions pop out." The process remains somewhat mysterious-BPT relies on "really smart and innovative people," some of whom should be experts on the issue at hand, and others who should have a "knack for creativity in any area"-and O'Connor concedes that "not everyone who applies these principles will be successful-in fact, few of you will." Indeed, after a while he rather drops the subject of innovation and concentrates on general advice on entrepreneurship and marketing. Here the book comes into its own, with practical and colorful tips on negotiating with venture capitalists, launching new products, sales and telemarketing, hitting up friends and relatives for money and motivating workers with stock options instead of cash. None of this material is wildly innovative, but O'Connor and co-author Brown present it in a breezy, acerbic style that cuts through managerial cant.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

O'Connor started three highly successful companies, including DoubleClick, which is usually lumped with Ebay and Amazon.com as one of the few Internet survivors. Dubbing himself a "serial entrepreneur," he has developed a methodical approach toward product innovation that has a contrary assumption that new ideas can be forced out and made to happen, an approach reminiscent of such great inventors as Thomas Edison. At the outset, O'Connor admits that there is about a 10 percent chance of generating a great idea and a 10 percent chance of actually bringing it to fruition, making for a probability of 1 percent chance of success. Given such poor odds, why should anyone make the effort in the first place? The early stages of product innovation are often the most exciting, but it's the ability to stick with it that distinguishes the winners. By creating a large number of viable ideas, sticking to a strategy, getting and keeping the money, and hiring a smart team, the chances of succeeding are vastly improved. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (August 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400048311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400048311
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is one of my best business innovation, entrepreneur, start up books.
Each page is packed with practical wisdom for the new business startup, and the established business.
His information on how to innovate was very good. The author believes in always adding technology to a need. I thought his methods of creativity were somewhat simplistic. But the way he applied them to searching for business solutions was excellent.
The most important advice that I received from the book was in hiring. He suggests that you "Hire Smart At......". You'll be surprised with his recommendation. I had always thought that A. David Silver's advice on start up entrepreneur's was right on (find someone with a hurt), but O'Connors is closer to what I was trying to elucidate but couldn't.
Highly recommended, one of my current favorites.
John Dunbar
Sugar Land, TX
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By A Customer on September 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
...that innovation can be forced. That is, that there is an actual template you can follow to come with better products and services.
If a consultant posed the premise, I'd have my doubts. But this is written by a guy who has started a series of successful companies and who is actually in the business of being an entrepreneur (and not writing books.)
Well worth your time.
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Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book 4.5 stars. It is written by one of the founders of DoubleClick, Kevin O'Connor. He takes you through the steps he believes are necessary to go from and an idea which are easy to come up with to a business which is difficult. He lays on the line how difficult it will be. The proof in the pudding is if anyone following his advice can create a successful business. There is a lot of good wisdom in this book. Some people may think it's obvious but for me, I'm an Excel-VBA software developer with 100's of ideas and my own business, it's great advice and hopefully I'll follow it and make it big time some day.

The book includes many pearls of wisdom. He steps you through the details of his main ideas which are:
1. How to come up with a large # of ideas
2. How to Pick the right idea to pursue
3. How to create a business plan
4. How to get funding
5. How to hire great people

Other reviewers claimed he was self-aggrandizing but this didn't bother me at all.

He includes his business plan for DoubleClick in the appendix.

The only downsides to this book is that it's a little dated, due to the current economic crisis, Mar. 2009, good luck in trying to go public and he doesn't talk about other ways to grow your business without funding from a boot-strap method.
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