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Overcoming Inventoritis: The Silent Killer of Innovation Paperback – February 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
"Overcoming Inventoritis" goes beyond Clayton Christensen's concept of Disruptive Technology in "The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business (Collins Business Essentials)". Roosen and Nakagawa show how even companies as complex and well-established as Kodak and the large integrated steel makers (the latter among Christensen's examples of supposedly doomed industries) have the ability to succeed in the face of new lower-quality but improving competitors. The key is to keep your internal strengths aligned with the market's external demands, rather than focusing internally on unguided innovation.
This strategy sounds easy. How can it be accomplished? "Overcoming Inventoritis" lays out twelve distinct ways to break with unsuccessful innovations and increase your products' chances of profitability. My favorite of the twelve? The first: Assume your product is terrible. Don't laugh - it actually makes sense the way Roosen and Nakagawa explain it.
Among many examples of inventoritis-free successes and inventoritis-plagued failures, one example from a century ago stands out. The comparison between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla is as clear an example of opposing attitudes toward innovation - and radically differing outcomes - as you will ever find.Read more ›
But the book is about Inventors or Creativity. The gist of the thesis is all organizations need innovation to grow and thrive but all companies have built in characteristics that stifle creativity. The book covers a series of interesting case studies to point out the challenges and how some successful companies overcame the obstacles.
One clear message is "falling in love with your invention is a sure way to fail".
The book build us up to my favourite chapter (7) which has the answer. 12 ways to overcome Inventoritis.
1 - Assume the product or idea is terrible. Challenge and re-challenge.
2 - Know your customer, industry and business well. I notice that everyone else's business is easy and the grass is always greener there but when I invest, I lose money.
3 - Build a solid leadership bridge between marketing, engineering and sales.
4 - Make a commitment to self-improvement
5 - Be prepared to give up control. Control needs to be where the best good for the innovation is.
6 - Steal ideas from others and let them steal your ideas. I have always said "Ideas are a dime a dozen - implementation is what counts"
7 - Budget the time to help others and ask for help. Interesting, I am better at giving help than asking for it. Something I should work on.
8 - Lead with process.
9 - Create a slogan for the strategy.Read more ›
Thomas Edison was a marketer first, and an inventor second. Nicola Tesla was an inventor first, and a marketer not at all. Edison lied, cheated, and stole his way to wealth and power; Tesla was lied to, cheated, and stolen from, most notably by Edison. Therefore, Edison was right, Tesla was wrong, and your company should be more like the former.
Summarized this way, both this book's merits and its flaws should be clear -- and I just saved you twenty bucks.