A sampling of excerpts from the book is provided on the Table of Contents page.
Critical Issues Discussed in the Book
Innovation is difficult to measure, identify, quantify and develop until after it has been accepted in the marketplace. Whether something is innovative is a constant debate. Once the public deems it innovative, the argument is over and everybody jumps on the bandwagon. Further, just because something is unique does not make it innovative. It is possible to make products that are so unique that the potential customers do not recognize the need for the product or are not able to conceptualize why the product is useful.
No matter what you do some people will not view your idea, product or service as innovative! This happens all the time.
Buggy whips are not innovative!
Critical Skills Necessary to Succeed in Today’s Economy
The question of product development only becomes interesting when we try to create products that have a potential to exhibit rapid growth. Rapid growth properly managed provides the way to wealth. In this book we will examine ways of thinking about products and services, but that will evolve into a strategy that focuses on trying to position products so that we can achieve high growth products and see if we can capture market share and sales. In this strategy we will be searching for disruptive technologies. We will try to use them to create products with a rapid growth curve. This is the process that we call creative disruption. We are trying to develop products that make money.
A group that I worked with over the years caused me to think of a huge contradiction in terms of innovation. The company’s chief scientist was a brilliant person with a serious problem. He was able to always tell you why something was not innovative. Eventually he could define what he saw as an innovative product. But, his definition relied on him solving all of the technology problems associated with the innovative product. In solving problems he relied upon being able to determine a solution to every possible development obstacle. In fact, he wanted to understand the solution not only in the absolute sense but in the sense of what had already been done in the industry. Think about this. If products are not innovative because they can be described in terms of what had been done before, then how can his innovative idea be innovative if he describes the solution to every problem by how the obstacle was overcome in some other product?
The key issue in developing products is how to get started. What is our creative strategy? If you can develop a basic concept you can then modify the concept and move forward. Lots of people have a lot of trouble getting off the ground. The key is to not let yourself get hung up by pebbles. Pebbles are small pieces of sand that seem to block people’s paths and no progress is made. The worst thing that can happen when trying to move forward with a concept is to get stopped by a pebble. I do not care if you have a good or a bad concept. If you do not have a concept you will go nowhere. Thus, I will push for a concept regardless of the quality of the original concept. Why? Because I know that all concepts must have a lot of back and forth before they become viable and unless I have a starting point there will be no way to move forward.
Our focus will be to conceive of products via a process that we will define as creative disruption – the act or process of upsetting the status quo by creating new products, companies or industries.
Do NOT invent buggy whips!