Anthony, S. 2012, The Little Black Book of Innovation: How it Works, How to Do It, Boston, Harvard Business Review Press This title offers a fresh and accessible approach to demystifying innovation. Innovation may be the hottest discipline around today – in business circles and beyond. And for good reason. Innovation transforms companies and markets. It’s the key to solving vexing social problems. And it makes or breaks professional careers. For all the enthusiasm the topic inspires, however, the practice of innovation remains stubbornly impenetrable. In “The Little Black Book of Innovation”, long-time innovation expert Scott D. Anthony draws on stories from his research and field work with companies like Procter & Gamble to demystify innovation. In his trademark conversational and lively style, Anthony presents a simple definition of innovation, breaks down the essential differences between types of innovation, and illuminates innovation’s vital role in organizational success and personal growth. This unique hybrid of professional memoir and business guidebook also provides a powerful 28-day programme for mastering innovation’s key steps: Finding insight; Generating ideas; Building businesses; and, Strengthening innovation prowess in your workforce and organization. With its wealth of illustrative case studies and vignettes from a range of companies around the globe, this engaging and potent playbook is a must-read for anyone seeking to turn themselves or their companies into true innovation power-houses. Review: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Black-Book-Innovation-Works/dp/1422171728 Blank, S. 2005. Four Steps to the epiphany, San Mateo, CA: Cafepress.com Steve Blank’s course text from Berkeley’s Haas Business School and Stanford University, is the essential “how to” book for anyone bringing a product to market, writing a business plan, marketing plan or sales plan. It is a step-by-step strategy of how to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development for a new product or company. The book offers insight into what makes some start-ups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture. Packed with concrete examples, the book will leave you with new skills to organize sales, marketing and your business for success. Blank’s core thesis in building companies is that there are four discrete stages in the process (4 steps to the epiphany): 1. Customer Discovery – is about finding out if there are customers for your idea and if and what they would be willing to pay for it, before you write a line of code. This must be done by leaving the office and talking to real potential – this removes the guess work in initial product specification. Customer Discovery removes pricing risk because prospects tell you what they would be prepared to pay and it removes the hiring and market failure risk of alternate approaches, including the popular “build it and they will come” start-up strategy. 2. Customer Validation creates a repeatable sales and marketing roadmap based on the lessons learned in selling (not giving it away) to the first early customers. These first two steps validate the assumptions in your business model, that a market exists for your product, who your customers will be, the target buyers, establishes pricing, sales process
and channels strategy. 3. Customer Creation builds on early sales success and after completion of Customer Validation. Blank states that customer creation is dependent on the market entry type which is governed by the nature of the product – is it a disruptive innovation or a me-too. Customer Creation strategies define the four types of start-up: -Startups entering an existing market -Startups that are creating an entirely new market -Startups wanting to re-segment an existing market as a low cost entrant – Startups that want to re-segment an existing market as a niche player 4. Company Building is where the company transitions from its informal learning and discovery oriented Customer Development team into formal sales, marketing and business development teams to exploit the company’s early success. Review: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Four-Steps-Epiphany Successful/dp/0989200507/ref=dp_ob_title_bk Christensen, C., Raynor, M. 2003. The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. The Innovator’s Solution builds on Professor Christensen’s landmark book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, and explains how managers can overcome the bias he described in the earlier book toward being blindsided by new entrants bringing disruptive technology and products to bear. The authors point out, based on the studies of others, that few large companies are able to grow faster than average. Worse still for managers, they point out that studies of those few which have grown faster are often contradictory in their findings. The authors go on to create a generalized theory of what needs to be done in every situation that a company may face in creating and responding to disruptive technologies and products. Although the aut
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