I was given a pre-release copy of this book to read and review and jumped at the chance given my interest in the area of innovation strategy for competitive advantage.

I’m glad I did.

This book is short and very accessible. Structured as a series of statements on what works in creating real innovation. By real innovation, I agree with the author, we are talking about the creating of a product or service in the Blue Ocean, where there are no competitors, something completely transformative.

“… companies that seek to create new demand, or expand markets rather then fight over a shrinking percentage of existing markets.”

Hashmi hammers this point hard in the opening chapters with the key point that the current start-up culture leads to concentrated mediocrity in incremental improvements of existing products and services, rather than creating something the people don’t know they need yet. This is driven by the need for investors & founders for security and lower risk in their attempt at a fast development of product or service that is mostly proven. It stifles the talent involved in the search for the next better thing, instead of making something great & completely transformative.

I also liked the second suggested method of Innovation Thinking, to talk and behave like a human. Too often in  product or service development and delivery we talk like a business to a business, rather than like a customer to a customer. I have always made a point to do this in my dealings with customer, which is particularly beneficial in a technical business, however by approaching at an issue of business content with a human approach, you start to see problems as a consumer might rather than through the paradigm of business discourse, often leading to new creative solutions.

“… it helps us take inspiration and influence from things outside of that business context, from culture, from sociology, from nature, from science-fiction etc.”

The book then goes coffee-fueled through many suggestions for methods of Innovation Thinking. Some have additional benefits in marketing communications, such as the one-sentence method. Others are more focused on product and service development. All have the same fundamentals, a concern for the customer, and a drive for disruption.

Hashmi has delivered his ideas in a snappy, jargon-free, and generous way and I’m sure to implement a lot in my own business & product development.

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