How Innovation Works

How Innovation Works Serendipity, Energy and the Saving of Time

Hardback (25 Jun 2020) | English

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Synopsis

'Ridley is spot-on when it comes to the vital ingredients for success' Sir James Dyson

Building on his bestseller The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley chronicles the history of innovation, and how we need to change our thinking on the subject.

Innovation is the main event of the modern age, the reason we experience both dramatic improvements in our living standards and unsettling changes in our society. It is innovation that will shape the twenty-first century. Yet innovation remains a mysterious process, poorly understood by policy makers and businessmen alike.

Matt Ridley argues that we need to see innovation as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than an orderly, top-down process developing according to a plan. Innovation is crucially different from invention, because it is the turning of inventions into things of practical and affordable use to people. It speeds up in some sectors and slows down in others. It is always a collective, collaborative phenomenon, involving trial and error, not a matter of lonely genius. It still cannot be modelled properly by economists, but it can easily be discouraged by politicians. Far from there being too much innovation, we may be on the brink of an innovation famine.

Ridley derives these and other lessons from the lively stories of scores of innovations - from steam engines to search engines - how they started and why they succeeded or failed.

About the Publisher

4th Estate

4th Estate

With a heritage stretching back nearly 200 years, HarperCollins is one of the world's foremost English-language publishers, offering the best quality content right across the spectrum, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction to digital hymnbooks and pretty much everything in between. In the UK, the Glasgow-based William Collins & Sons was founded in 1819 and published a range of bibles, atlases and dictionaries, later including classic authors HG Wells, Agatha Christie, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. The original Harper Brothers Company was established in New York City in 1817 and over the years published the works of Mark Twain, the Bronte Sisters, Thackeray, Dickens, John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. In 1987, Harper & Row, as it had then become, was acquired by News Corporation. The worldwide group was formed following News Corp's 1990 acquisition of William Collins & Sons. Today we publish some of the world's foremost authors, from Nobel prize-winners to worldwide bestsellers recent successes including the Booker-winning Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel, and George RR Martin's blockbusting A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Book information

ISBN: 9780008334819
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint: 4th Estate
Pub date:
DEWEY: 338.9
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Sales rank: 676
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 658g
Height: 163mm
Width: 241mm
Spine width: 40mm