How Innovation Works

How Innovation Works Serendipity, Energy and the Saving of Time

Hardback (14 May 2020) | English

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Synopsis

The products of innovation are all around us, from light bulbs and nuclear energy to antibiotics, artificial intelligence and even wheelie suitcases.

In the 1950s, the economist Robert Solow calculated that 87% of economic growth came not from applying more capital or more labour, but from innovation making people more productive. It's probably even higher today - new materials, new machines and new ideas to cut costs and enable people to spend less time fulfilling more of their needs: that's what growth means.

But innovation is still a remarkably mysterious process. It's more than just the invention of a new gadget: it requires lots of hard work making something affordable and useful. Innovation is an evolutionary activity that happens in the cloud of shared experiences; it relies on recombination or exchange; it is incremental; it feeds upon itself. And innovation is the great equaliser: today some of the poorest African communities have mobile phones that work as well as Tim Cook's. Innovation is why the number of people living in extreme poverty is declining rapidly - and it is the reason the number will continue to decline.

From the bestselling author of The Rational Optimist, How Innovation Works draws on evolutionary biology and archeology as well as technology, politics and economics, telling the real stories behind the great leaps forward that have defined modern society. Looking at key developments from harnessing steam power to nuclear fusion, genetic modification and now the impact of social media on polarisation, How Innovation Works explores significant the breakthroughs in science, technology and economics that we all benefit from today - and considers where they might originate in future.

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
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 270g
Height: 240mm
Width: 159mm
Spine width: 21mm