How Innovation Works

How Innovation Works

Paperback (04 Mar 2021)

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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.

Book information

ISBN: 9780008334840
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint: 4th Estate
Pub date:
DEWEY: 338.9
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 422
Weight: 306g
Height: 128mm
Width: 196mm
Spine width: 31mm