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Why Innovation Fails: Hard-Won Lessons for Business [Hardcover]

Carl Franklin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Spiro Press (5 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904298087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904298083
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 16.3 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 918,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The internet bubble spawned hundreds of innovative business ideas that subsequently crashed and burned, sending huge amounts of investors' money up in smoke. In the offline world, companies continue to invest millions launching new product innovations that are destined to fare as badly. History is similarly littered with examples of seemingly brilliant innovations that fell flat on their faces. But why does innovation fail? Drawing on the expertise and first-hand experience of inventors, financiers, market researchers, psychologists and sociologists - and using examples as diverse as metrication, the cure for scurvy, voice recognition software, GM food and "Classic Coke" - "Why Innovation Fails" examines the myriad factors which determine the success, or failure, of an innovation.

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Customer Reviews

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4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Innovation is about more than just technology 31 July 2003
I note from the dustjacket summary about the author that he used to be a journalist at Sunday Business. His ability to write succintly and wittily shines through in this canter through a series of innovations. He draws interesting conclusions about the factors that contributed to less successful outcomes than the various entrepreneurs might have initially anticipated.
Ultimately, a key message is that success in developing and bringing to market new innovations will depend on more than just having a clever technology. A multitude of external issues will play a vital role, and Franklin does an excellent job of providing a framework of analysis for wannabe innovators, and perhaps even investors in fledgling technology enterprises. The well-chosen references to other commentators and experts on this area suggest that the book was well-researched over some period of time.
Much of the book is anecdotal and example-based, so it is not a quantitative textbook for lovers of statistical evidence to support hypotheses about historical innovation trends. In summary, what it does provide is a light-hearted, and occasionally cynical, series of perspectives on innovation. Thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Innovation Fails? 3 Sep 2003
This book is an easy and compelling read for any entrepreneur. It poses a number of searching questions throughout the book, forcing you to challenge the assumptions you have made about your business idea and potential customers. It alerts you to many of the pitfalls that can easily befall even the most seasoned of businessman or woman with the underlying message of "forewarned is forearmed" and hopefully allowing you to either avoid the mistake or review the strategy and direction your are taking. Above all, it is an entertaining read with good examples and great humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Alternate Perspective 19 Mar 2005
This takes an unconventional view of innovation. Rather than providing yet another generic step-by-step innovation guide, its focus on what goes wrong when companies try to innovate provides a wide range of interesting examples. Built very much on the premise that we learn more from mistakes than we do from best practice checklists, this covers a host of areas. This engaging, provocative read is a welcome addition. Examples include NASA, Coke, WebVan, the Segway and Apple
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting and compelling read 19 Aug 2003
I enjoyed Franklin's informal and informative style. He grabs the reader's attention with examples and makes some arresting and original points. A highly readable book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical commonsense for anyone involved in innovation 29 Oct 2003
By Tim. E. Richardson - Published on Amazon.com
Why Innovation Fails is a practical guide reminding us of the many almost obvious reasons causing so many innovations to fail. The book is easy reading, and not academic. At first I was disappointed by this, but the book fits together well and has a seriously useful questionnaire at the end. The books uses examples from the dotcom bust and other modern ideas (the iPod is presented as an innovation that did work). It focuses on why people reject or aren't interested in technical innovation. The questionnaire, for example, asks the innovator to describe a typical early adopter, a typical late majority adopter and to ask what they each want from the innovation. This focus on the launch and growth phase of the product is typical of the book's emphasis on the consumer experience. There is some discussion of types of consumers (early adopters etc), and lots of summaries of key books in the area. My overall impression was that at my company, we need to use more common sense and get more customer research. The book is oddly positive, a message being that if innovations doomed to failure and spotted and killed earlier, more resources will be available for innovations that can succeed.
When I rate books, four stars is "highly recommended".
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Basic message seems to be �Don�t believe the hype� 21 Mar 2004
By Hugh Claffey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book covers some of the bases in regard to innovation - in particular it mentions the Diffusion of Innovation Theory, propounded by Everett Rogers among others. He gets a lot of mileage out of failures (such as New Coke and The Smokeless Cigarette) , under the general guise of "what were they thinking", and he clearly describes how foolish ideas can get backing from powerful, influential ideas and how other people then fall into the Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome.
There are a lot of good references in this book to successes, failures and studies relating to the Dot Com boom. One curious omission, in my view, is any reference to the work of Geoffrey Moore, whose work in the marketing of innovative technology products is a must-read for anyone trying to define the topic.
My basic impression of this book is that it is good on description, adequate in referring the reader to deeper, more original, material but very poor on analytical contribution.
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