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Sidestep & Twist: How to create hit products and services that people will queue up to buy Paperback – 15 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd (15 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814351105
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814351102
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,159,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Gardner is an innovation author and practitioner, who has spent most of his career leading innovation teams in both private and public sector organisations. Born in Australia, he completed his Doctorate in Innovation Management before moving to London in 2005. He is presently Chief Strategy Officer at Spigit, the world's largest innovation software company.

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Review

Sidestep and Twist isn't anti-innovation, but challenges the notion that all ideas are good just because they are new. Innovation is making new ideas useful. Gardner's book will make anyone involved in doing transformation rethink what they're doing --Max Mckeown, Author of The Truth About Innovation, The Strategy Book and Adaptability

Forget everything you think you know about innovation. Gardner proves that innovation can be mastered - breaking down the myths that stand in the way of value creation. This book will fundamentally change how organisations compete in the 21st Century --Gabe Zichermann, Author of Game Based Marketing and Gamification by Design

I predict Sidestep and Twist's common sense approach to innovation success at scale will leave a lot of innovation gurus exposed like the proverbial emperor. If they're clever, they will grab a copy of this book and shout Eureka as they run naked for cover! --Annalie Killian, Catalyst for Magic at AMP Australia

About the Author

James Gardner has run the largest innovation programmes in the public and private sector. He is present Chief Strategy Officer at crowd innovation company Spigit, and lives in London

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LJD on 4 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
How the heck is Glee so popular? I don't watch it, I'm aware of many, many people who are enamoured. They unashamedly 'take' other people's original creations and tweak it, often making orders of magnitude more money. (I saw the Glee analogy in a presentation, it is not in the book).

Was Apple's iPad the first tablet computer on the scene? Hell no! Was the iPod the first portable music player of its kind? Hello, no! Why and how were they such sensational hits?

In the case of the iPad, there was a large degree of Sidestep(ping) & Twist(ing). I do still think that R&D and talent played a significant part. For example, Tim Cook mastered the supply chain.

Facebook is the dominant social network, Google is the dominant search engine. Neither were first on the scene. (Remember MySpace, Altavista etc.?)

The iPhone was late on the scene. I used to have a Windows handheld device back in 2002 - an HP iPAQ - around 5 years before the iPhone was announced. It sucked! It looked great on the shelves in John Lewis and Dixons, but it was a piece of crap. Developers could create, and consumers could buy apps on it. Apple did not originally allow native apps (they suggested people built browser based apps only). They sidestepped and twisted to create a juggernaut.

The book is insightful, a must read for anyone interested in technology. The author makes some pretty compelling cases.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Lumley on 30 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
James Gardner's book is a fascinating, but at times depressing, take on the Darwinian history and realities of innovation, product adoption and the ability (and inability) to make money. Gardner argues that true innovation (that is something that is new, first on the scene, never before done-*take note blog writers and conference speakers) rarely makes money. Instead, usually, a younger, faster, nimbler company copies an idea, incorporates a 'sidestep' or a 'twist'(such as exploiting a new and more lucrative customer base, based on location; making the customer interface less complex, or embedding functions that encourages more users)and then reaps most of the spoils from the initial innovation.

The book also highlights some of the challenges large(and not so large) companies have in incorporating some of these 'sidesteps and twists' in regards to innovation. Some of these same challenges seemed very familiar to me and my company only has seven people in it.

I think James' honest view of the world is more true than people wish to believe. I've been reading this morning about Google's struggles with Google Wallet (you know, the mobile payments initiative that was supposed to have every bank shaking in its boots?) Basically the lesson of the book is that there are products and then there are products that a lot of people use(buy)and then there are products that a lot of people use for a long period of time. That road is filled with a lot of side steps and twists.

Depressing stuff for those of you who leave the house every day to create the new and the cool, hoping that is enough to set the world on fire. James' warnings could send everyone back to the warmth of a duvet and Radio 4.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kate Bennet on 9 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Dr Gardner's "Sidestep and Twist" provides a walk through innovation as we do- and as we don't- know it. The central premise, that genuine breakthroughs are never as successful as alterations of something that already exists and that crowds and marketing are key- is well justified, with a good mix of case studies and analysis. The studies are particularly compelling, with fascinating insights in to some of the world's most successful individuals and companies. For example- did you know that the first satnav databases (created in the late 1980s) were based on people driving around the country describing important features in to a dictaphone? And did you know that the world's first vending machine (invented in Ancient Greece) dispensed holy water on the deposit of a coin in to a slot?

These anecdotes, and others like them, were well told- demonstrating Gardner's skill as a story teller. I did feel, however, that at times the central argument would have better elucidated if the case studies had been backed up with more data and/ or if the experiences of the companies had been shown on the indicative graphs; showing real data against the expected outcome would have helped demonstrate the "sidestep" and "twist" in reality. Similarly, I felt that the author sometimes focused on described the impact on the graph line rather than the impact as related to an actual example- for example, writing "this twist has the impact of moving the curve to the left" rather than "this speeded uptake."

This aside, however, this was still an excellent book which innovation teams and company directors would benefit from reading. I would certainly love to hear more innovation anecdotes (including more non-technology based examples) from Gardner- perhaps a topic for the author's next Little Book Of...?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul F on 30 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
Are there very many of us who haven't wondered how Apple got to be cool while Microsoft got boring?

This is a book that tries to answer that question and others like it.

The author starts with an analysis of breakthrough innovations and proposes an economic model that explains why they rarely make money. Basically, he says, breakthroughs are usually so expensive or complex there aren't enough people around which can adopt it. Here, he ties the well known s-curce with its critical mass point to the price performance curve of well known innovations from history. This is a theory that seems, at least on the face of it, to have a sound basis in the data he presents.

Gardner then goes on to argue that since breakthroughs usually don't pay, the most sensible strategy is to copy what is working elsewhere and add what he calls a "twist", essentially a variation on the well known network effect.

This is the second original contribution in the book: Gardner suggests that there are 5 different kinds of network effect, not just the one that most people already know about. He uses stories from google, Facebook, Amway, the history of telephony and others to illustrate the point.

Throughout the book,, the author uses lots of real world examples to illustrate his point. The writing style is easy to follow, and the 11 or so chapters are lengthy enough to be significant in their own right, whilst short enough that you can read each in a single sitting.

Like other reviewers, I recommend this book. If nothing else, it prevents a perspective you won't find in many other books on this topic, and is excellently researched and written.
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