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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended if you work in business, economics or politics, 2 Jan. 2007
By 
R. S. Darling (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics (Hardcover)
This book is well worth a read if you're interested in business, economics or politics. I've found myself turning back to re-read chapters over the past few months it's given so much food for thought.

Complexity theory sounds scary. Eric Beinhocker shows that it isn't. He shows how simple and incredibly powerful it is as a way to explain what we see in the real world every day.

The business reader gets an utterly compelling insight into why innovation in big businesses is so hard to pull off. I found myself having 'aha' moments about why innovation at the companies I've worked at is such a challenge. It also led me to think about why Google's seemingly chaotic strategy might just work and to build my own understanding about why services like YouTube and Skype are hard to predict but huge when they happen.

Readers interested in economics see that complexity theory provides the economics profession with a way of explaining the economy without requiring theoretical modelling assumptions that don't reflect reality. I studied economics at Cambridge University several years ago and finally can see an economic theory that more closely reflects the whole story.

And for those interested in politics, Eric Beinhocker shows why Left and Right ultimately is not the best theoretical foundation for explaining how to improve things. Complexity theory provides politicians with a framework that starts with cooperation (Left) and competition (Right) co-existing and builds its policies with both present.

One final prediction: this book will continue to grow in popularity. The world is complex. This book thoroughly stimulates the mind.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful explanation of fundamental shift in economics, 24 July 2006
By 
Coert Visser "solutionfocusedchange.com" (Driebergen Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics (Hardcover)
The title THE ORIGIN OF WEALTH sounds like a deliberate mix of the titles of two classical masterpieces: THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES (1859) by Charles Darwin and THE WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776) by Adam Smith. Before reading the book, I wondered if this might be just a cheap tric by author Eric Beinhocker to suggest that he has written a successor-masterpiece to these two famous groundbreaking books combining and integrating elements from both? After reading the book I say: no cheap tric. Beinhocker has written an incredible book in which he masterfully explains the paradigm shift that is needed and happening in economic science and practise. The shift in question moves from traditional economics to complexity economics and it draws heavily on evolution theory. Beinhocker not only explains the theoretical shift that is going on but also decribes implications for business and public policy. It is just amazing how Beinhocker is capable of integrating so much research findings and theoretical insights from different disciplines into a coherent theoretical framework. The title of this book could not have been more appropriate and well-deserved.

Coert Visser
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most importanant book I have read this year (and last), 16 Mar. 2007
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This review is from: The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics (Hardcover)
This book has been an inspiration to me not just once, but consistently over the past year.

Evolution in business and marketing has often been used as a synonym for moving slowly or cautiously (as in "we need to be evolutionary not revolutionary"). Beinhocker shows us that not only is an evolutionary approach to strategy smart, it is the most radical approach.

All of the lessons here are applicable not only to business but any kind of endeavour - I've been applying what I learned here to marketing and media and will continue to do so.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 7 Jun. 2006
This review is from: The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics (Hardcover)
This is a great book for those interested in the confluence of evolution, economics and complexity theory. Classical economics has its kernel is classical physics. Much as classical physics has been overtaken by quantum, relativity and chaos theory, now is the time for classical economics to be overtaken by a more complex view of economic behaviour. This book gives both a history of the classical view of the world, why this is flawed and a great overview of the new world.
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