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on 29 March 2013
"Instead of asking How can we make a new product that we can successfully sell? the disruptor asks: How can we give people something they really want". Replace "Make" with "Give", "Product" with "People" and "Sell" with "Want".

This sentence summarises the main idea of the book. In digital age, the cost of producing new products is much lower than it was one decade ago. And the author is not only talking about digital products, but analog ones too. Hence, it is all about innovation now. People want experience rather than products. It doesn't matter if you make it, or if you can partner with others and use free tools to give that experience to your users. Your focus should be on what your users want rather than on what you can produce and sell. The two concepts seem to be similar, but if you think about it, you will find them leading to different set of priorities when you are trying to innovate. The author added later on, "R& D teams have a tendency to confuse product features with customer benefits. They assume that more features equals more benefits. This is not true".

One other quote that I liked is, "When companies adopt technology, they do old things in new ways. When companies internalize technology, the find entirely new - disruptive - things to do".

He also set some differences between two concepts of innovation. Incremental versus adjacent innovation. Incremental innovations focuses on the the current product you have, the current customers you target, and the current process you use to make your products. Whereas, Adjacent innovation leads you to explore new markets, and new experiences to offer to new users. To do so, you need to think of competition differently, it is not those who sell the same products as you do, but anyone offering good experience to their users. Take Nike Runner app for example, they did not limit themselves to other shoe-makers, they rather explored new areas, they witnessed the likes of Apple and Facebook, they learnt from them how people want to share their activities, and how gamification is invading social services. Nike is not an app maker, it is not part of their production process, but this didn't stop them from moving to one new adjacency to explore new customers and new experiences to offer to those customers. They may choose to partner with Apple or compete against it in order to offer such experience to their users. It doesn't matter whether they choose the former or the latter. Because in the digital disruptive age, what really matter is offering your customer's value not products.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 November 2014
I really found it a struggle to finish this book. It is written in the over-polished, reader friendly tone, that Readers Digest might use. There is a lot of repetition, despite it being a short book, and although there are some insights, they are rather lost in a warm bland whole. I understand that the author makes a living as a consultant, and some of his experiences do offer useful lessons, but he tends to spend far too much time on his unconvincing overarching theories.

Deep down, I am not sure that the author does really understand the challenges and opportunities actually facing most businesses, instead he is pushing a rather meaningless call to action for us all to get smart, get digital.

In fairness, I am not the target audience for this book, and I have already read quite extensively on this topic. The end of the book features a chunk of another book, Outside In, that actually seemed more compelling than this one.
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on 23 March 2016
I have just finished it and I seriously recommended.
It's not rocket science, but it opens your mind in many ways you probably didn't think before.
Great reading for everyone interested in disruption, innovation and real progress.
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on 28 August 2014
I find it very interesting reading. It certainly focuses the mind on current developments in business and the use of technology to innovate. I would give it five stars but for the fact that it occasionally sounds like a promo for the author's training consultancy, and sometimes seems to imply that only radical innovation especially using apps will do, when in fact good creativity can be a little retro in approach. Very useful book nevertheless, with some new ideas such as his model of human motivation.
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on 11 March 2013
As a self-confessed disruptor I thought this book provided an excellent outlook on some of the places we're headed. Probably a lot faster than we know. The book focuses on the business to consumer market which I think is correct as that's where it's clearest what is going to happen and I found the coverage insightful and clear. The required mindset for progress is clearly brought out and it is massively at odds with the typical protectionist approach that most large companies are using to try and protect and leverage competitive advantage. While there isn't much coverage of the B2B space I think it's fairly easy to apply the same basic trends there, albeit probably at a slightly slower pace.

However a sequel is required is to try and address the impact of all this change on Government and probably investing and wealth distribution. I think anyone who thinks they will not be seriously disrupted is ignoring a major opportunity. The extent and pace of that change is harder to predict. Hopefully it will be signifcantly for the better. Democracy, politics and nationalism offer significant opportunities for disruption and improvement. It seems inevitable that social networks will evolve into decision making platforms that adopt real power simply through the massive numbers inolved.

My only criticism of this book as with so many at present is that they fail to verbalise or digitise the key point of all this human progress. If we all work together we will be able to enjoy very much longer, happier and healthier lives and it's in all our interests that we figure out how to do this sooner rather than later.
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2013
I enjoyed this book. It's key message is that the disruption and innovation is happening all around us, and creates opportunities for us all to take. The disruption is only going to get faster and more powerful.

Against this background anyone wanting to keep their life or job the same is on a hiding to nowhere. The digital communication revolution is only just gathering pace. Whether you will enjoy this or not depends on your attitude to change, and just how many opportunities you can seize.

In the 1800s the New York Times said "go west young man" Updating this for our age the message is go inside yourself, and create products and content that helps other people. The digital platforms are just starting, and whole industries are about to be radically changed in favour of consumers. It's possibly one of the biggest waves of opportunity ever created.

This book describes all this well, and shows where there are opportunities for us all. It's well written and concise. Well worth reading.
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on 20 April 2014
Nice examples. Doesn't repeat itself, or pad out the book to make it bigger which is a huge relief, i'm so bored of books that could be shorter. Interesting ideas and fast pace. Recommended read, similar to Seth Godin type, look forward to what's coming in the future, gen x and the boomers (if they are still in the game) need to think fast.
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on 22 July 2014
A lot of companies don't realise the change that is happening, and coming their direction right this minute. This book not only helps identify the opportunities of this new wave of business, but puts it into actionable tasks and processes that anyone in a company can drive forward.
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on 4 August 2014
Although the book is week researched and to the most Hartwell written, as as a business owner I just found the content too-geared towards larger enterprises without giving any substantial real world examples for smaller businesses.
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on 20 August 2013
This is a well-written and logically structured book, making it far easier to read than I was expecting. In fact, I found it quite hard to put down! It offers a view of the future that is challenging to a child of the sixties, for whom the pace of technological advance is sometimes (frankly) bewildering. But digital disruption is evidently here to stay, and we ignore its influence at our peril. At the same time,its potential benefits are enormous, and James McQuivey's book is also encouraging and inspiring. So hang on to Mr McQuivey's coat-tails: it will be a bumpy ride, and some of us will have to run with all our might to keep up. But we could have a lot of fun on the way!
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