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How to hunt down profitable ideas


Imagine you know a person who has not only advised 100s of top brands as varied as Victoria's Secret and IBM, but also (through a high-growth innovation firm he founded) continually learns from thousands of businesses, innovations, innovators, and innovation methods. Imagine he writes a book on innovation. How would you describe his book? Battle-tested, I'd think!

The person is Jeremy Gutsche. And his book is "Better and Faster." To me, the only not-so-interesting thing about the book is the title, but the point is, you get BETTER at overcoming innovation inhibitors and FASTER at exploiting profitable opportunities.

"Better and Faster" makes a good start, right at the Prologue. The Prologue describes Robert Lang's amazing story of connecting the ancient art of Origami to tech-intensive work at NASA and at other organizations that invent the future. The book goes on to provide many more such well-researched stories that inspire us to generate our own profitable ideas.

The book is aligned with today's crucial pursuit of agility and change. Before you could finish applauding Roy Raymond's innovative business (Victoria's Secret), you quickly learn that to keep the business from going under, you need agility and change.

The subtitle claims "Proven Path" and the book fulfills the promise. Combining existing stuff to create a new one is a proven idea. Columbia Business School professor (author of Strategic Intuition) says "Your brain is constantly comparing what it’s taking in to what’s already there, and when it finds a combination — a synthesis — you have an insight." How true!

The hunting analogy used in the book is great from the standpoint of reader understanding of concepts. Interestingly, the analogy also aligns with the author's company TrendHunter.com. A unified brand -- a result of clear, creative thinking.

My reviews of other strategy/innovation books:

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