Here are the remaining nine of my 16 favorite innovation books. As I related in the discussion of the first 7 books in my last post, these books are my personal favorite books on innovation and are listed in alphabetic order by author. There may be some subjectivity in this list: all are from my bookshelf and there are none from authors I personally dislike.
8. Ken Kahn PDMA Handbook of New Product Development III
I valued the first two editions of this handbook from the leading association for product innovation when I was involved in product development and again when I started my research. Nice short summaries of key topics from leading scholars and practitioners. The new edition, under the editorship of Ken Kahn – associate dean of the da Vinci Center for Innovation at VCU, is as good or even better than the first two! And Ken invited me to contribute a chapter!
9. Tom Kelley Creative Confidence
IDEO book two… Everyone can be creative if they are allowed to! How to facilitate and tap into that creativity. Read it and create!
10. Mauborgne & Kim Blue Ocean Strategy
I like this approach which is based on the marketing concept of mapping product attributes and finding gaps. The stories are compelling. However, I was disturbed by a conversation I had with Dr. Mauborgne at a conference: he told me that his team had been able to find a firm that had successfully executed a blue ocean strategy more than once!
Can a strategy be only a one-time occurrence? (Be alert for a Black Swan event.) Nevertheless I recommend this book….
11. Geoffrey Moore Crossing the Chasm
Understanding the customers for high tech and cutting edge new products. The buyer side of product innovation.
12. Gina C. O’Connor Grabbing Lightning
Radical and disruptive innovation is not just for startups – it can originate in established firms. Gina C. O’Connor and colleagues show how some major corporations have sustained radical innovation.
13. Eric Ries Lean Innovation
Eric Ries was a student of Steve Blank. I have my innovation class read Steve Blanks blog. But this book is a useful introduction to the concepts of Lean Innovation. And everyone at your local incubator is talking MVP, market validation and pivoting: you should know what they are talking about!
14. Gerald Tellis Will and Vision (Unrelenting Innovation)
If I weren’t including this book by Gerry Tellis I would probably have listed Unrelenting Innovation here. I really like the research methods and debunking of Will and Vision. Pioneers get arrows in their back. Market winners claim to be first movers after-the-fact. Was Apple first at anything? And more interesting ideas, backed by years of data.
15. Stefan Thomke Experimentation
Thomke (and von Hipple) stress that companies can learn by watching users in action. Rapid prototyping, probe and learn, skunk works… the applied experimental method was being employed before Blank and Ries talked of Lean Innovation or Amazon started A/B testing. But there is a science and art to designing experiments…
16. Eric von Hippel Democratizing Innovation
This book is available free as an ebook. von Hippel has been exploring user innovation since the mid-1970s. I have my classes read his research articles. But in this book he does a good job of collecting diverse ideas – customer active innovation, lead users, experimentation, open source – in one place.
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