Innovation with a Capital “I”
In his latest book Economist magazine correspondent Vijay Vaitheeswaran argues that the need for innovation has never been greater.
Computerized glasses that can send emails, access digital maps, or live-stream videos to friends (Google); a “green” cement that captures carbon emissions (Novacem); renewable diesel produced by sugar enzymes (LS9). Each of the companies behind these game-changing ideas exemplifies the new rules of innovation as outlined by Vijay Vaitheeswaran in his latest book, Need, Speed, and Greed. Specifically, the book argues that the transformations feeding our 21st century economy are widespread, intense and no longer generated only by academic labs. Nimble companies – like Google, Novacem or LS9 – are now driving much of today’s innovation agenda.
According to Vaitheeswaran, these fast-paced changes come as the world faces some “wicked problems” including climate change, high energy prices and a sluggish global economy. The author argues that ideas flowing from the world’s most creative companies will be key to solving these and other daunting challenges.
Vaitheeswaran believes all industries, not just high tech and IT, have the potential to drive innovation, which he points out “is thinking that creates something valuable; it’s not a gadget or gizmo.”
Need, Speed, and Greed not only outlines the new rules of innovation, it also maps out how companies and people can succeed in this fast-changing marketplace. Ultimately, this is important not only to companies wanting to play a bigger role in the innovation economy, but to everyone else as well. After all, innovation may be the only thing that can solve the increasingly serious problems looming on our horizon.
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