What is innovation? How is innovation used in business? How can we use it to succeed? Innovation - the ways ideas are made valuable - makes an important contribution to economic and social development, and is an increasingly topical issue. Not so long ago, there were no information technologies, commercial airlines, or television companies. Our parents were born into a world very different to today's, where television had yet to be invented, and there was no penicillin or frozen food. When our grandparents were born there were no internal combustion engines, aeroplanes, cinemas, or radios. In the last 150 years our world has been transformed - largely in part due to innovation. This Very Short Introduction looks at what innovation is and why it affects us so profoundly. It examines how it occurs, who stimulates it, how it is pursued, and what its outcomes are, both positive and negative. Innovation is hugely challenging and failure is common, yet it is essential to our social and economic progress. Mark Dodgson and David Gann consider the extent to which our understanding of innovation developed over the past century and how it might be used to interpret the global economy we all face in the future.
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Prologue 1. Josiah Wedgwood: The world's greatest entrepreneur 2. Joseph Schumpeter's gales of creative destruction 3. London's wobbly bridge: learning from failure 4. Stephanie Kwolek's new polymer: from labs to riches 5. Thomas Edison's organizational genius 6. A smarter planet? Further Reading