Jack E. Triplett , is a visiting fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. He served previously as a chief economist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. He is the editor of Measuring the Prices of Medical Treatments (Brookings, 1999). Barry P. Bosworth is a senior fellow and Robert V. Roosa Chair in International Economics at the Brookings Institution.
An executive with nearly thirty years in the trenches of the hard-nosed Detroit automobile industry, Richard E. "Dick" Dauch had long dreamed of running his own manufacturing company. From his first job on the plant floor at General Motors to his crucial role in helping to rescue Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy, Dauch focused passionately, and relentlessly, on quality, productivity, and flexibility in manufacturing. In 1993 he took on the challenge of his life, buying a lagging axle supply and parts business from GM, along with five rusting, unprofitable, union-controlled, near-decrepit plants in the heart of a crime-ridden Detroit and a deteriorating environment in Buffalo, New York.
The newly created "stand-alone" company was named American Axle and Manufacturing. Dauch set out to create a world-class industrial automotive manufacturer. He bought and bulldozed the crack, liquor, and prostitution businesses that surrounded the company and rebuilt the plants. He upward educated, trained, and expanded the skill sets of the workforce, struck tough bargains with unions, and solved massive quality problems that were costing tens of millions every year and undermining customer satisfaction. Within one year of opening the doors, AAM had turned an astounding $66 million in profit.
In American Drive, Dauch narrates the story of AAM against the backdrop of his nearly fifty years in the auto industry, from its glory days to its decline in the face of foreign competition, government bailouts, battles with unions, and the recent Great Recession. Tough, smart, inspiring, high-energy, and opinionated, Dauch offers memorable lessons on leadership, advanced product technology, communication, negotiation, and making profits in the most difficult times. Dauch's story transcends the auto industry and draws a blueprint for job creation, manufacturing competitiveness, economic growth, and excellence in America.
How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights.
After years of research, Christensen has come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim—that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation—is wrong. Customers don’t buy products or services; they "hire" them to do a job. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The "Jobs to Be Done" approach can be seen in some of the world’s most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes—it’s about predicting new ones.
Christensen contends that by understanding what causes customers to "hire" a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers not only want to hire, but that they’ll pay premium prices to bring into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts.
This book carefully lays down Christensen’s provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world—and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides.
The Decline in Saving provides an extensive and unparalleled account of the complexity of present saving patterns, an issue made even more serious by the 2008–09 global economic and financial crises. It objectively examines saving at both the individual household and the aggregate economy levels to understand whether the U.S. decline in saving is truly a threat to American prosperity.
Highlights from The Decline in Saving:
"The magnitude of the two-decade-long fall in household saving has been truly astonishing; it is even more surprising in view of the fact that the large cohort of baby boomers should have been in their peak saving years."
"If Americans save so little, why are they so rich? This divergence emerges because the conventional measure of saving excludes all forms of capital gains...."
"Saving behavior appears to be influenced in important ways by country-specific institutional factors along with a few common determinants, such as income growth, demographic changes, and variations in private wealth."
"In the aggregate, the United States has had a negative net national saving rate since the onset of the financial crisis, and it now relies on foreign resource inflows to finance all its capital accumulation and a portion of its consumption."
"The optimistic projections of just a few years ago about the future well-being of retirees now seem seriously dated."