Elon Musk spotlights the technology and vision of Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, who sold one of his Internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius’s life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits.
Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary, visionary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.
Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.
"Ulwick's outcome-driven programs bring discipline and predictability to the often random process of innovation."
For years, companies have accepted the underlying principles that define the customer-driven paradigm--that is, using customer "requirements" to guide growth and innovation. But twenty years into this movement, breakthrough innovations are still rare, and most companies find that 50 to 90 percent of their innovation initiatives flop. The cost of these failures to U.S. companies alone is estimated to be well over $100 billion annually.
In a book that challenges everything you have learned about being customer driven, internationally acclaimed innovation leader Anthony Ulwick reveals the secret weapon behind some of the most successful companies of recent years. Known as "outcome-driven" innovation, this revolutionary approach to new product and service creation transforms innovation from a nebulous art into a rigorous science from which randomness and uncertainty are eliminated.
Based on more than 200 studies spanning more than seventy companies and twenty-five industries, Ulwick contends that, when it comes to innovation, the traditional methods companies use to communicate with customers are the root cause of chronic waste and missed opportunity. In What Customers Want, Ulwick demonstrates that all popular qualitative research methods yield well-intentioned but unfitting and dreadfully misleading information that serves to derail the innovation process. Rather than accepting customer inputs such as "needs," "benefits," "specifications," and "solutions," Ulwick argues that researchers should silence the literal "voice of the customer" and focus on the "metrics that customers use to measure success when executing the jobs, tasks or activities they are trying to get done." Using these customer desired outcomes as inputs into the innovation process eliminates much of the chaos and variability that typically derails innovation initiatives.
With the same profound insight, simplicity, and uncommon sense that propelled The Innovator's Solution to worldwide acclaim, this paradigm-changing book details an eight-step approach that uses outcome-driven thinking to dramatically improve every aspect of the innovation process--from segmenting markets and identifying opportunities to creating, evaluating, and positioning breakthrough concepts. Using case studies from Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, AIG, Pfizer, and other leading companies, What Customers Want shows companies how to:Obtain unique customer inputs that make predictable innovation possible Recognize opportunities for disruption, new market creation, and core market growth--well before competitors do Identify which ideas, technologies, and acquisitions have the greatest potential for creating customer value Systematically define breakthrough products and services concepts
Innovation is fundamental to success and business growth. Offering a proven alternative to failed customer-driven thinking, this landmark book arms you with the tools to unleash innovation, lower costs, and reduce failure rates--and create the products and services customers really want.
In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.
In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species—to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.