Hot Best Seller

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

Availability: Ready to download

File Name: Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries .pdf

How it works:

1. Register a free 1 month Trial Account.

2. Download as many books as you like (Personal use)

3. Cancel the membership at any time if not satisfied.


Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries PDF, ePub eBook *Wall Street Journal bestseller *Next Big Idea Club selection--chosen by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant as one of the "two most groundbreaking new nonfiction reads of the season" *Washington Post's "10 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2019" *Inc.com's "10 Business Books You Need to Read in 2019" *Business Insider's "14 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2019" *Management Today's "Top Business Books to Re/>*Management/>*Washington/>*Next *Wall Street Journal bestseller *Next Big Idea Club selection--chosen by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant as one of the "two most groundbreaking new nonfiction reads of the season" *Washington Post's "10 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2019" *Inc.com's "10 Business Books You Need to Read in 2019" *Business Insider's "14 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2019" *Management Today's "Top Business Books to Read in 2019" "This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world." --Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water? In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs. Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice. Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere. Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If twentieth-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the twenty-first will be shaped by this new kind of science. Loonshots is the first to apply these tools to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.

30 review for Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    "New frontiers of the mind are before us, and if they are pioneered with the same vision, boldness, and drive with which we have waged this war we can create fuller and more fruitful employment and a fuller and more fruitful life." — Franklin Delano Roosevelt pg 257 Safi Bahcall has applied a physics-based approach to understanding innovations and creativity in group settings. Through the careful study of a bunch of historical examples, he has discovered ways leaders can structure their busine "New frontiers of the mind are before us, and if they are pioneered with the same vision, boldness, and drive with which we have waged this war we can create fuller and more fruitful employment and a fuller and more fruitful life." — Franklin Delano Roosevelt pg 257 Safi Bahcall has applied a physics-based approach to understanding innovations and creativity in group settings. Through the careful study of a bunch of historical examples, he has discovered ways leaders can structure their businesses to best encourage the growth of "loonshots." The author has defined a "loonshot" as "a neglected project, widely dismissed, its champion written off as unhinged." It is through these, Bahcall believes, that world-changing ideas are produced that can be applied from arenas as diverse as business to war. "The twisted paths leading to great discoveries are the rule rather than the exception. And so are their revisionist histories: victors don't just write history; they rewrite history." pg 56 He suggests these breakthroughs are generally created by large groups of people, rather than solitary geniuses. And he thinks that "applying the science of phase transitions to the behavior of teams, companies, or any group with a mission provides practical rules for nurturing loonshots faster and better." pg 2 For example: By examining Theodore Vail and the way he structured AT&T's "fundamental research" department to Vannevar Bush's non-military leadership for the Office for Scientific Research and Development for the military, Bahcall has come to some actionable conclusions. He believes that, in a business, you need to separate the creative-types in the innovation departments from what he called the "soldiers" or people who run the rest of the business. Both are absolutely imperative to the success of the business, but if the two are working too closely together, "loonshots" can be strangled in their infancy. The same risk of failure is faced by leaders who try to micromanage "loonshots". Trust your people to do what they do best, whether that's development or running the business, so that you don't drive a business into the ground because you're too attached to your own pet project. Bahcall reminds us that structure is important but culture is as well. He makes a biological comparison to drive the point home: "Both genes and lifestyle matter. And so with teams and groups: both structure and culture matter. The aim of this book is not to replace the idea that certain patterns of behavior are helpful (celebrating victories, for example) and others are less so (screaming), but to complement it." pg 227 I can't say I completely understand what a "phase transition" is but Bahcall's storytelling manner of imparting information is easy to understand. His writing is reminiscent, in some ways, of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable but with more emphasis on structure and culture instead of probability. Readers who enjoyed one book, may like the other. Recommended for readers seeking more information about how to help businesses succeed, innovate and thrive.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I guess this is the new "disruption" book (even though he articulates the differences quite convincingly). Bahcall posits a theory of loonshots using a few emblamatic examples (actually the same ones everyone uses). This is sort of my fundamental problem with these sorts of books--they cherrypick data and then try to come up with grand theories based on a few successes. It's not super rigorous or scientific. This one gets extra points though because there are a lot of interesting tangents and fu I guess this is the new "disruption" book (even though he articulates the differences quite convincingly). Bahcall posits a theory of loonshots using a few emblamatic examples (actually the same ones everyone uses). This is sort of my fundamental problem with these sorts of books--they cherrypick data and then try to come up with grand theories based on a few successes. It's not super rigorous or scientific. This one gets extra points though because there are a lot of interesting tangents and fun stories that I hadn't heard before.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    Loonshots is a thought-provoking blend of history, physics, and business which seeks to explain group decision-making about "loonshots". I am a social scientist so the idea of thinking about group behavior through the lens of phase transitions (think ice to water or water to ice) was fascinating to me. The real-world examples ranging from WWII to cancer research were interesting and I found the author's personal stories most compelling of all.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    A cool and very readable account of technical history, innovation, and project management. I liked the author’s breezy, conversational style. He opens with Vannevar Bush just before WW2, starting a predecessor to DARPA, which wasn’t a big favorite of the prewar US military. But he had FDR’s support (via Harry Hopkins). The first significant deployment was microwave radar — the British had longwave radar since the 1930s, and that was a big help in winning the Battle of Britain. But microwaves had A cool and very readable account of technical history, innovation, and project management. I liked the author’s breezy, conversational style. He opens with Vannevar Bush just before WW2, starting a predecessor to DARPA, which wasn’t a big favorite of the prewar US military. But he had FDR’s support (via Harry Hopkins). The first significant deployment was microwave radar — the British had longwave radar since the 1930s, and that was a big help in winning the Battle of Britain. But microwaves had enough sensitivity and definition to spot submarine periscopes, and that was enough to win the Battle of the Atlantic for the Allies. And just in time, as Britain was very low on fuel and food in 1943, with no other effective U-boat defense. The Allies sank 41 U-boats in May 1943, more than in any prior full *year* of the war, and the Germans withdrew their Wolfpacks from the Atlantic. Next, statins, the cholesterol-reducing drugs that have drastically reduced heart attacks since they went into widespread use. The discoverer was Akiro Endo, a Japanese medical researcher, who found the compound in a blue-green mold, Penicillium citrinum, a relative of the famous Penicillin mold. The path to FDA approval was not straightforward. It took 26 years and two companies — Dr. Endo’s company gave up — and Merck got FDA approval for Mevacor in 1987. The statins have been remarkably successful, both medically and financially. Mevacor and other Merck statins have sold over $90 billion, and all statins over $300 billion. Yet this was a very fragile discovery, and the original discoverer earned little, aside from scientific recognition. This is a not-atypical path for a new drug discovery. Many more examples of success and failure follow. Noteworthy (and well known) were Juan Trippe’s Pan American bankruptcy, and Edwin Land’s Polaroid collapse. But I’d never heard of Dr. Land’s involvement in the U-2 spy-plane project, and deeper involvement with the US spy-satellite program. Dr. Land was an early advocate for digital satellite photography, and the first digital spy satellite was launched in 1976. Yet his Polaroid Corp. was still trapped by the collapse of film photography, and Land left the business in 1981. There’s a rueful quote from him on the danger of hubris. Polaroid went bankrupt in 2001. I have more notes, but this is enough, I think. Great stuff for the first 2/3, then it sags a bit. But don’t miss if you are at all interested in the history of technology and innovation. Something like half of the trillions of dollars in US GDP growth since WW2 came from technology improvements, so it's a topic of considerable interest. 4.4 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    You would imagine that the first time someone presented the idea of using a beam to detect ships and airplanes, or a drug to reduce cholesterol, or a drug to kill tumors by choking their blood supply, there would be wild jubilation welcoming such a world-shaking breakthrough. Aaaand you would be wrong. The folks who came up with such well-duh-obviously useful innovations as radar, statins and anti-angiogenesis drugs were rejected, and again, and again, for between 12 and 32 years. Loonshots You would imagine that the first time someone presented the idea of using a beam to detect ships and airplanes, or a drug to reduce cholesterol, or a drug to kill tumors by choking their blood supply, there would be wild jubilation welcoming such a world-shaking breakthrough. Aaaand you would be wrong. The folks who came up with such well-duh-obviously useful innovations as radar, statins and anti-angiogenesis drugs were rejected, and again, and again, for between 12 and 32 years. Loonshots are “widely dismissed ideas whose champions are often written off as crazy.” Through dozens of engaging stories told with insight and wry humor, Bahcall describes how loonshots (such as radar, the internet, and Pixar movies) come about, how to nurture them, how to champion them, and how to keep from inadvertently killing them. A gifted storyteller, Bahcall populates the narrative with characters endlessly fascinating through pluck, stubbornness, luck, or sheer genius: Vannevar Bush, the creator of the Office of Science Research and Development which basically won WW2; Akira Endo, the Japanese chemist who screened 6000 fungi to discover statins only to have his work stolen; Judah Folkman, the saintly discoverer of angiogenesis; Juan Terry Trippe, the larger-than-life founder of PanAm; Charles Lindbergh; Edwin Land, the supergenius founder of Polaroid; and Steve Jobs, who continues to get a lot more credit for Apple’s products than he deserved. In each of these instances, Bahcall goes deep, uncovering the complexities that belie simplistic origin stories and hero worship (Jobs and Newton are notably knocked down a few notches). Bahcall has done some serious sleuthing here. He also has a flair for super-clear explanations of complex scientific subjects. One of the book's central theses is that loonshots have their genesis in company *structure* and not culture. He draws a parallel from the science of phase transitions. To generate loonshots, you want fluidity: smaller teams with mostly creative folks (“artists”). To generate franchises, or even just to bring the loonshots to market, you want solidity: bigger teams staffed with “soldiers” with well-defined roles. Leading to the Loonshot Rules: 1. Separate the phases: Separate your artists and soldiers. 2. Dynamic equilibrium: Love your artists and soldiers equally. 3. Critical mass: Have teams that can do the job. In the latter part of the book, Bahcall presents a plausible quantitative model for the various forces that incline team members towards loonshot vs franchise behavior, and how to tweak those variables to get the kind of company you want. I found this book enjoyable and enlightening enough to have read it twice already. If you are an entrepreneur, scientist, artist, drug developer, military officer, or just a rabid fan of ideas with some of your own you’d like to make real, you should find out about P-type (product) loonshots vs S-type (strategy) loonshots; the Bush-Vail rules; systems mindset vs outcome mindset for doing postmortems; and the dreaded Moses trap. Also, why *does* the world speak English and not Chinese, when the Chinese invented printing and gunpowder hundreds of years before the West? With the word “loonshot” likely poised to become part of the vernacular in innovative circles, this is the book that puts you ahead of the curve. Consider it the most fun required reading you’ll ever do. -- Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil., host of "The Ideaverse" podcast, author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible, the highest-rated dating book on Amazon, and Should I Go to Medical School?: An Irreverent Guide to the Pros and Cons of a Career in Medicine

  6. 4 out of 5

    Howard

    a dynamite book. brilliantly written. good ideas. safi bahcall is a great story teller, and these tales are well worth telling.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    1. New ideas are fragile and require tremendous amount of protection all the way from the top. 2. World War 2: The German U-boats were sinking Allies ships. Radar saved the day, letting pilots find them in all weather. However the military did not like Radar, at least in its original form. Vannevar Bush got the support of President Roosevelt and Radar helped killed U-boat and made allied bombs 7 times more potent by exploding around the wanted German targets. 3. Juan Tripp founded Pan Am, made f 1. New ideas are fragile and require tremendous amount of protection all the way from the top. 2. World War 2: The German U-boats were sinking Allies ships. Radar saved the day, letting pilots find them in all weather. However the military did not like Radar, at least in its original form. Vannevar Bush got the support of President Roosevelt and Radar helped killed U-boat and made allied bombs 7 times more potent by exploding around the wanted German targets. 3. Juan Tripp founded Pan Am, made flying glamorous and invented the jet plane almost single handedly. Later Pan Am would however be killed by deregulation. 4. Edward Land founded Polaroid, polarising lenses and prints, 3D movies, and had to thriving business. He was first to develop digital photography technology for military satellites. But he did not bring it to the masses, because his printed photography and film part of the business was earning him lots of money. Then Sony and Canon took over. 5. Mevastatin was discovered by Akira Endo and developed by Sankyo, but that stopped after a report in dogs found it might cause cancer. Merck resurrected the research and came up with simvastatin. Sankyo missed a multi-billion dollar drug. 6. The phenomenon of emergence states that many is different from few, the interaction changes behaviour, such as phase change of water and ice. To promote loonshots by artists, which can fail many times before eventually succeeding, we also need the soldiers who continue the franchise to make dependable money. 7. Joseph Needham learnt Chinese from his Chinese mistress and published monumental work about Chinese science and technology advances. The industrial revolution did not happen in China because one emperor can ban all astronomy works of the whole country; Tycho Brache was exiled by the Danish king but built his observatory with Kepler in Prague. 8. Ikea started as a mail order company that happens to sell furniture; banned from trade fair from competitors, he opened show rooms himself; banned from employing designers, he employed his own (making Poäng chairs for example); banned from using Swedish wood, he went to Poland and sourced for good quality wood at half price and passed on the savings. Too many customers and he allowed them to shop from the warehouse. 9. Loonshots are different from disruptions. Bahcall decides them into Strategy S type and Product P type loonshots. Both can change industries, sometimes overnight. A solid 5 star book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    Was skeptical with the bombastic title at first, but this book shines as it recounts many notable inventions across industries and the multiple failures that preceded their eventual success.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Venky

    One might be forgiven for nursing a genuine assumption that the most famous “Bush” surname belongs to one of two men, both of whom happened to be the Presidents of the United States of America at different intervals. Safi Bahcall, a second-generation physicist (the son of two astrophysicists) and a biotech entrepreneur might also have harboured a similar notion until the day when the Chairman of a project group constituting the then-President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Tec One might be forgiven for nursing a genuine assumption that the most famous “Bush” surname belongs to one of two men, both of whom happened to be the Presidents of the United States of America at different intervals. Safi Bahcall, a second-generation physicist (the son of two astrophysicists) and a biotech entrepreneur might also have harboured a similar notion until the day when the Chairman of a project group constituting the then-President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology mulled about the goal of the group being to “write the next generation of the Vannevar Bush report.” Piqued by curiosity, Bahcall proceeded to look up the storied life and achievements of the former engineer and inventor who was tasked with the Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II. Most importantly, Bush laid the edifice for US’ whirlwind success in Science and Technology. The greatest good to have come out of Mr. Bahcall’s inquisitiveness to learn about Vannevar Bush is undoubtedly his wonderful book, “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries.” So what exactly is a “loonshot?”. Mr. Bahcall says, a loonshot represents “a neglected project, widely dismissed, its champion written off as unhinged.” The most significant and influential breakthroughs, are often, the results of loonshots, where the ultimate outcome’ pioneers are initially dismissed, written off and laughed away as being loony. Richard Miller, an oncologist was a CEO in a struggling biotech company. Miller, who also served as a part-time physician at Stanford University pioneered a new drug that promised a radical line of treatment for cancer afflicted patients. Not only was his drug scoffed at, it also led to Miller losing a boardroom battle and resigning as CEO. However, continued clinical trials resulted in not merely encouraging, but mind boggling results. Patients administered with Ibrutinib, - Miller’s drug – showed a nearly ten times higher response rate. FDA approval followed shortly before Miller’s company, Pharmacyclics was acquired by a pharmaceutical company for a whopping sum of $21 billion! A classic example of Mr. Bahcall’s Loonshot. Akira Endo, a scientist from the food-processing division at the Japanese conglomerate Sankyo, faced an experience similar to that undergone by Miller, in his quest to finding a solution to treat cholesterol. As Mr. Bahcall asserts, a Loonshot usually has to survive a few “Deaths” before announcing itself to the world. From screening fungi in discovering the mold Penicillium citrinum to experimenting with chicken, Endo’s drug had to survive Three Deaths. Failures and rejections later statins changed both the face of medicine and the fate of millions of patients. Cumulative statin sales of the pharmaceutical major Merck exceeded $90 billion while sales from all statins have exceeded $300 billion. In 2008, Endo was the recipient of a delayed recognition of his contribution to the medical world, courtesy the impressive Lasker-De Bakey prize. At the core of Mr. Bahcall’s Loonshots lies the analogy of phase transitions. The behavior of water undergoes a dramatic shift at the critical point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. A glass of water into which one could lazily swirls one’s fingers goes absolutely rigid and freezes over at the point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. What causes such a sudden change. More so when the molecules inside are exactly the same? This behavior in physics is popularly known as phase transition. This analogy according to Mr. Bahcall can be fruitfully employed to analyse group behaviours and their attendant changes. In other words, “there is something about structure that causes molecules to suddenly change behavior and that has nothing to do with the top or culture. It’s what elements of structure transform the behavior of teams and companies. structure can drive culture! There is a famous saying in business that culture eats strategy for breakfast and the theme here is that structure eats culture for lunch. Here’s an example. Let’s say you took 50 people and asked each one of them individually, are you excited about this early project? They’re all individually excited. You organize them into a group and then they collectively reject that idea. Why? According to Mr. Bahcall, a good example of structure driving culture is that of the multinational enterprise Nokia. Before becoming the globe’s leading smartphone company, Nokia dabbled in what looked like a haphazard menagerie of randomly selected items – rubber boots, and toilet paper included. This pottered experiment underwent a phenomenal transformation resulting in Nokia swamping the market for smart phones. In the early 2000s, a team within the company came up with an idea of a large phone, with unique touchscreens and an inbuilt camera. The head honchos however put paid to the idea, until a few years later a startled bunch of Nokia engineers watched Steve Jobs unveil what seemed to be their own prototype – with a mixture of awe and trepidation. The rest as the cliché goes is history. As Nokia grew and expanded, its structure changed and it crossed that point where it became more about people’s individual incentives and politics. The moment that transition was crossed, it was a mere inevitability that Nokia was going to become an institution that was rigid. For managing these phase transitions, Mr. Bahcall provides the following measures: • Separate the phases: Create separate groups for inventors and operators: those who may invent the next transistor vs those who answer the phone. Wide management spans, loose controls, and flexible metrics work best for loonshot groups. Narrow management spans, tight controls, and rigid metrics work best for franchise groups. S-type loonshots are small changes in strategy no one thinks will amount to much, whereas P-type loonshots are technologies no one thinks will work.” • Create Dynamic equilibrium: Innovative leaders with some successes tend to appoint themselves loonshot judge and jury. Instead create a natural process for projects to transfer from the loonshot nursery to the field and for valuable feedback and market intelligence to cycle back from the field to the nursery. • Spread a system mindset: Keep asking why, keep asking how decision making processes can be improved and identify teams with outcome mindset and help them adopt a system mindset. Mr. Bahcall also warns us to be wary of what he terms the “Moses Trap.” One place where the working of the Moses Trap is very apparent is Silicon Valley. In Mr. Bahcall’s own words, “the leader is so enamoured with new ideas. You need two conditions. Number one is an all-powerful leader where the decisions really get made from the top of the mountain. Two, you have someone who becomes infatuated with the crazy ideas and always wants to have the next one. You always hear that something is the holy loonshot that will save the company.” PanAm fell squarely into the Moses Trap. PanAm was soaring high on proud wings (literally). Boasting a talented leader who identified new technologies that allowed him to build bigger, faster, better planes, he kept turning that cycle and that worked for quite a while until it didn’t. “He had all these competitors and he was building bigger faster planes, but some of them were working on small changes in strategy like frequent flyer miles, things like yield management with big data, how to arrange seats. Things that sound kind of boring but actually make a big difference, and when airline deregulation hit [creating a free market for the airline industry], he had big, fast planes but no competitors. His competitors didn’t have as high-quality planes, but they had small changes in strategy that allowed them to run a much more economical business. They survived and PanAm didn’t.” PanAm, however was not the only company to find itself swallowed by the Moses Trap. Edwin Land’s Polaroid, could have become the host, emcee and showstopper of the world’s digital revolution. Land, in fact was at the forefront of the digital technology, when in 1971, as part of a secret panel advising the US president, he advocated digital photography, which the US eventually adopted for its spy satellites. But the brilliantly talented Land was myopic to the promise of digital cameras for commercial use. He wagered all his money instead on a high-resolution, instant-print movie technology called Polavision, launched in 1977. It was a commercial flop. Later, Land invited a guest to visit a warehouse full of unsold Polavision cameras. “I wanted you to see what hubris looks like,” he said. “Loonshots” teems with a plethora of interesting, illuminating and insightful examples similar to the ones mentioned in this review. It also provides a platform to nurture Loonshot thinking and institutionalization of the same as an organizational habit.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dan Connors

    A very fascinating read. The opening story about the invention of radar and how it won World War 2, one which I had not heard before, was worth the read alone. The author goes into detail about how great advances in technology, art or technology are made and how we can nurture them better. The advice is: 1- Separate the creators from the franchise and let them have some freedom. Discourage politics and encourage collaboration. 2- Create dynamic equilibrium between artists an A very fascinating read. The opening story about the invention of radar and how it won World War 2, one which I had not heard before, was worth the read alone. The author goes into detail about how great advances in technology, art or technology are made and how we can nurture them better. The advice is: 1- Separate the creators from the franchise and let them have some freedom. Discourage politics and encourage collaboration. 2- Create dynamic equilibrium between artists and soldiers so that communication is free and both sides feel valued. 3- Create a system mindset that encourages improvements instead of an outcome mindset. Aka growth mindset. He closes the book with a great question that has relevance today. Why, if China and Islam were the most advanced in technology and culture in the middle ages, did they get passed by so totally by the Europeans and especially the English in the 18th and 19th centuries? His answer- China got lazy and turned inward- creating big franchise projects like the Great Wall while ignoring loonshots that would bring the next big thing. The West, on the other hand, embraced the scientific method and found new ways to conquer nature, eventually dominating world politics and economies. Pertinent today because many are turning away from science, embracing the familiar franchises, and looking to build walls instead of new technologies and strategies that will make things better. There are plenty of well-researched, if cherry-picked stories from science and business and this book deserves the accolades that it is receiving.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brad Lyerla

    Great anecdotes. Decently written. Little scientific rigor. The friend who gave me my copy said, “you can read a chapter or two and you’ll get the idea.” Cannot disagree.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chia Evers

    Full disclosure—I did some of the research for Loonshots, so I know the book (and the author) quite well. That said, it's a fascinating mix of history, science, technology, and organizational management (and never did I think to use the words "fascinating" and "organizational management" in the same sentence), written in a conversational style that makes complex ideas accessible, without oversimplifying.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Loonshots was a fair book, but not overly great. The author did a poor job defining his terms, particularly the P-type definition was weakly delivered. Ultimately, the book reads like a dissertation that received encouragement from colleagues. The message was decent, just not overly well delivered.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vijay Raghoenath

    Moonshot: (1) The launching of a spacecraft to the moon; (2) an ambitious and expansive goal, widely expected to have great significance. Loonshot: a neglected project, widely dismissed, its champion written off as unhinged. An absolute banger of an opening which sets the tone for an interesting subject: ambitious and crazy ideas which eventually lead to groundbreaking transformations in industry, science and technology. Imagine your favorite storyteller: Neil Gaiman, Suzanne Collins or anyon/> Moonshot: (1) The launching of a spacecraft to the moon; (2) an ambitious and expansive goal, widely expected to have great significance. Loonshot: a neglected project, widely dismissed, its champion written off as unhinged. An absolute banger of an opening which sets the tone for an interesting subject: ambitious and crazy ideas which eventually lead to groundbreaking transformations in industry, science and technology. Imagine your favorite storyteller: Neil Gaiman, Suzanne Collins or anyone you really like and combine that with a distinguished scientist like Daniel Kahneman or Siddharta Mukherjee. The result is Safi Bahcall in loonshots. This book is very weird in the sense that it’s not really a business book but more a descriptive analysis of why ambitious projects often fail and how to counteract the endless stream of naysayers and failures in the life of a loonshot. I’d say that this book caters perfectly to innovation junkies who are sick of the hundreds of articles and books about company culture. Safi implies correctly that company culture doesn’t change overnight but still we observe a lot of companies suddenly failing out of thin air. The opposite is also true: some companies magically make it to the top all of a sudden. It’s like there’s an inflection point in the company success curve at which certain changes occur. Safi proposes an explanation in the form of company structure instead of culture and throughout the book beautifully weaves together his arguments. He makes scientific like categories and coins various terms which are then used in the book. For example, P-type loonshots signify a complete new product, while S-type loonshots are used to indicate a different strategic approach. What follows after the introductory pages are what I would call a descriptive analysis of two historical narratives. In each chapter Safi dissects companies and people from the past and present, which at some point have had great impact on their respective industries. More often than not we see people with very ambitious and crazy ideas being neglected and ignored (Pixar and Apple are very good examples of this). When their ideas do succeed though, they often get some kind of tunnel vision and focus all their efforts solely on building and developing loonshot ideas, which eventually leads to their downfall. One of the greatest innovations in medicine was the emergence and development of genetic research. Pioneers of this branch of biomedical science were ridiculed and laughed at for years on end. Almost all big pharmaceutical companies outright rejected drug candidates based on genetic and biotechnological research. Today, Genentech, arguably a first-in-class company with targeted antibody drugs was bought in 200 9 by Roche for $40 billion (yes, I know). Their sales from just four antibody products are combined to be at least $100 billion and have saved millions of lives. So the idea is to nurture loonshots right? Wrong: Pan American Airways, the largest flight company in the world in its time, went bankrupt after 60 years of service. Their CEO, Juan Trippe, was so focused on new technologies and loonshots that he completely ignored the other relevant developments in the world at the time. Pan Am was responsible for giving us the the first boat planes, first commercial trans-Atlantic flight, affordable worldwide flights for the middle class and above all they ushered in the Jet age with the first commercial Boeing 707 jetliner. Sadly, when regulation in the aviation industry occurred, Pan Am ignored it, and smaller aircraft companies were adjusting with new flight programs, lower salaries, lower building costs and more efficient flights overall. These small changes added up over time and when Pan Am wanted to act, they were already too late. Safi focuses on these types of stories and weaves them together by pointing out their differences, patterns and their similarities. What follows are beautiful insights to how we can better nurture loonshots while still focusing on the franchise projects to ultimately create a healthy company which benefits everyone. I recommend this book 100% and 110% if you’re a sucker for a combination of business, crazy ideas and beautiful stories.

  15. 5 out of 5

    illy

    “Loonshot: a neglected project widely dismissed, its champion written off as unhinged.” Loonshots are fragile despite their brilliance. Brilliant ideas or projects do not survive just because they are excellent or unique. Sometimes they are ignored for minor or reckless reasons. Safi Bahcall makes a case for protecting loonshots. In some cases, a change in the structure it's all that's needed. In other cases, changes both in the culture and in the structure are necessary. Based on a series of fa “Loonshot: a neglected project widely dismissed, its champion written off as unhinged.” Loonshots are fragile despite their brilliance. Brilliant ideas or projects do not survive just because they are excellent or unique. Sometimes they are ignored for minor or reckless reasons. Safi Bahcall makes a case for protecting loonshots. In some cases, a change in the structure it's all that's needed. In other cases, changes both in the culture and in the structure are necessary. Based on a series of fascinating and informative historical facts, the author develops an understanding of why some loonshots fail, and others succeed. He proposes high-level models that could help organisations in nurturing loonshots. A pattern emerges – loonshots undergo Three Deaths. If they ever survive, is because its inventors investigate failure beyond the False Frail (Why people are not buying the idea? Why the product doesn´t work?). Another reason for a loonshot’s success is the presence of a strong champion who believes in that idea. It’s natural to assume than an inventor is the best champion, yet as shown by the many examples the best innovators do not make for the best champions. Akira Endo, a Japanese biochemist led the research for the development of the statin drugs, the bestselling pharmaceuticals for treating cholesterol.However, his research had been dismissed for so many years, survived the three deaths to finally achieved belated recognition, still within the small field of cardiologist specialists. Judah Folkman, an American medical scientist and founder of the field of angiogenesis was ignored, belittle and ridiculed for 32 years until his work finally got the deserved recognition. The author identifies two types of loonshots. P-type loonshot – a product or technology breakthrough that is highly visible and can cause the sudden death of exiting technology. S-type loonshot – an unperceived change in strategy, a new way of doing business without the need for new products or technologies, which can cause the slow death of exiting business models. The story of Pan American World Airways, founded by Juan Terry Trippe, is an excellent example of a P-type loonshot. Trippe was instrumental in the development of numerous product breakthroughs: Boeing 314 Clipper, which opened trans-Pacific airline travel, the Boeing 707 which launched the Jet Age and the Boeing 747 which introduced the era of jumbo jets. However, the company didn’t react to the many S-type loonshots adopted by other airlines following the Airline Deregulation Act from 1978. At the same time, American Airlines’ CEO, Bob Crandall, credited with creating the first major mileage-reward frequent flyer program in the airline industry, with developing the modern reservations systems and also with pioneering yield management (a variable pricing strategy based on anticipating and influencing consumer behavior), successfully ensured the survival of the company thanks to the adoption of all these S-type loonshots. In the second part of the book, Bahcall defines organisational fitness as the ratio between project skills-fit and return-on-politics. High-fitness organisations reduce the return on politics, increase the project skill fit, eliminate perverse incentives and, adopt non-financial rewards such as peer recognition. Loonshots are encouraged by carefully creating a balance between the innovators, what the author calls the artists, and the people who run the business, also called the soldiers. At a larger scale, the right balance between the artists and the soldiers is similar with the relationship between the hundreds of small production shops and the few major film production companies; or between the hundreds of small biotech companies and the few major pharmaceutical companies. A captivating and informative read with plenty of well-researched cases from science, business, and the World War II.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Why this book: I listened to Tim Ferriss's interview with Safi Bahcall and liked him and what he said - it was excellent. Also this book was a pick of The Next Big Idea Club, to which I belong. Summary in 3 Sentences: The thesis of this book is that our society only makes progress when it adopts new ideas, which are almost always resisted by those with a strong vested interest in the status quo. He provides us many fascinating and surprising historical examples to support his thesis t Why this book: I listened to Tim Ferriss's interview with Safi Bahcall and liked him and what he said - it was excellent. Also this book was a pick of The Next Big Idea Club, to which I belong. Summary in 3 Sentences: The thesis of this book is that our society only makes progress when it adopts new ideas, which are almost always resisted by those with a strong vested interest in the status quo. He provides us many fascinating and surprising historical examples to support his thesis that an organization much be structured to separate those supporting the franchise from those developing creative new ideas.  He also provides other practical steps for how an organization can cultivate break-through ideas to succeed, and minefields that must be avoided - not only by organizations, but also by the creative individuals themselves. My Impressions:  Fun and fascinating read.  Bahcall was trained as a physicist who then went into business. Bahcall grabs our interest with stories about how products we now take for granted, which have changed the world we live in, were often strongly resisted by those who found them unnecessary, superfluous or bound to fail.  Such things as radar in the military, movie ideas such as the James Bond series or Star Wars series, commercial jet travel, medical innovations like statin drugs.  In each case the innovator persisted against the nay-sayers and the conventional mindset to eventually succeed in changing the world we live in. Trained as a physicist and a very astute learner, Bahcall transitioned into business and soon realized that while organizational culture is important to a business success, organizational structure probably is more important when it comes to being creative and innovative. Loonshots begins by showing how organizational structure can naturally impede creative ideas - what many regard as "loonshots" -  ground breaking ideas that can change the world. To read the rest of my review, go to: https://bobsbeenreading.wordpress.com...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dan Gibson

    A little wonky at times (although I find most business books are, so I might not be the right audience), but about 2/3 of the way through, it hit an interesting rhythm with helpful (to me) insights on the construction of teams and how to encourage innovation in an organization without the lazy (sometimes ineffective) carrot of promotions. Recommended, although don't expect a super fun read. Probably 3 1/2 stars for me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    "I'm still amazed by how often large companies compensate junior or mid-level employees on company earnings. If your project can move earnings by no more than a tiny fraction of a percent, how does a company-earnings bonus motivate you? You might as well put your energy into twiddling your thumbs and fooling your boss into thinking you are indispensable while enjoying the free ride if earnings go up."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniella Araujo

    This book is nothing short of excellent. Not sure if Mr. Bahcall is likely to repeat the feat and make his way onto becoming a established best-selling author with the likes of Yuval Harari, but he certainly left me with the same impression as when reading Sapiens.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Brady

    Interesting book. I like the concept of Franchises and Loonshots as competing states of existence,

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    What I love about Loonshots is how Bachall makes success seem more tangible. He doesn’t settle for a fluffy concept like culture where the amount of good culture isn’t actually measurable. He forms the magic number and theorizes ways to increase it. What I didn’t like was when he introduced his formula without showing tangible examples of companies that have increased it and the results in numbers that followed. He merely presents an example of a company that has exhibit a good or bad quality an What I love about Loonshots is how Bachall makes success seem more tangible. He doesn’t settle for a fluffy concept like culture where the amount of good culture isn’t actually measurable. He forms the magic number and theorizes ways to increase it. What I didn’t like was when he introduced his formula without showing tangible examples of companies that have increased it and the results in numbers that followed. He merely presents an example of a company that has exhibit a good or bad quality and leaves it at that. Bahcall uses prime historical examples of failures like Nokia, Next Computer, and even ancient empires to build a case of entities that have failed to keep up with innovation. He shares his list of loonshot qualities where these failed entities lacked, but he completely forgets to show us which successful entities exhibit them all.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Boni Aditya

    This is definitely one of the best books I have read in my life. This book along with - Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation This is definitely one of the best books I have read in my life. This book along with - Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age Take a good jab at understanding ideas, innovations, startups and new ventures and analyze how predict or come closer to understand which of them are better than the others. This book is about understanding a simple question "The Needham's Question" - Why did the Industrial Revolution happen in Europe, and not the much bigger, larger, and wealthier civilizations and nations - like China, India and Middle EASTERN Empires. This book uses a simple concept of Phase Transitions to explain why it happened only in Europe and why it could only happen in Europe. The Book - Where good ideas come from, talks about such ecosystems i.e. environments that foster innovations, while the author talks about such great ecosystems, he does not talk about the support of monopolies or franchises that support this eco system or how an ecosystem might transform into a rigid monopoly. The other book - Mapping Innovation, talks about various types of innovation, the four type of innovation, the basic research, the sustaining innovation, the disruptive innovation and the Break Through Innovation. The author talks about the pre-requisites for each of these innovation types to work out. Where Loonshots gains significance is that the author have given a definitive framework and more importantly an equation to understand when the environment shifts between various innovation types, the author explains why the best of companies and the most innovative companies descent into the abyss of bureaucracy and lose its innovativeness. It also explains why the best ideas only can rise out of a startup ecosystem and why they are killed in rigid monopolies and how the monopolies kill all such ugly babies, even before they can blossom into beautiful butterflies. This kind of approach to explaining theory is boosted with extremely apt case studies, which add a punch to the concept discussed, the case study about insulin, the case study of China, India and Europe, the case study of polaroid - the hubris of the polaroid hero, the case study of Steve Jobs - NEXT, thus the book is filled with extremely good case studies that catch the imagination in ways simplistic models fail to do so. The author has also taken the approach of using A vs B, to drill deeper in concepts. While trying to explain why The west sparked the Revolution and why the revolution failed in the East, the took it up by brining down the comparison to two individual, Tyco Brahe and Chen - and explained how the ideas floated and stayed alive through Kepler and other sponsors in the west, through various patron and how the greatest ideas of chen died down orphaned by the Emperor. I just loved the book very very much. This book is a must read for the govt officials trying to promote innovation it is also a must read for Monstrous Monopolies and MNC to understand why they should invest in the smaller ecosystems and keep their life lines alive and running at full speed. This is a must read for policy makers to enact policies that keep the thin line between franchises and loonshots alive. The book has tons of concepts embedded in it but the best of them is the Moses Trap, when the inventor fall so much in love with their ideas that they imagine that the wold will start loving them without any care for feasibility or the need. The book begins with World War 2, the Radio Wave Gamble behind the success of the allies and the U-BOAT blockage. It then moves on to discussions about other such crazy ideas, that changed the world many times over. He then talks about the environments that foster such crazy ideas, vaneevar bush who set up one such loonshot factory and another loon shot nursery inside Bell Labs that literally gave every technology that we use today. Here is a list of books that the author has mentioned Books: Creativity INC How Life imitates chess Theory of moral sentiments Wealth of nations   Physics of finance- applying techniques of statistical physics to finance Tipping point Nudge  Predictably irrational Here is a list of Keywords that the author has mentioned in his work M = (E * S * S / G) * F F = project skill fit / return on politics Lord of flies movie Supplemental pdf Keywords: Vaneevar bush report Innovative surprise Phase transitions Wisdom and tyranny of crowds Structure vs culture Miller's pirahna Engineers of serendipity Phase separation Dynamic equilibrium Endless frontier Luck is the residue of design Loonshot nursery Loonshots vs franchises Artists vs soldiers Pirates vs navy Equal opportunity respect Soldiers vs nerds Art of Balance and touch Don't legislate creativity The three deaths Vaneevar bush and at and t - veil, jewitt World war 2 and microwave radars Heart attack Framingham study and cholesterol Fungi can't run so they secrete enzymes, are great chemists Akira Endo - sankyo Narutoshi kitano Brown and Goldstein - Gilbert and Sullivan of medicine Akira Yamamoto - ss -fh patients Vagillos merk study Statins  Victor's don't write history they rewrite it Surviving 3 deaths Juada faulkmann Drug starving tumors Spouse activation factor Herbert hervitz avaston - colon cancer You can tell the leader by the number of arrows in his ass Investigating failure Fault failures vs real failures Inventor of the idea and the skilled champion Fragile projects need strong hands Package and promote, convince skeptical leaders, build support inside reluctant organisation Parsons - naval research laboratory Exploratory research Taylor - radio echo discovery Deek Parsons skill set - project champions Bilingual both artist and soldier Listen to the suck with curiosity Contrarian answers with confidence create attractive investments How do I know when to give up? Defend with Anger vs question with curiosity to skepticism Stubbornness vs persistence Dismissing bad feedback Trip vs candell Jet engines vs frequent flyers Panam Two types of loonshots Missing loonshots can be fatal P-type loonshots S-type loonshots Adaptive vs formative innovation Sustaining vs disruptive innovation P-type quick S-type slow P vs s innovation Warren trip - pan am Vs Bob crandall American airlines Competitive anger Robert Goddard - Charles Lindbergh IBM and the seven dwarfs The Moses trap Edwin land - anointing loonshots Polaroid camera Herapathite Polaroid goggles Hidingers brush Vectograph Color constancy Do not undertake a project unless the goal is manifestly important and it's achievement is nearly impossible Love of loonshots vs strength of strategy Phase transitions and dynamic equilibrium Fatalism - decline is inevitable Newton had hook and Steve jobs had raskin Ugly babies and beasta System vs outcome mindset Quality of decisions vs quality of outcomes Moses trap vs moses parc trap Steve sassin - Kodak Hand of Gardner vs staff of mosses Thunderous commandment vs helping hand 1 separate the phases, tailor the tools to the phase, watch your blind side, nurture both your loonshots product and strategy 2 create dynamic equilibrium, love artists and soldiers, manage transfer not technology, be a Gardner not mosses, find project champions to bridge the divide 3 identify teams with outcome vs system mindset, spread system mindset, improve decision making,  Alan Greenspan Efficient markets and invisible free hand Rules for groups vs individuals Emergent properties - collective properties Macro vs micro Fundamental law vs emergent properties Emergent properties are flexible and predictable Adam Smith Newton worship - sir Isaac Newton philosophy explained for the use of ladies Underlying force that can explain complex behaviour Collective behaviour is emergent model Dynamics of whole does not depend on individual details Gradual shifts cause sudden transformation - phantom traffic jam Entropy vs binding energy Control parameters Phase diagrams Average car density - control panels Speed Symmetry breaking transition Dynamic instability More is different - emergent behaviour Percolation theory/threshold Lack of knowledge due to lack of imagination Sparkling rate - contagion threshold Controlled burn policy - prescribed burns Power law pattern of forest fires, finance, terrorism Synchrony in nature Six degrees of kevin bacon Small world network Percolation in small world networks Axiom of emergence - Holmes Individual is a puzzle - man in aggregate is a mathematical certainty Percolating cluster of small world networks Thin tails - random normal Fat tails - evidence of networks Simple but not simplistic models 2.5 exponent power law - casualties - guirella war fare - conflicts - Virtual terror groups Small world networks - robust but fragile Robust against random attacks or failures Vulnerability to nodes with greatest influence Increased fragmentation rate Super spreaders - greatest influence clusters 150 magic number Cause vs career interests Mormon group size - Dunbar's number Brain volume to social group size Gore associates The invisible axe The phase transition Theory of omission Management span - no of direct reports Work on project vs networking Incentives - salary and equity Project work vs politics Design parameters - GSE G salary step up - low step up  S span - direct reports - promotion obsession E equity fraction - ties you to work Project skill fit X project work Return on politics Sputnik - makleroy, Eisenhower Darpa management model Darpa loonshots ARPANET - Siri -GPS Using nuclear weapons to build tunnels - suppository project Nuclear test ban treaty - seismology - plate tectonics First cg lab - engel Bart - mother of all demos Celebrate results not rank Increase equity, decrease growth Middle manger incentives Hippocratic oath - perverse incentives - dead see scrolls Free rider problem Stretch goals - false goals - Ford Pinto Incentive officer Team rewards Subtleties of incentives Wide span encourages creatives Make lobbying difficult Encourage independent review Reduce return on politics Use soft equity - non financial rewards Increase product skill fit Fix the middle Finetune spans Feedback from peers vs orders from mbas How cognitive biases impact teams Genes and lifestyle matters similarly culture and structure matter for teams Majors vs small specialists connected by a web  Tyco Brahe vs Chen The Mother of all loonshots The Needum Question China and India gave up loonshots and focussed on Franchises Strange and Ingenious objects from Europe - broke the Goliaths The Scientific Method - The Mother of all Loonshots Missing Loonshots can be Fatal Creating Loonshot Nurseries Eight minutes that Changed the world Heliocentrism - majority laughed at the ideas and dismissed them. Tyco Brahe - Johannes Kepler - Universal Truths - Natural Laws - outcome of expreiments Sparked Industrial Revolution Einstein - theory of gravity and relativity Life Expectancy England rode the Loonshot of Scientific Revolution to Glory Three Conditions for a Loon shot Nursery Why some economies grew and others decline vs Needum questions - the Frist appearances of Scientific Revolution Avacena - The Cannon of Medicine, Climate, Geography and Culture are not the answer. Phase separation into two markets and dynamic equilibrium between these markets Why structure mattered the most for the rise of the west and the fall of the rest 1. Phase Separation 2. Dynamic Equilibrium 3. Critical Mass Loonshot group needs a chain reaction - positive Feedback loops Hustlers riding loonshot waves Film Industry - Loon Shot Nursery of Small production companies + Franchises of Big Production Studios - Web of partnerships keep the industry alive. Phase Separation and Dynamic Equilibirum within an Industry Bio Medical Industry Pharma Majors control both production and distribution 19th to 20th Century - Drugs are blockers New Kind of Drugs Oscar Menkowski - Removing pancreases causes diabeties Surgeon in Canada - Supported himself - New idea for extracting the substance from Pancreas Insulin - Fred Banting Majors vs Minors SPIRIT - RELATIONSHIPS AND TIME PURPOSE FEEDS SPIRIT

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Wygant

    Title, promotions and bonuses stifle innovation by making companies too conservative. Risk-averse organizations often miss out on these great leaps forward because they’re so focused on immediate results that they overlook the importance of creating structures that encourage experimentation and innovation. Loonshots thrive when people need to take risks to survive like startups. If you can't change culture then change structure. Create an R&D dept. and shelter the people responsible for high Title, promotions and bonuses stifle innovation by making companies too conservative. Risk-averse organizations often miss out on these great leaps forward because they’re so focused on immediate results that they overlook the importance of creating structures that encourage experimentation and innovation. Loonshots thrive when people need to take risks to survive like startups. If you can't change culture then change structure. Create an R&D dept. and shelter the people responsible for high-risk, early-stage ideas – the artists – from the soldiers responsible for managing the already successful parts of an organization. That said, artists and soldiers are equally important. Act as an intermediary between artists and soldiers rather than trying to micromanage loonshot projects.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ann (thebookisbetterann)

    I read Loonshots as part of The Next Big Idea Bookclub and watched the accompanying videos on Teachable. I found the book to be very interesting, but some of the ideas and concepts were a little over-my-head, especially the concept that you should only have 150 connections because that is the number of neurons in the human brain. I enjoyed how he related scientific concepts back to business and liked the idea that nurturing loonshot ideas is similar to phase transitions in science. Some of my bi I read Loonshots as part of The Next Big Idea Bookclub and watched the accompanying videos on Teachable. I found the book to be very interesting, but some of the ideas and concepts were a little over-my-head, especially the concept that you should only have 150 connections because that is the number of neurons in the human brain. I enjoyed how he related scientific concepts back to business and liked the idea that nurturing loonshot ideas is similar to phase transitions in science. Some of my biggest takeaways from the book and the course are "Love Your Artists and Soldiers Equally" and "Be a Gardener, Not a Moses". I would recommend this book for anyone who ever has had or dreams of having a Loonshot idea.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adam McNamara

    "A loonshot refers to an idea or project that most people think won't work, or if it does, it won't matter (it won't make money). This book is about how to nurture and successfully deliver those crazy ideas that change the World. Specifically, it presents four rules for discovering breakthrough ideas and then turning them into successful products. The rules - separate the innovators and the maintainers, carefully manage the exchange of ideas between them, encourage process "A loonshot refers to an idea or project that most people think won't work, or if it does, it won't matter (it won't make money). This book is about how to nurture and successfully deliver those crazy ideas that change the World. Specifically, it presents four rules for discovering breakthrough ideas and then turning them into successful products. The rules - separate the innovators and the maintainers, carefully manage the exchange of ideas between them, encourage process over outcome thinking, and structure the organization as a meritocracy - are sound. I love the discussion of how loonshots (Bell's transistor, Google's algorithm, Walmart's rural strategy, or IKEA's flat packing) are the source of most innovation, not classic Disruption Theory (low-cost products disrupt an incumbent). I wish the book spent more time discussing how great innovation managers (Bush, Vail, and Jobs) actually managed the transfer of ideas between loonshot nursery and ongoing business. It's not enough to say that they did. But how? How did they decide what should be researched? How did they keep ideas exchanging between innovators and maintainers? Demos? Board meetings? Magic?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mart

    This book is an "S-type loonshot" to use its own jargon - it synthesizes management paradigms that have already been out there for a while, into a more practical and useful whole. One of the most enjoyable and useful management (and history!) books I've read in the recent past.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rob Delwo

    I LOVED the stories of invention that the author used to prove his point. It was so refreshing to read about great inventors from the pre-internet era have the lessons applied to the modern era of business.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Markus

    Like most of these self development bestsellers it has a lot of fluff and tge first half of the book is spent on telling enterantaining historical anecdotes. But I enjoy a good story, the second part is a change of pace and it has a few good points so I'd not hesitate to recommend this if you're into this type of books

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aneil

    An Innovative Take on Innovation Applies concepts from physics and chemistry such as phase transitions and dynamic equilibrium to explain by how unpopular ideas can become industry-creating innovations. I disagree with his argument that culture does not explain such innovations. He discusses reward systems and organizational politics as important factors, and many organizational culture constructs incorporate these elements.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Simon Hohenadl

    Entertaining anecdotes on innovation. I find the developed framework of loonshots and how to foster them interesting and inspiring. However, I found the theory is based on anecdotes and generalisations too much for my taste. It actually contradicts other (more research-focused) books like Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.