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How Innovation Works

Matt Ridley

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Harper Collins
08 July 2020
Society & Social Sciences; Business innovation
'Ridley is spot-on when it comes to the vital ingredients for success' Sir James Dyson Building on his bestseller The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley chronicles the history of innovation, and how we need to change our thinking on the subject.

Innovation is the main event of the modern age, the reason we experience both dramatic improvements in our living standards and unsettling changes in our society. It is innovation that will shape the twenty-first century. Yet innovation remains a mysterious process, poorly understood by policy makers and businessmen alike.

Matt Ridley argues that we need to see innovation as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than an orderly, top-down process developing according to a plan. Innovation is crucially different from invention, because it is the turning of inventions into things of practical and affordable use to people. It speeds up in some sectors and slows down in others. It is always a collective, collaborative phenomenon, involving trial and error, not a matter of lonely genius. It still cannot be modelled properly by economists, but it can easily be discouraged by politicians. Far from there being too much innovation, we may be on the brink of an innovation famine.

Ridley derives these and other lessons from the lively stories of scores of innovations - from steam engines to search engines - how they started and why they succeeded or failed.
By:   Matt Ridley
Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   530g
ISBN:   9780008339074
ISBN 10:   0008339074
Pages:   416
Publication Date:   08 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Matt Ridley is the author of The Rational Optimist, The Evolution of Everything, The Red Queen and Genome, among other books on science and economics. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages and he has been a columnist for the Telegraph, The Times and the Wall Street Journal. He sits on the science and technology select committee of the House of Lords.

Reviews for How Innovation Works

Praise for Matt Ridley: 'What a superb writer he is, and he seems to get better and better.' Richard Dawkins, author of 'The Selfish Gene' 'Ridley has amassed such a weight of fascinating evidence and anecdote that the pages fly by' The Times '[The Rational Optimist is] a glorious defence of our species... a devastating rebuke to humanity's self-haters' Sunday Times 'No other book has argued with such brilliance against the automatic pessimism that prevails' Ian McEwan


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