10 Must Read Books For Innovators

by Akbar Jaffer
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business books, books on innovation

Over the years I have analyzed and shared my perspective on various aspects of innovation. What it takes to succeed, what causes ideas to fail, ideal teams, HR policies, process and so on. As an innovator myself I have referred to a select number of books recommended by my mentors and fellow innovators. If you consider yourself an innovator at any level or somebody who would love to become one I invite you to consider reading the following books. I suggest that you make them a part of your library. I find myself going back to them every couple years. Some I read again cover-to-cover and others I use as reference guides for a particular matter I am focusing on. Here are 10 must read books for innovators.

  1. Crossing the Chasm and Inside The Tornado by Geoffrey Moore: Although these are two separate books I refer to them as one. These books are a bible for bringing cutting-edge products to progressively larger markets. Although focused on marketing technology products, I found that there are lessons that can be applied to pretty much any innovation situation.
  2. The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen: Full of case studies of companies that became successful and those that fail, this book explores why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation and why new technologies cause great companies to fail.
  3. Steve Jobs by Walater Issacson: This book provides insight into behavior, attitudes, dos and don’ts about building great products.
  4. The Product Manager’s Handbook by Linda Gorchels: A comprehensive resources for today’s product managers. It goes beyond managing features and writing feature requirement document.
  5. The Product Manager’s Toolkit by Gabriel Steinhardt: A holistic view of product management and methodology that covers all aspects of product management.
  6. The Innovator’s Manifesto by Michael Raynor: This book draws upon research of New Business Initiative (NBI) at Intel analyzing fourty-eight 48 new ventures that Intel ultimately funded.
  7. The Innovator’s Toolkit by David Silverstein and others: This is an ideal resource for large companies or established midsize companies who want to look beyond mergers and acquisition or partnering for growth. Companies that want to explore opportunities for long-term organic growth.
  8. Design Thinking, The Key to Enterprise Agility, Innovation, and Sustainability by David West and Rebecca Rikner: Must have resources for Information Technology (IT) and design professionals who are responsible assisting their organization in adopting and leveraging design approach for innovation strategy and organizational transformation.
  9. Design Thinking, Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value by Thomas Lockwood: This book covers design thinking methods; design thinking in service design; design thinking in brand building; and design thinking in creating customer experiences.
  10. Eight Principles of Innovation by Landor Associates: In an ideal company there is a consistent flow of new ideas and their applications. This book primarily explores how to best manage them, a fresh and creative approach to innovation.

A note about a personal passion of mine: I encourage you to consider, if you are not already doing it, using an iPAD or Kindle and digital books. Avoid paper books and help save trees.

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