Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation by Dr. James Utterback is an innovation classic. It describes how technologies and industries in the past have evolved over time, usually resulting in the large, established firm losing out to the smaller startups. Looking forward, I have no doubt his models and insights will be used to explain the evolution of firms and industries with us today. "A major work that will be cited for decades," says Professor James Brian Quinn at Dartmouth. I predict a much longer time frame than decades.
Creativity is what you do in your head to generate an idea, while innovation is the process of putting it into practice. You need both to succeed, which may be why the number of new books on these topics seems to grow every year. Yet despite the popularity of this category and the steady stream of new books, I continue to go back to the classics, those books that actually taught me how to do it versus those books that just talked about it. Caution – these are not “light reads,” but they’re the ones I’ve learned the most from.