Thoughts From A Grumpy Innovator

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Have you ever stepped back to take a look at the world and wondered why so many bad ideas seem to be forced into production while perfectly obvious good ideas are ignored? You are not alone – Costas Papaikonomou, professional innovator, has shared your frustration, tweeted it, and now organizes his Twitter feed into Thoughts from a Grumpy Innovator, for your reading pleasure.

The book begins with a warning – it is not a how-to manual for success in innovation, simply a collection of thoughts and observations regarding the bizarre and illogical world of commercial innovation, some of which may be funny. Each chapter does begin with an essay dealing directly, if briefly, with the chapter topic, where the author flexes his analytical muscles, describing general problems and proposing solutions. Otherwise, though the disclaimer is quite apt in its description; the thoughts gathered in each chapter range from the directly insightful – “When scoping your project: remember that you, your team, your boss, and your boss’ bosses are not the people actually buying your product” – to the cynically humorous – “’No, I don’t see the irony at all,’ replied the trend spotter who kept on whining about the current tough market for trend spotting agencies” – to the outright random – “1853, Elisha Otis. I wonder where he pitched his idea for the elevator.”

While thoughts like these may be grouped together into a section, there is little continuity between them. Partly, this is the nature of the media in which the author is working (remember these are from his Twitter) but nonetheless they come off as a bit scattered: a collection of one-liners for the company comedy club. They capture a sense of exasperation with the miscommunication, standardization, illogicality, wishful thinking, and downright idiocy that is apparent in business, though there are also moments of humor, especially for those who have direct experience dealing with innovation in the corporate universe. Overall, Thoughts from a Grumpy Innovator does what it sets out to do, but it is more likely to make you shake your head at the apparent state of the human condition than chuckle.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 136 pages
Publisher Aikono BV Books
Publish Date 07-Jan-2013
ISBN 9789081880008 Buy this Book
Issue October 2013
Category Business & Investing


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