Learn the art of Innovation – review of ‘5 Core Methods of Innovation’

A fantastic study piece, Sharma lays out the principles of innovation and their related disciplines, such as Addition Framework (adding a feature for innovation, such as the frame to the lenses for glasses, an eraser to the end of a pencil), Subtraction Framework (streamlining features or taking them away) Disruptive Innovation (such as what the product cannot do) as well as talking about ergonomics and efficiency, which are cornerstones of the innovation principle in degree level education, and, more importantly, the pen-to-paper application of these principles, which is vastly welcome in this type of book, and over more, rare. The writer has obviously come across this oversight in other academic texts and thoughtfully given his student readers a real guide to getting on with it ‘on the ground’. I wish I had read this when studying for my degree in design in London!

Another great point for this book is the questions laid out for design success, such as, “Is the product a status symbol to own now?” or “What is the existing usable life of the product?” Seem like obvious questions, but as any innovation student will know, not asking yourself this type of thing before you start the design process often ends in one of the millions of rubbish products with no purpose that end up being scrapped or land up in dollar stores with a huge loss of capital.

There is also an erudite and interesting section on business methodology, describing techniques used by successful companies to innovate businesses, which covers matrix organization and Six Sigma in a way that anyone can understand, including links to any relevant websites and information outside of the book itself, along with a steady description of nearly every social networking tool and device we use in business and leisure today, as well as giving first hand insights into some of the fascinating gadgets being used in India today, and “fun stuff” like how to store ice without a freezer, how to light a fire without a match and build a well using simple techniques really gives the reader some food for thought for application in the modern world.

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