Summary of Breakthrough

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Breakthrough book summary


9 Overall

8 Applicability

10 Innovation

8 Style


Mark and Barbara Stefik's guide to innovation is based on their belief that the new century demands that business foster inventive strategies. The authors tell inventors, entrepreneurs and managers what they can and must do to achieve breakthrough innovations. They explain the basis for innovation, the context of invention and what breakthroughs mean in terms of business strategy for the twenty-first century. The authors based their research on interviews with inventors and managers, including many from the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Their book is thorough, clearly written and packed with anecdotes, although at times it suffers from erratic organization. finds that the authors do a very good job of introducing the elements of innovation to a general business readership.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How your business can cultivate breakthrough innovation;
  • What drives invention; and
  • What factors hamper or help innovation.

About the Authors

Mark Stefik is an inventor and research fellow at the Palo Alto Research Center where he directs the Information Sciences and Technologies Laboratory. Barbara Stefik has a doctorate in transpersonal psychology.



The Dilemmas of Breakthrough Innovation
Breakthroughs surprise everyone. That's what makes them breakthroughs. They can destroy or create whole industries. Successful breakthroughs follow the "technology adoption S-curve." The curve begins in an inventor's laboratory. The next bend of ...

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