Summary of The Innovator’s Hypothesis

How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More than Good Ideas

MIT Press, more...

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The Innovator’s Hypothesis book summary
Do you have a great idea? Throw it away. Try a cheap experiment instead.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Author and MIT research fellow Michael Schrage discusses innovative action and empirical results. He explicitly and persuasively campaigns against rhetoric and the tyranny of ideas. His core points reflect his battle against entrenched mind-sets and in favor of the 5x5 quick, cheap method of running business innovation experiments. Though his prose is elegant and clear, Schrage states his concepts about cheap, fast experimentation so often that you might be tempted to flip ahead. Instead, stay with him for his valuable core lessons and for writing so engaging that his concepts seem as if they might triumph on rhetoric alone. getAbstract recommends his work to everyone interested in innovation, design, corporate culture and clear thinking.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why ideas don’t matter as much as you think;
  • How fast, cheap experimentation benefits innovators;
  • How the 5x5 “rapid innovation” method works; and
  • How to experiment successfully.


Ideas Versus Reality
Common wisdom holds that innovation requires ideas and that you need good ideas to compete in business. The reality is that “good ideas are typically bad investments.” Innovation is crucial, but just seeking new ideas is not the best way to innovate. Insisting on mustering...
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About the Author

A research fellow at MIT’s Center for Digital Business, Michael Schrage is the author of Serious Play and Who Do You Want Your Customers To Become?

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