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Design-Driven Innovation
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Until now, the literature on innovation has focused either on radical innovation pushed by technology or incremental innovation pulled by the market. In "Design-Driven Innovation: How to Compete by Radically Innovating What Things Means", Roberto Verganti introduces a third strategy, a radical shift in perspective that introduces a bold new way of competing. Design-driven innovations do not come from the market; they create new markets. They don't push new technologies; they push new meanings. It's about having a vision, and taking that vision to your customers. Think of game-changers like Nintendo's Wii or Apple's iPod. They overturned our understanding of what a video game means and how we listen to music. Customers had not asked for these new meanings, but once they experienced them, it was love at first sight. But where does the vision come from? With fascinating examples from leading European and American companies, Verganti shows that for truly breakthrough products and services, we must look beyond customers and users to those he calls 'interpreters' - the experts who deeply understand and shape the markets they work in. "Design-Driven Innovation" offers a provocative new view of innovation thinking and practice.
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Table of Contents

1. Design-Driven Innovation. An introduction Part One: The Strategy of Design-Driven Innovation 2. Design and Meanings. Innovating by making sense of things 3. Radical Pushes. Placing design-driven innovation in the strategy of a firm 4. Technology Epiphanies. The interplay between technology-push and design-driven innovation 5. The Value and the Challenges. Why companies do or do not invest in design-driven innovation Part Two: The Process of Design-Driven Innovation 6. The Interpreters. Doing research with the design discourse 7. Listening. Finding and attracting key interpreters 8. Interpreting. Developing your own vision 9. Addressing. Leveraging the seductive power of the interpreters Part Three: Building Design-Driven Capabilities 10. The Design-Driven Lab. How to start 11. Businesspeople. The key role of top executives and their culture

About the Author

Roberto Verganti is Professor of Management of Innovationat Politecnico di Milano. He is the founder of PRoject Science,a consulting institute which advises global corporations on themanagement of strategic innovation, and is the author of manyarticles in scientific journals, as well as the article "InnovatingThrough Design," published in the Harvard Business Review (December 2006).

Reviews

One of the Design Primers for Businesspeople. Eschewing the received wisdom that the customer is always right, Politecnico di Milano professor Verganti focuses on game-changing designs that up-end expectations and create entirely new markets... Verganti also includes a useful section on how executives can attempt to instigate their own programs of radical innovation. One of the Best Innovation and Design Books of 2009. - BusinessWeek, December 16, 2009 How should a company devise new meanings and create the designs to embody them? Mr. Verganti suggests that companies form relationships with "interpreters"--individuals and organizations looking at settings similar to the one in which the company's products would be used. For Mr. Verganti, it might be said, if life imitates art, corporate life should imitate the making of art. - The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2009 If you follow Mr. Verganti's advice, it may take a while, but your competition will be left wondering how it was you managed to redefine (and capture) their business". - San Francisco Book Review, September 2009 Verganti ... tells how design innovators add "unsolicited meaning" that consumers don't even know they're craving -- and they create products people can't live without. - BiZed, November-December 2009 One of the best books of the year is undoubtedly "Design-Driven Innovation". In it Verganti attacks one of the central mysteries of innovation--how can a company successfully create a product that is a radical break from the past, and which shows the way to a new future? - John Caddell on The Customer Collective, August 12th 2009 Consumption-driven wealth and status are being replaced by identity, belonging, and a strong desire to contribute and do something "meaningful" rather than just acquire things. Roberto Verganti, in his new book, Design-Driven Innovation, argues that there is a "Third Way of Innovation," driven by meaning, or to be more precise, by those cultural "interpreters" who have the ability to "make sense of things" and give existing things new meaning -- and thus create new markets. - Design Mind, September 2009

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