The Innovation Blind Spot: Why We Back the Wrong Ideas―and What to Do About It
As part of a market-driven economy, we implicitly trust the markets to efficiently allocate our resources. This book challenges our belief in efficient markets with anecdotal and statistical evidence that does not support our premise. Outlining the issues is only the part of the book. After outlining issues, the narrative goes on to explore possible solutions to look for and support viable innovations that improve the lives of a greater number of people.
The book is highly structured; its fourteen chapters are spread across four parts (each with two to five chapters a piece). The first part, consisting of four chapters, focuses on the problem of why innovation is not recognized (and hence funded) today. The second part (three chapters) outlines the tools needed to pick viable inventions, while the third part (five chapters, and just under half the book) delineates how to systematically use the tools to pick emerging ideas. The focus is on funding startups, and while there are several different methods to pick which startups to back, this book outlines what the author uses. The last part (two chapters) tries to envision what the world would be like if good ideas were funded.
The text is easy to read, and the narrative is conversational. The ideas are compelling, and the data to support the major claims are credible. However, the book seems to talk to investors (specifically angel investors) when backing ideas. It may be interesting to read about the inner-workings of venture capital decision-making, but there is little in the way of concrete actions that working people can take to improve the world. Despite its shortcomings, it is an engaging read.
Ross Baird • Steve Case, Foreword