InnovationLit: Entrepreneurship, New Products, Mythical STEM Crisis, Corporate Growth, Start-up Hubs, Becoming Digital, Core Competence, Idea Competitions
By Mike Wolff

Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup; Bill Aulet; Wiley, August 2013, 288pp.

The managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship draws on his own entrepreneurial experience to present a proven 24-step framework for creating successful start-ups. Bill Aulet stresses that focus is crucial and discusses common obstacles entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them. His framework includes:

  • Market segmentation
  • Quantify the value proposition
  • Define your core
  • Map the process to acquire a paying customer
  • Test key assumptions, develop a product plan, and more.

His book is designed as an integrated toolbox for first-time and repeat entrepreneurs.

“Product Development and Management Association’s 2012 Comparative Performance Assessment Study”; Stephen K. Markham and Hyunjung Lee; Journal of Product Innovation Management Vol 30, Issue 3,  May 2013, pp. 408–429.

NC State professor and CIMS research associate Stephen K. Markham, and Hyunjung Lee, PDMA Research Foundation research scientist, identify practices that lead to higher commercial product performance. Their data come from 453 companies in the PDMA’s Comparative Performance Assessment Study, which compares the best performers with the rest of the sample. In addition to baseline questions from previous studies, there are new sections on culture, social media, services, sustainability, open innovation, and global product development practices.

“The STEM Crisis Is a Myth”; Robert N. Charette; IEEE Spectrum, Sept. 2013, pp. 44ff.

A Spectrumcontributing editor and long-time member of the IEEE’s Computer

Society, Charette calls claims of STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) shortages “mythical.” Based on “hundreds of reports, articles, and white papers from the past six decades,” he concludes that the real shortage is STEM knowledge, and that industry and government should focus on creating more  “enduring and satisfying” STEM jobs.

Innovation Prowess: Leadership Strategies for Accelerating Growth; George S. Day, Wharton Executive Essentials, April 2013.

Wharton professor George S. Day describes his book as, “first and foremost, about growth leadership defined as superior rates of organic growth.” By examining what sets growth leaders like IBM, Samsung and LEGO apart from their competitors, he explains how they combine discipline in growth-seeking activities with an organizational ability to innovate. He advises managers on how to:

  • “Set a growth strategy that is realistic while still stretching the organization.
  • Search for the best growth opportunities along the full spectrum of 14 growth pathways.
  • Aim growth-seeking activities toward the creation of new customer value.
  • Learn to profit from the uncertainty of innovation by successfully assessing and containing risk.
  • Build the organizational muscle to implement an ambitious growth strategy.
  • Move faster from ideas to impact.”

A subsequent conversation about the book between Day and Wharton’s David Heckman (July 01, 2013) focuses on how such companies became growth leaders and why other lag behind—and stay behind. Access at

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