A different perspective that brings out commonalities between business competition and combat.

NINJA INNOVATION

THE KILLER STRATEGIES OF THE WORLD'S MOST SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES

Lessons from the tactics and strategies of ninja warriors applied to international and domestic battles in consumer electronics.

Consumer Electronics Association CEO Shapiro (The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream, 2011) writes that his views of what constitutes a “successful person, company, and organization” are shaped by the discipline and habits of martial arts. The author provides an overview of many different fields of combat, and his narrative makes clear that the ninja model is not just a metaphor. The different battlefields are united by the rapid pace of technological innovation, which has driven the consumer-electronics business to $200 billion of U.S. factory sales in 2012 and worldwide sales in excess of $1 trillion. Shapiro recounts in detail the battles involving the development of HDTV, which required not only outpacing Japanese competition, but also uniting different domestic business and political interests behind the proposed solutions. Shapiro's approach is based on many of the tenets of the ninja: a commitment to victory, the development of resources for success through teamwork, a lack of fear about operating clandestinely and stealthily behind enemy lines. Their tradition is very different than the one the author attributes to the more rule-bound and feudalistic samurai warriors. The CEA is a trade group, not a lobby, organized around annual conventions and efforts to promote its members' businesses. These events have brought Shapiro into close contact with innovators like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, among others, and provided him with additional insight into business and its leaders. The author is a proponent of strengthening consumers' rights and an opponent of efforts to restrict innovation.

A different perspective that brings out commonalities between business competition and combat.

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-224232-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Loads of good explaining, with reminders, time and again, of how much remains unknown, neatly putting the death of science...

A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING

Bryson (I'm a Stranger Here Myself, 1999, etc.), a man who knows how to track down an explanation and make it confess, asks the hard questions of science—e.g., how did things get to be the way they are?—and, when possible, provides answers.

As he once went about making English intelligible, Bryson now attempts the same with the great moments of science, both the ideas themselves and their genesis, to resounding success. Piqued by his own ignorance on these matters, he’s egged on even more so by the people who’ve figured out—or think they’ve figured out—such things as what is in the center of the Earth. So he goes exploring, in the library and in company with scientists at work today, to get a grip on a range of topics from subatomic particles to cosmology. The aim is to deliver reports on these subjects in terms anyone can understand, and for the most part, it works. The most difficult is the nonintuitive material—time as part of space, say, or proteins inventing themselves spontaneously, without direction—and the quantum leaps unusual minds have made: as J.B.S. Haldane once put it, “The universe is not only queerer than we suppose; it is queerer than we can suppose.” Mostly, though, Bryson renders clear the evolution of continental drift, atomic structure, singularity, the extinction of the dinosaur, and a mighty host of other subjects in self-contained chapters that can be taken at a bite, rather than read wholesale. He delivers the human-interest angle on the scientists, and he keeps the reader laughing and willing to forge ahead, even over their heads: the human body, for instance, harboring enough energy “to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.”

Loads of good explaining, with reminders, time and again, of how much remains unknown, neatly putting the death of science into perspective.

Pub Date: May 6, 2003

ISBN: 0-7679-0817-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

Did you like this book?

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

Did you like this book?

more