In textbook fashion, Radjou and Prabhu (Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth, 2012) elucidate six principles of frugal innovation.
In the preface, the authors define frugal innovation as “the ability to ‘do more with less’—that is, to create significantly more business and social value while minimising the use of diminishing resources such as energy, capital and time.” They recognize but minimize the challenges this entails: convincing business that developing cheaper, better products that last longer is not only good citizenship, but good strategy while educating consumers to adopt a different mindset, by means including “social pressure” and making “frugality aspirational.” Yet the authors insist that such changes are already well underway, that a disappearing middle class has placed a premium on value and durability and that environmental consciousness and business savvy now go hand in hand. “Consumers in the developed world are becoming not only more value conscious but more values conscious,” they write, and they proceed to offer case studies of how international corporations in industries ranging from cars to health care have benefitted from adapting to this changed mindset (profiled companies include Saatchi and Saatchi, Unilever and Aetna). The authors also discuss the transformation of consumers into “prosumers,” partners in the development process, and of the connectivity within the “Internet of Things.” The authors accept the growing dominance of “the so-called GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon)” as a given rather than any sort of cultural threat. There is no question that both consumer and corporate cultures are changing radically and significantly, though debate remains as to just where we are on the continuum and whether all of this change is for the good.
A jargon-heavy book for professionals rather than general readers.