Insightful examples of how companies can innovate in a digital age.

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DISRUPTION OFF

THE TECHNOLOGICAL DISRUPTION COMING FOR YOUR COMPANY AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

An expert on “disruptive” technology suggests how both startups and established companies can innovate and not get lapped by the competition.

Jones (On Innovation, 2012), former Kayak.com chairman and founder of Travelocity, returns to the subject of innovation in a book, part memoir and part self-help, that draws on his long experience as a tech company leader. The author begins by considering how the proliferation of computers has influenced business models of successful companies. He then shows how “disruption” happens when the core offerings of a business become obsolete because a nimble, fast-moving competitor refuses to play by the established rules of the industry while also offering value. As an example, he discusses how mobile phones and phone-based computing present both an opportunity and a threat to today’s companies. In thematically driven chapters, he draws on his own experience at Travelocity—initially a major disruption in the travel agent market—and keeps his text “snackable” (no need to read the book straight through to pick up ideas). Jones also discusses innovations like product subscriptions (such as software as a service), cloud computing as a way to avoid excessive asset ownership, and marketing through bundling and packaging the products of one company with those of others. Jones focuses on broad trends, connecting his topics—like machine learning, blockchain, and drones—to innovative business choices that allow people to profit from these newly available resources. In the second part of the book he offers advice on business models and finding a niche in a rapidly-changing disruptive industrial marketplace. Every chapter begins with an inspiring or challenging quote, discussing how it connects to the concept covered. This device and others help to keep the tone informal and user friendly even when the author deals with high-level business challenges. One of the most thought-provoking aspects of the book is that it aims to show how to avoid a potential problem—having your business disrupted—but in the end advocates for becoming the disruptor. As a result, the book reads more like a guide to developing the right mindset for today’s marketplace challenges than a how-to manual for protecting a company from disruptive threats.

Insightful examples of how companies can innovate in a digital age.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5439-7750-9

Page Count: 235

Publisher: On Inc.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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