The First Mile: A Launch Manual for Getting Great Ideas into the Market

Scott D. Anthony. Harvard Business Review (Perseus, dist.), $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4221-7176-9
Anthony (The Innovator's Guide to Growth) examines entrepreneurs' strategies for launching innovations and offers a step-by-step plan to overcome common challenges. Proposing to apply the scientific method to the management of strategic uncertainty, Anthony cites examples from the food and sports worlds where such an approach has been successful. He introduces the "First Mile Toolkit," which offers a four-part process called "DEFT": document your idea, evaluate it, focus on critical uncertainties, and test. DEFT is designed to help identify weak points, differentiate between fact and assumption, and determine effective experimentation. The second half of the book analyzes the four most common obstacles, experimentation systems, and leadership skills for capably navigating uncertainty. Fresh examples including companies such as AsiaCom and DiGiorno help balance out Anthony's steady plugs for Innosight, the consulting firm where he is managing partner. Anthony skillfully leads readers through his process, though the book makes for challenging reading. However, the author ends each chapter with a distillation of key messages and provides a First Mile Readiness Checklist that readers will value. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
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