cover image The Wide Lens: 
A New Strategy for Innovation

The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation

Ron Adner. Penguin/Portfolio, $29.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59184-460-0

Innovation, from conception to product to consumer acceptance, is key for business success, but many great ideas have failed to have their anticipated impact on the consumer and the bottom line. Starting with an analysis of some great failures, Adner, a strategy professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, finds that the weakness was neither innovative nor corporate; rather, it was in the ecosystem. Knowledge of the ecosystem—interrelationships between the parts of the chain from innovation to consumer—is often overlooked. Adner shows how to map out the terrain of this ecosystem before suggesting practical steps that can be implemented to resolve problems and create a functional, proper ecosystem. A plethora of case studies allows for a clear analysis of numerous scenarios, both failures and success, with a depth rarely found in pragmatically-tinged books. Adner’s evaluation of the early-mover advantage as compared to the ecosystem, and his discussion of Adoption Chains (highlighting the fact that the onus is usually not on the positives, but rather on reducing the negatives) are but two of the book’s many gems. Anyone involved in moving a product from conception to adoption will not want to let this book pass them by. Agent: Edmond Harmsworth, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency. (Mar.)