Amazon Kindle edition of our book out: Sample available free of charge

We are thrilled to announce that our book The Impossible Advantage is now available for Amazon Kindle. Check it out here. Right now, Amazon is selling it at a 30% discount. As with most other Kindle titles, you can get a substantial sample portion sent to your Kindle free of charge. Even if you don’t own a Kindle you can have them send the free semple to the Kindle App on iPhone, iPod our iPad. Try it!

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Steve Jobs likes to kill old things: What will the iPad kill?

Daniel Eran Dilger over at RoughlyDrafted Magazine has penned a wildly entertaining and insightful piece about the revolutionary potential of Apple’s new iPad. The article is not only a fun read, it is one of the best articles about technological innovation we have ever read and the best explanation of Steve Jobs’s true brillance at the same time – which is what our book & blog “The Impossible Advantage” are all about. It is no coincidence that the iPad starts shipping on Easter, starting a long rise to Heaven.

Here’s what Daniel says.

Read Jobs’ more personal musings from the early 80s through the 90s and into the last decade, and you get the clear impression that Jobs understands death as a creative force better than most people. For society, culture, and technology to progress, old thinking has to die off to make way for fresh new ideas. People who don’t die are dragged kicking and screaming in the future the way Strom Thurmond panted into the last decade with segregation still ripe on his breath.

Jobs has uniquely, and remarkably, kept pace with radical changes in technology to maintain a position on the progressive front fringe of tech like no other figure in history. Nobody else has been around for nearly 40 years of progress, continuously leading major companies that define how the world works, and with a finger in everything from the enterprise to education to consumer markets.

Source: http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2010/04/02/ipad-the-destroyer-19-things-it-will-kill/

We could not agree more. It is no coincidence that we dedicated an entire case study in our book “The Impossible Advantage”  to the iPod.

You can read more about our iPod case study here.

Why 90% of CEOs fail to innovate (and how you can avoid that trap)

The single most ignored truth about groundbreaking innovation is that it invariably starts with a Game Changing Idea. Steve Jobs knows that. So does Dietrich Mateschitz (the inventor of Red Bull). Michael O’Leary, the European inventor of the budget airlines, knows about it. And Tim O’Reilly, the inventor of the Web 2.0.

Great minds think alike. So what does it take to think like Steve Jobs? Do you have to be a genius? Do you have to be a technological nerd? Do you have to be lucky enough to have that sudden overnight inspiration?

Forget the myths. The Game Changing Innovation emerges from a different kind of thinking, that anybody can learn and re-apply. It’s is no more than a mind-opening technique, a proven effective step-by-step approach. That’s why it does not take much more than a white sheet of paper and a pen. You can start finding your Game Changing Innovation on day ONE after reading the results of our research, be it in the book or in this blog.

So. Why do 9 out of 10 CEO’s sadly fail with their innovation, year after year?

It’s simply because they insist on the wrong way of thinking – and don’t learn from their mistakes.

  • Error #1: Innovation is not my responsibility. I delegate the subject to dedicated ‘specialist’ departments.
  • Error #2: The most important thing is to listen carefully to customers and give them the innovation they are asking for.
  • Error #3: The best innovation is based on a technological patent that we can own exclusively.
  • Error #4: Our technological experts in the research&development department are the most competent originator for sustainable innovation.
  • Error #5: Innovation is a continuous process of upgrading and improving our product lineups.
  • Error #6: If we are not the first with an innovation trend, we should at least be the first follower

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Did iPod bend the rules? No. It changed them.

Steve Jobs is no dummie. You probably already knew that. But how exactly did he take the market for MP3s and MP3 players and made it all Apple’s? He changed the rules of the game. In our book The Impossible Advantage – Winning the Competitive Game by Changing the Rules we dedicate one of the many case studies to the iPod’s marketing strategy and give hands-on advice how everybody can become a little bit like Steve by thinking like a game-changer.

The iPod story is one of the most famous business successes of all time. But what was really new about it? The digital MP3 format had existed before, with MP3 players as well. Music stores on the internet? Old news! Yes, sure, the revolutionary, award-winning design was different and so was the click wheel, which made navigating through even the largest music collections a delight. Both of these were without question important elements of the success – but only ‘just’ elements.
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At the end of the day, the iPod story is about reinventing a well-known, established product category, breathing life into a new idea and exploding the limitations of the ‘old’ idea – a Walkman, reinvented for the Internet age.

(…)

There was nothing so exceptional, spectacular or technologically revolutionary that a Sony manager couldn’t have thought of it.

(…)

To be fair, in the beginning many were blind to the power of Apple’s new idea. When Steve Jobs presented it to the public for the first time in 2001, he was greeted with sympathy, ridicule and derision. Many of them thought:

What makes this egomaniac think he’s so important? The iPod is exactly like all other MP3 players, only with a bit more user-friendliness, more storage capacity and an innovative design.

Something was easily missed; even though the product and its technology closely resembled a large number of existing products even back then, what makes all the difference is breathing in that invisible and intangible new idea, with sufficient inherent strength to unleash a revolution.

Read the full iPod and other case studies and learn how you can unleash your very own business revolution!

Buy our book “The Impossible Advantage” today. It’s on sale on Amazon.com

The authors: Strategic marketing veterans with strong roots at Procter & Gamble

Andreas Buchholz and Wolfram Wördemann earned their marketing spurs at Procter & Gamble in Schwalbach, Germany. Their jointly founded marketing strategy consultancy ‘Buchholz Wördemann Partners’ has served a large number of multinational corporations with a focus on breakthrough, “out of the box” strategic thinking. The roster of clients includes Amexco, Bayer Schering, IBM Lenovo, Nestlé, Pepsico, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi-Aventis, Siemens, T-Mobile and World Vision.

Before ‘The Impossible Advantage’ the team of Procter & Gamble alumni co-authored the Financial Times bestseller ‘What Makes Winning Brands Different: The hidden method behind the world’s most successful brands’  (Available on Amazon.com).

Ned Wiley first made a mark in the world of television thirty years ago when, as Procter and Gamble’s first European Brand Manager, he introduced Italian television audiences to the soap opera. His career spans consumer marketing, advertising and interactive digital communications, at firms including Foote, Cone & Belding, Publicis Group and Gist Communications. Today, Ned is with one of the world’s largest media companies, Axel Springer. As a Managing Director of Axel Springer Digital TV Guide, he is once again working to revolutionize the way advertisers engage consumers by helping consumers navigate the ever-changing landscape of television and video entertainment.

Ned is an alumnus of The University of Chicago College and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.