Monday, May 30, 2011
Disrupt (Book Review & Outline)
I like to tell people that when I was at Stanford, I studied the second and third best startup majors: Product Design and Creative Writing. (The best major of course is Computer Science. The worst is Political Science)
Creative Writing is great for entrepreneurship, and not just because it lends itself so easily to business plan jokes. Raising money, recruiting, even sales are all about telling compelling stories.
Product Design is also a great major. The concepts of prototyping and iteration were central tenets of design thinking decades before Steve Blank and Eric Ries coined the term, "lean startup."
Luke Williams comes from a strong design tradition, have worked at the legendary design firm Frogdesign (perhaps you're familiar with their design for the original Macintosh?). He's taken the principles of design thinking and applied them to the task of generating truly disruptive ideas.
Disruption--the breaking of conventions and cliches--is behind many breakthrough products, including the iPhone (what if you built a phone without buttons?). Most of us think of disruptive ideas as the product of a unique genius like Steve Jobs, but Williams' book lays out step-by-step guidelines for generating and (perhaps even more importantly) selling disruptive ideas to your organization.
In addition to being a great book, Disrupt includes one of my favorite features--a quick reference guide that serves as a step-by-step outline of the main points of the book. Luke has been kind enough to grant me permission to publish the quick reference guide, in its entirety, on my Book Outlines wiki.
Once you've read the quick reference guide, I encourage you to get your own copy of the entire book. It's a must-read for any entrepreneur.