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Serial Innovators

Serial Innovators are individuals who have conceived ideas that solve important problems for people and organizations, have developed those ideas into breakthrough new products and services, inventing new technologies to do so as needed, and then have guided those products and services through the corporation’s commercialization process and into the market. Serial Innovators are important to corporations because they can develop products that generate millions of dollars of revenue. In doing so, Serial Innovators impact millions of lives every day, from the workers employed to make these breakthrough products to the customers who benefit from them. Frequently, Serial

Innovators’ products change the lives of millions of people for the better. This book is based on several years of academic research on Serial Innovators.

We interviewed over 50 Serial Innovators and a larger number of their co­workers, managers and human resource managers. These Innovators are some of the best product development people in the world. They graciously shared with us how they think, how they work, and how they create breakthrough new products. The interviews and other empirical studies helped us understand who these Serial Innovators are as people, how they innovate, what motivates them and how best to manage them.

If organizations are going to develop the breakthrough innovations that enable organic growth, they need to have these types of people and the structured space they need to perform their work. Serial Innovators’ practices have significant implications for organization structure, investment, and management. If firms want to create breakthrough products in the future, these people provide the best models we have to understand what is required.

The purpose of this book is to help people and corporations better understand, emulate, enable, support and manage these unique and important individuals, who have the potential to create new breakthrough products that result in large revenue and profit streams, primarily for existing organizations.