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Ten essential books on innovation

These are the ten books that anyone interested in the field of innovation really should read.

In most of the world they celebrate World Book Day, whose aims include the promotion of reading and the protection of copyright.

Promoted by UNESCO, this initiative has been celebrated for more than twenty years, and Spain is one of the hundred countries that participate in it. It involves literary activities of all kinds, including the Cervantes Prize, the highest prize that a Spanish-speaking writer can be awarded. In some autonomous communities such as Catalonia, the celebration coincides with St. George's Day (known locally as "Diada de Sant Jordi"), when it is customary to present women with a rose. It is interesting to see that both of these festivities have ended up merging and people give away literary works as well as flowers.

The Endesa blog would like to be part of this celebration, and that is why we will dedicate today's post to speak about ten books that anyone interested in the field of innovation really should read.

 

The Start-Up Owner's Manual, by Steve Blank

This book by Steve Blank is a real manual for entrepreneurs looking to create a company and make it successful. Blank divides his manual into four key parts: "Getting Started" (in which the author gives fourteen essential principles supporting his method), "Customer Discovery," "Customer Validation," and "Annex A." The book includes exercises on personal knowledge and self-assessment, and there are more than a dozen teaching units. The author's objective: To allay any fears and doubts entrepreneurs may have when starting up their businesses.

 

The Lean Start-Up, by Eric Ries

In this book, the entrepreneur Eric Ries develops his Lean Start-Up method. It is a series of practices designed for entrepreneurs. The core is a circuit called Create-Measure-Learn, a repetitive process that consists of transforming ideas into products, analysing the behaviour of customers with regard to them and after learning, deciding whether to go ahead with the idea or change to another. The book was enormous popular after its publication in 2011, and it rose to second place on The New York Times bestseller list. Amazon also included it in the best business books of that year.

 

Open Innovation, by Henry Chesbrough

Professor Henry William Chesbrough is considered to be the father of the concept of open innovation, a new model for innovation that, as we have already said a number of times before, is replacing the more traditional, more closed model. In this book, which caused a real revolution when it was published in 2005, Chesbrough provides an in-depth analysis of his theories on open innovation, and analyses the behaviour of successful companies that are pioneer users of the application, including IBM and Xerox. There is no doubt that Open Innovation is an essential book for any reader looking to deepen their knowledge of this new model and discover the origins of it.

 

The Ten Faces of Innovation, by Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley, General Manager of the prestigious consultancy IDEO, explains in this book the innovation strategies that he himself applies in his company to bring all his projects to fruition. The ten faces that the title talks about are actually ten roles that anyone can adopt when it comes to becoming an innovator in a number of situations, including "the caretaker", "the hurdler", "the anthropologist"and "the experimenter". Each of these types of innovator is accompanied by real life examples. As the sub-title says, "The Ten Faces of Innovation" is a wonderful series of "strategies for excellent creativity."

 

The Secrets of the Creative Genius, by Michael Michalko

What do history's great innovators have in common? Where do their groundbreaking ideas come from? How does a genius think? These and other questions are what Michael Michalko tried to answer when writing this book. Michalko is an expert in creative thinking, and he analysed the work, strategies and ideas of more than a hundred significant characters in the history of innovation. People like Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison and Walt Disney feature in this book which aims to provide references to readers looking to develop their creativity.

The Seven Movements of Innovation, by Franc Ponti

The Seven Movements of Innovation is a book that caters especially for entrepreneurs looking to turn their company into an innovative company. It is a very pragmatic work in which the author, Franc Ponti (academic and manager of the Innovation Centre at the EADA School of Senior Management and Administration in Barcelona) develops a method based on seven concepts to enable the application of innovation in a company: Direction, teamwork, change, trends, creativity, project and result. A wonderful choice for those struggling in the world of entrepreneurship and innovation who are immersed in a daily battle to take a start-up forward.

 

Pangaea: Seven young people who are transforming the world, by several authors.

A few days ago we spoke in the blog of the project entitled Team A, a collaboration by Endesa with the Trivu initiative. The precise aim of this book is to present a vision of the world from the prism of the young people belonging to the so-called Generation Z. Seven of the world's most influential of them participated in this work, giving voice to their ideas, arguments and concerns about the future. People as significant as Mohamed Amine, a benchmark in Africa, the programmer Luis Iván Cuende (one of the best in Europe), the writer and film-maker Alec Urbach and Tomás Álvarez Belón, survivor of the tsunami in Thailand in 2005, on whose family the award-winning film "The Impossible" was based.

 

Smart City: Towards intelligent management, by several authors.

We have often spoken in this blog about the importance of smart cities in the construction of a sustainable future, and more specifically, some of the most important in the world. Because of their importance, more and more people are concerned about making the virtues of this type of cities known, designed around energy efficiency and focussing on achieving a better quality of life for those who live there. This is the objective of the authors of this book (Sergio Colado, Abelardo Gutiérrez, Carlos J. Vives and Eduardo Valencia), who analyse the phenomenon of the Smart City based on six main points: Economy, environment, mobility, governance, citizenship and quality of life.

 

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

This biography of the iconic Steve Jobs, written by Walter Isaacson in collaboration with him, is the best portrait of one of the most important innovators of our era. Isaacson looks at both the personal life of the leader of Apple as well as the great milestones he reached in the world of computing, music and mobile telephony. There is no doubt that anyone who wishes to be known as an innovator should study this genius (who is said to have had a very strange personality full of dark edges, such as his obsession with controlling everything), and this is why Isaacson's biography is probably one of the best options.

 

And What Would Google Do?, by Jeff Jarvis

When we speak about cutting-edge multinationals in the field of innovation, there is no doubt that we should include Google. But how did Sergei Brin and Larry Page manage to turn their idea into one of the giants of the world economy? What are the keys to its successful management? This book by Jeff Jarvis is based on Google's business model and how it addresses different facets regarding how to make a company successful. Jarvis develops forty rules that in his opinion every company in the digital age should follow if it is to become a benchmark in innovation just like Google was, is and will continue to be.

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