Historically, author Thomas Meyer shows us, economic recessions and depressions have been incredibly rich soil for innovation. A tribute to the irrepressible, ever–present force of originality within individuals, Innovate! reveals that terrible times, even the Great Depression, have been the best times for innovation to pull people and economies out of tough times. Even now, innovation will see our country through our current economic recession.
Consider these great companies that got their start during spectacularly difficult economic slumps, and are all still in business, including:
John Wiley & Sons founded as a small print shop during the Depression of 1807
Procter & Gamble in business since the Economic Panic of 1837
Barnes & Noble doors opened in the midst of the Long Depression of 1873 1879
Hershey′s satisfying the nation′s sweet tooth since the Economic Panic of 1893
General Foods, Texas Instruments, Mobil, Tyson Foods, Krispy Kreme, and Sara Lee Corporation all took off during the Great Depression, despite a devastating 17% unemployment crisis
Baskin–Robbins, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Mattel all got their start during the Post World War II Recession
Applebee′s and Olive Garden restaurant chains served up success in spite of the economic turmoil of the 1980 Recession and a 10% unemployment rate
Open this book and see for yourself: Tough times are no match for innovation. This inspiring book reveals innovation as the momentum that sets the course for an organization to keep swimming in rough waters and emerge a champion.
I Am, Therefore I Innovate.
Chapter 1: Recession.
Panic of 1797 (1797 – 1800).
Depression of 1807 (1807 – 1814).
Panic of 1819 (1819 – 1824).
Panic of 1837 (1837 – 1843).
Panic of 1857 (1857 – 1858).
The Long Depression (1873 – 1879).
Panic of 1893 (1893 – 1896).
Panic of 1907 (1907 – 1908).
Post World War I Recession (1918 – 1922).
Recession of 1926 (1926 – 1927).
The Great Depression (1929 – 1939).
Post World War II Recession (1945).
Late 1940s Recession (1948 – 1949).
Post Korean War Recession (1953 – 1954).
Recession of 1957 (1957 – 1958).
Recession of 1960 (1960 – 1961).
Recession of 1969 (1969 – 1970).
Oil Crisis of 1973 (1973 – 1975).
Recession of 1980 (1980 – 1982).
Recession of 1990 (1990).
Recession of 2001 (2001).
Recession of 2008 (2008 – TBD).
Chapter 2: Perseverance: Thomas A. Edison, General Electric Company.
The Lesson: The Power of Curiosity.
The Lesson: The Power of Communication.
The Lesson: Four Tips for a Successful Moonlighter.
Modern Parallel: Randy Copeland, Velocity Micro.
The Lesson: Go to Where the Business Is.
The Lesson: Create Your Own Luck.
The Lesson: The Power of Competition.
The Lesson: The Power of Incorporating.
Chapter 3: Pain: Walt Disney, Laugh–O–Gram Films.
The Lesson: The Power of Patience.
The Lesson: The Power of a Name.
Modern Parallel: Joe Jacobson, E Ink Corporation.
The Lesson: The Power of Branding.
Chapter 4: Intuition: Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.
The Lesson: The Power of Employees Who Believe.
The Lesson: The Power of Negotiation.
Modern Parallel: Dr. James Andrews, Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center.
The Lesson: The Power of Design.
The Lesson: The Power of Face Time.
The Lesson: What Kind of Company Are You?
Chapter 5: Simplicity: Robert W. Johnson, Johnson & Johnson.
The Lesson: The Power of a Copywriter.
The Lesson: The Power of Learning the Ropes.
The Lesson: The Power of Creating a Social Norm.
The Lesson: The Power of Managing Disaster.
Modern Parallels: Simple Problems, Simple Solutions, Simple Products.
Chapter 6: Failure: Milton S. Hershey, The Hershey Company.
The Lesson: The Power of Quitting School.
The Lesson: The Power of Asking for Help.
The Lesson: The Power of Rejection.
The Lesson: The Power of a Single Customer.
The Lesson: The Power of Scalability.
Modern Parallel: Brian Wellinghoff, Barry–Wehmiller.
The Lesson: The Fallacy of "It′ll Sell Itself ".
The Lesson: The Power of R&D.
Chapter 7: Faith: Mary Kay Ash, Mary Kay Cosmetics.
The Lesson: Innovation Is About More than Just a Product.
The Lesson: The Power of Sharing Your Passion . . . with Everyone.
Modern Parallel: Adam Smith, Twitter Community Choreography (Dance Theater Workshop).
The Lesson: The Power of Incentives.
The Lesson: The Power of Keeping the Faith during Uphill Battles.
Chapter 8: Insignifi cance: Dr. Lonnie Johnson, Super Soaker (Hasbro).
The Lesson: The Power of Impracticality.
The Lesson: The Power of Organic Design.
Modern Parallel: Patrick Lockley, Six by Six Gallery.
Chapter 9: Paradox: Jack Crawford Taylor, Enterprise Rent–A–Car.
The Lesson: Helping People at the Point of Need.
The Lesson: How to Keep Employees in Tough Times.
The Lesson: The Power of Not Franchising.
Modern Parallel: Robin Sloan, Robin Writes a Book (via Kickstarter).
The Lesson: Dictate Growth Based on Your Employees.
The Lesson: Becoming Recession–Proof.
Chapter 10: Luck: William Procter and James Gamble, Procter & Gamble.
The Lesson: The Power of Location, Location, Location.
The Lesson: The Power of a Logo.
Modern Parallel: Alma M. Lugtu, cover my bum.
The Lesson: The Power of Bark and Bite.
The Lesson: The Power of Employee Loyalty.
The Lesson: The Power of Foresight.
The Lesson: The Power of Divergent Revenue Streams.
The Lesson: The Power of Academic Collaboration.
Chapter 11: Greed: Joe Cassano, AIG.
Chapter 12: Integrity: George Foreman, Salton Company.
Modern Parallel: Tom Phillips, Weekends Only.
Chapter 13: The Innovation Generation.
Connecting the Dots.
Chapter 14: The Sandbox Universe.
The Sandbox Universe at St. Louis University: A Case Study.
Epilogue: The Power of the Bayh–Dole Act.
About the Author.
Meyer is also an accomplished entrepreneur who has founded four successful companies in the manufacturing, retail, and services industries. He has been responsible for developing some of the first sustainable products including the first 100% recycled plastic bottle in 1991 and the first bio–based automotive commodity chemicals in 1994. Meyer′s new professional passion is building bridges between industry and universities to ensure America′s innovation leadership in the world.