Ridley does not do this. This is a curious argument. ), Unsurprisingly, then, he insists that innovation works best in democratic countries where the state plays a minimal role. It happens when people are relatively prosperous, not desperate. Prior to Covid lockdown, Waymo was running a pilot taxi service in which a proportion of clients could do exactly that. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change. But unlike many others, well-exemplified by Tim Hartford and his “Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy”, Ridley doesn’t mind getting a little dirty. Ridley draws on examples from across history to make his compelling case. … In the second half of the twentieth century, the state did become a sponsor of innovation on a large scale, but that is hardly surprising given that it went from spending 10 per cent of national income to 40 per cent.” “Trying to pretend that government is the main actor in this process … is an essentially creationist approach to an essentially evolutionary phenomenon.”, The book’s conclusion is summarised in these two sentences: “the secret sauce that leads to innovation is freedom. Because he chooses to explore only half of the story in so many cases and deliberately to ignore the counter-arguments, the end product is an interesting thesis which is disappointingly one-sided. Work is not an end in itself.” Bravo! WSJ just ran an excerpted essay from his upcoming book: Worth reading but some flaws in tone and argument and not as good as The Rational Optimist. It is impossible to say when the computer came into existence, because the process was so painstakingly incremental. No charge. (He is also a Brexiteer and a “lukewarmer” – a sceptic about the impacts of climate change. To see what your friends thought of this book, How Innovation Works: Serendipity, Energy and the Saving of Time, What a delightful and insightful book. One is that it is often unclear who deserves the credit. How Innovation Works by Ridley is a refreshing look at the reality of progress. They're both very quick reads, touching shallowly on many topics and relying extensively on research done by other scholars, making fairly broad points. The only paper lying around was bright yellow. This does not mean that innovators deserve no praise – far from it. If innovation is no accident, then what conditions cause it to flourish or fizzle? Had I done a bit more due diligence, I would have realized there wasn’t much hope for practicality in this book. Perhaps the best part of his argument for how innovation works is offering the reader the distinction between invention and innovation, which are often interchanged for each other in everyday conversation. He distinguishes between innovation and invention: arguing that often the innovations are more important than the invention.
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