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Book review: Thoughts from a Grumpy Innovator

Twitterish wit from a curmudgeonly creative, plus the dangers of AI, Royal Naval leadership and new insight into China
Thoughts from a Grumpy Innovator, by 
Costas Papaikonomou

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If only all business books could be this entertaining

Thoughts from a Grumpy Innovator
Costas Papaikonomou
(
£11.50; grumpyinnovator.com)

A book arrives in the post from Amsterdam. With it is a letter from the author, who has 
a long Greek name. He asks if we will review 
his book, which he describes as "musings collected over a period of 15 years of laughing and crying as a professional in the birth chambers of the world's leading multinationals."

It turns out that our correspondent is one 
of the founding partners of Happen, an international innovation agency. And it also turns out that his book is touched with genius.

What makes our innovator grumpy is the 
sight of great ideas being culled before they've had a chance to shine, terrible ideas being launched into the world and obvious market opportunities being ignored. As he puts it, "There is no chicken and egg question in innovation, only egg. And, more often than 
not, everyone ends up covered in it."

Most of the pages of the book are filled with Twitterish aphorisms, many of which are as funny as they are pointed: "Market research 
is great for predicting the past." "If you have 
to be convinced by a metric that you're successful, then you probably aren't."

Elsewhere, Papaikonomou lays into various sacred cows such as market research and operational excellence. He's even drawn 
the cartoons as well. If only all business books could be this entertaining.

Rating: 9/10

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