1st Edition

Scalable Innovation
A Guide for Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and IP Professionals

ISBN 9781466590977
Published June 4, 2013 by CRC Press
333 Pages 73 B/W Illustrations

USD $56.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Innovation is a primary source of economic growth, and yet only one idea out of 3,000 becomes a successful product or service. Scalable Innovation: A Guide for Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and IP Professionals introduces a model for the innovation process, helping innovators to understand the nature and timing of opportunities and risks on the path to success. The authors apply systems thinking to discover real-life challenges, and provide tools for turning these challenges into opportunities for practical, scalable innovation.

The book is organized into four sections:

  • Prologue exposes key barriers to creativity and innovation. It provides telling examples of how years in school and at work make us accept common wisdoms that are likely to hurt our chances to create or take advantage of breakthrough innovations.
  • Section I introduces a system model for understanding technology and solving problems. It shows how to connect the model with real-life solutions, including their reflection in patents.
  • Section II introduces tools for thinking outside the box, considers the role of luck in success of inventions, and presents tools for flexible thinking and imagination development.
  • Section III discusses system dynamics, including how the elements of systems evolve, creating space for invention and scalable innovation. The authors illustrate this with case studies from various industries and technology areas. They analyze several landmark innovations in detail, revealing surprising and essential elements common to all of them.

This book presents simple principles that form the foundation of successful innovation, enabling practitioners to anticipate and expedite the creation of value through the guided innovation process. It outlines the most common barriers in reasoning and false beliefs about innovation that impede practitioners from seeing problems in a new light and offers specific ways of dealing with these barriers. It also provides specific tools for quickly identifying essential present and missing elements of systems underpinning high-value problems and their proposed solutions, resulting in an accelerated innovation development and evaluation cycle.

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE: Unlearning What’s Untrue.


Invention: An Attempt to Improve the World

Understanding Inventions: A Brief Introduction to the System Model

Understanding Patents: An Application of the System Model

System Interfaces: How the Elements Work Together

System Control Points: Where to Aim the Silver Bullets

SECTION II Outside the Box

Outside the Box: Developing Skills for Creative Thinking

Seeing the Outlines of the Box: Discovering the Boundaries of a System

Inventor’s Luck: A System Perspective

The Three Magicians: Tools for Flexible Thinking

Imagination Development: Seeing the World beyond Present-Day Constraints

SECTION III System Evolution and Innovation Timing

The S Curve: Dynamics of Systems Thinking

A Stage of System Evolution: Synthesis

A Stage of System Evolution: Early Growth

A Stage of System Evolution: Distribution Buildup

Growing Up: A Paradigm Shift within the System

Infrastructure Innovations: Timing Is Everything

Infrastructure and Growth: Zooming In on the Micro Level

A Stage of System Evolution: Efficiency

Payload Evolution: From Physical to Virtual

The Web Is Dead: Abandoning Documents and Files in Favor of Information Streams

Deconstructing Luck: Factors Affecting the Success of a System

Seeing the Invisible: The System behind the New Internet

The Book Electric: A Scenario of E-Book Evolution

Payload Overload: Managing the Ever-Increasing Flows of Information

Anticipating Control Problems: The Telegram before the Train

System Efficiency: Solving Detection Problems to Improve Control

Stages of System Evolution: Deep Integration

Choosing the Right Problem: Matching Innovation Targets with Stages of System Evolution

Tech Battles: Discovering System-Level Competitive Advantages

TiVo versus VCR: A Detailed Application Example of the Tech Battle Technique

View More



Eugene Shteyn teaches Principles of Invention and Innovation, The Greatest Innovations of Silicon Valley, The Patent Paradox, and Model-based Invention and Innovation at the Stanford University Continuing Studies Program. His innovation work, first as a principal scientist at Philips Research, then as a director of IP licensing at Hewlett-Packard, is embodied in high-tech products and represented in industry standards such as DVD, UPnP, and DLNA. Eugene holds 28 US patents and is a named inventor on more than 50 patents pending. He also founded Invention Spring, LLC, an invention development and innovation management consulting company whose clients include Fortune 500 companies (Apple, IBM, Roche) as well as many Silicon Valley startups.

Max Shtein is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in materials science and engineering, chemical engineering, applied physics, as well as art and design. He teaches courses that include quantum mechanics, solid state physics, engineering and multi-disciplinary design, organic electronics, and most recently courses on emerging technology, creativity, and innovation. He also directs a research group working on flexible electronics and energy conversion in novel materials. Shtein’s work and patents are used in the development of organic electronic devices (OLEDs, solar cells, transistors).

His professional awards include the Materials Research Society Graduate Student Gold Medal Award, the Newport Award for Excellence and Leadership in Photonics and Optoelectronics, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Holt Award for Excellence in Teaching, the College of Engineering Vulcans Prize for Excellence in Education, and the Materials Science and Engineering Department Achievement Award.


"With Scalable Innovation, Eugene Shteyn and Max Shtein, professors at Stanford University and University of Michigan, respectively, offer a practical guide to help aspiring innovators better understand how opportunities come and go. … They propose a model of innovation based on problem solving that reveals business opportunities. Their approach has already proven itself in Silicon Valley start-ups and is now also being replicated in large companies, where it facilitates faster innovation cycles."
Business Digest, No. 240, 2013