Econovation: The Red, White, and Blue Pill for Arousing Innovation

Econovation: The Red, White, and Blue Pill for Arousing Innovation

by Steve Faktor


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Over the last 20 years, China fed our zombie-like appetite for iPhones, Prada and Snuggies. At the same time, its biggest customer, the US, found itself in debt, under-educated, and covered with recreational tattoos. So now what? Will America wallow in mediocrity like Greece or some C-list celebrity? Or, will our legendary ingenuity save us from Tweeting...and eating our way to irrelevance? Econovation is a bold, witty response to those questions that doesn't rely on miracles or government for answers. It challenges business leaders to think differently about the next decade of the US economy and respond with big, sustainable innovations. Written by Steve Faktor, former Vice President of Growth & Innovation and head of the Chairman's Innovation Fund at American Express, Econovation is a trends book on steroids. It's bursting with practical, thought-provoking ideas no executive, entrepreneur or Fed Chairman can afford to miss.

Most importantly, Econovation envisions a very different future. It's one ruled by "producerism", not consumerism. It's a future in which real innovators must do more than slide a greasy finger over the screen of an iPad. Econovation uncovers opportunities in unexpected places. You'll learn how to:

  • Capitalize on a market that will go from making nothing to making everything...for China.
  • Use psychological pricing and some crafty tricks from Google to reduce reliance on tapped-out consumers
  • Sell to consumers whose new identities will be based on what they create, not what they buy, click or super-size
  • Seduce a desperate government to finance your business, then feed you pancakes in the morning
  • Motivate tomorrow's employee with social currency instead of the green, depreciating kind
  • Upgrade your business and your kids with a little help from Mormons and kindergartners with hacksaws

Econovation is a fresh perspective on a future we've taken for granted. It empowers readers to think big, dream big, and conquer economic conditions that will paralyze others. With a hefty dose of data, humor, and actionable ideas, Econovation offers insight and amusement in one, convenient place - a rare treat for a business book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118054000
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 11/29/2011
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

STEVE FAKTOR is the former Vice President of Growth and Innovation and head of the Chairman's Innovation Fund at American Express. There, he developed and incubated numerous growth ventures including Zync, Loyalty Edge, and Private Sales, a joint venture with Vente Privée. Steve is the founder of Blue Beacon Partners, LLC, which helps start-ups and corporations innovate new products and services, think big, and build a sustainable growth pipeline. In his career, Steve has created several $100-million-plus businesses, generated billions in sales volume, and deployed three enterprise-level innovation programs. Previously, Steve was a senior innovation and strategy executive at Citi and MasterCard. As a management consultant at Arthur Andersen, Steve led strategy, marketing, and technology projects for clients like WPP (Ogilvy), Samsung, JVC, Bombardier, Boise Cascade, Omnicom Group, and PSEG.

As a futurist, innovator, and digital payments expert, Steve is a popular global keynote speaker on future growth opportunities. Steve also leads innovation workshops, ideation, and training sessions based on his proprietary 4C's of Innovation methodology. An author with a satirical touch, his latest musings on trends in business can be read at

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction What Is Econovation? 1

Why Me? Why Now? 3

The Next 100 Years 5

Coming Up in Econovation 7

Chapter 1 Indulgence in an Age of Constraint 9

The Way We Were 10

Right Now 16

Chapter 2 Tawdry Tales of a Service Economy 25

Botox and Other Services 25

Haves versus Have-Nots 33

Fossils and Fledglings 38

The Power of Intangibles 41

Chapter 3 The Next Decade 45

A Rebalancing: What’s Likely, Possible, and Remote 46

A Shift in Power, Capital, and Priorities 68

Chapter 4 Sell Actualization 73

The Seven Economic Identities 73

Get Your Free Labor Here! 74

What Minimum Wage? Tiny Jobs for Tiny Pay 80

Social Identity as Economic Leverage 82

Secure Future 85

Chapter 5 Build a Capital Magnet 89

Sell to China, India, and Brazil 90

Change the Model 99

Become a Foreign Capital Magnet 103

What U.S. Companies Can Make in the Next Decade 108

Chapter 6 Make Makers 119

Education Complications 120

Fix the Core 125

Automate: Rise of the Machines 130

Repair School Financing 134

Empower Makers 136

Chapter 7 Liberate Micropreneurs 145

Splice Entrepreneurship into Education 147

Gain Access to Capital 151

Close the Confi dence and Knowledge Gaps 155

Disneyfi cation for Micropreneurs 157

Chapter 8 Build an “Incentive Nation” 161

Touched by the Hand of Go . . . vernment 162

Price, Love, and Understanding 164

Pricing and Incentive Models with a Future 176

The End of Money 185

Chapter 9 Unfinished Business 189

The Missing Link 189

Nobody’s Bitch 191

Appendix Applying Econovation 195

Approach 195

Hindsight to Foresight 195

All Together Now 198

About the Author 201

Index 203

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