The Right It: Why So Many Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed

The Right It: Why So Many Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed

by Alberto Savoia
The Right It: Why So Many Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed

The Right It: Why So Many Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed

by Alberto Savoia


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The Law of Market Failure: Most new products will fail in the market, even if competently executed.

Using his experience at Google, his remarkable success as an entrepreneur and consultant, and insights from his lectures at Stanford University and Google, Alberto Savoia’s The Right It offers an unparalleled approach to beating the beast that is market failure.

Millions of people around the world are working hard to bring to life new ideas. Some of these ideas will turn out to be stunning successes that will have a major impact on our world and our culture: The next Google, the next Polio vaccine, the next Harry Potter, the next Red Cross, the next Ford Mustang. Others will be smaller, more personal but no less meaningful, successes: A little restaurant that becomes a neighborhood favorite, a biography that does not make the best-seller list but tells an important story, a local nonprofit to care for abandoned pets. At this very same moment, another group of people is working equally hard to develop new ideas that, when launched, will fail. Some of them will fail spectacularly and publicly: like New Coke, the movie “John Carter”, or the Ford Edsel. Others will be smaller, more private, but no less painful failures: A home-based business that never takes off, a children’s book that neither publishers nor children have any interest in, a charity for a cause that too few people care enough about.

If you are currently working to develop a new idea, whether on your own or as part of a team, which group are you in? Most people believe that they either are, or will be, in the first group—the group whose ideas will be successful. All they have to do is work hard and execute well. Unfortunately, we know that this cannot be the case. The law of market failure tells us that up to 90 percent of most new products, services, businesses, and initiatives will fail soon after they are launched—regardless of how promising they sound, how much we commit to them, or how well we execute them. This is a hard fact to accept. We believe that other people fail because they don’t know what they are doing. Somehow, we believe that this does not apply to us and to our idea—especially if we’ve experienced victories in the past.

Filled with detailed case studies, a lesson on creating your own hard data, a strategy for market engagement, and an introduction to the concept of a pretotype (not a prototype), The Right It is a groundbreaking, entertaining, and highly practical book delivers a proven formula for turning ideas, products, services, and businesses into successful endeavors.

As Alberto writes, “make sure you are building The Right It before you build It right”.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062884657
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

ALBERTO SAVOIA is currently teaching and collaborating with Stanford University and continues to work with Google to create and lead courses and workshops. Prior to his tenure at Google, Alberto was Director of Software Research at Sun Microsystem where he played a key role in the development of Java technology and tools, and co-founder of two very innovative and influential startups in the area of software development & testing tools.

One of the constants in Alberto's career has been his drive and passion for fostering and creating innovation in all of his endeavors.  For this, he has won significant industry recognition and awards, including: The 2005 Wall Street Journal Technical Innovator Award, InfoWorld Top 25 CTOs Award, AlwaysOn Top Innovators Award (2004, 2005, 2006) and InfoWorld's Technology of the Year Award (2005, 2006).

Table of Contents

Prelude xi

Book Overview 1

Part I Hard Facts

1 The Law of Market Failure 13

Failure is Not an Option-Not! 14

The Law of Market Failure 15

Market Failure and Success Defined 16

Market Failure Statistics 18

The Success Equation 19

Too Smart to Fail? 21

Failophobia 24

Flop 25

2 The Right It 29

The Wrong It 30

Thoughtland 31

Hocus-Pocus Focus Groups 33

The Four Trolls of Thoughtland 37

Thoughtland and False Positives 43

Thoughtland and False Negatives 45

Escape from Thoughtland 49

3 Data Beats Opinions 51

Other People's Data 53

You Must Get Your Own DAta 57

Quick Recap 57

Part II Sharp Tools

Market Engagement Hypothesis 62

Say it with Numbers 66

Hypozooming 74

5 Pretotyping Tools 79

The IBM Speech-to-Text Example 79

Pretotyping 83

In Search of Pretotypes 86

The Mechanical Turk Pretotype 88

The Pinocchio Pretotype 95

The Fake Door Pretotype 104

The Facade Pretotype 117

The YouTube Pretotype 121

The One-Night Stand Pretotype 129

The Infiltrator Pretotype 134

The Relabel Pretotype 138

Pretotyping Variations and Combinations 142

What Makes a Pretotype a Pretotype 146

6 Analysis Tools 149

The Skin-in-the-Game caliper 149

The TRI Meter 158

Part III Plastic Tactics

7 Tactics Toolkit 175

Tactic 1: Think Globally, Test Locally 176

Tactic 2: Testing Now Beats Testing Later 181

Tactic 3: Think cheap, Cheaper, Cheapest 184

Tactic 4: Tweak It and Flip It Before You Quit It 187

8 Complete Example: BusU 195

Thinking Clearly About Our Idea 197

Time to Test 203

Analyzing and Iterating 208

A Lucky Break 212

A Few Notes About the BusU Example 218

9 Final Words 221

The Right It: A Recap 223

What to Build? 234

Acknowledgments 245

Glossary 249

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