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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In this accessible, prescriptive, and widely applicable manual, Google’s first engineering director and current Innovation Agitator Emeritus provides critical advice for rethinking how we launch a new idea, product, or business, insights to help successfully beat the law of market failure: that most new products will fail, even if competently executed.

Millions of people around the world are working to introduce new ideas. Some will turn out to be stunning successes and 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 successes will be smaller and more personal, but no less meaningful: A restaurant that becomes a neighborhood favorite, a biography that tells an important story, a local nonprofit that cares for abandoned pets.

Simultaneously, other groups are working equally hard to develop new ideas that, when launched, will fail. Some will fail spectacularly and publicly: New Coke, the movie John Carter, the Ford Edsel. Others failures will be smaller and more private, but no less failure: 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 too few people care about.

Most people believe that their venture will be successful. But the law of market failure tells us that up to 90 percent of most new products, services, businesses, and initiatives will fail soon after launch—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.

Combining detailed case studies with personal insight drawn from his time at Google, his experience as an entrepreneur and consultant, and his lectures at Stanford University and Google, Alberto Savoia offers an unparalleled approach to beating the beast that is market failure: “Make sure you are building The Right It before you build It right,” he advises. In The Right It, he provides lessons on creating your own hard data, a strategy for market engagement, and an introduction to the concept of a pretotype (not a prototype). Groundbreaking, entertaining, and highly practical, this essential guide delivers a proven formula for ensuring ideas, products, services, and businesses succeed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062884671
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 3 MB

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

Customer Reviews