The Innovation Blind Spot: Why We Back the Wrong Ideas--and What to Do About It (Paperback)
Not on our shelves. Usually ships in 2-5 days
Our innovation economy is broken. But there's good news: The ideas that will solve our problems are hiding in plain sight.
While big companies in the American economy have never been more successful, entrepreneurial activity is near a 30-year low. More businesses are dying than starting every day. Investors continue to dump billions of dollars into photo-sharing apps and food-delivery services, solving problems for only a wealthy sliver of the world's population, while challenges in health, food security, and education grow more serious.
In The Innovation Blind Spot, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ross Baird argues that the innovations that truly matter don't see the light of day—for reasons entirely of our own making. A handful of people in a handful of cities are deciding, behind closed doors, which entrepreneurs get a shot to succeed. And most investors are what Baird calls "two-pocket thinkers"—artificially separating their charitable work from their day job of making a profit.
The resulting system creates rising income inequality, stifled entrepreneurial ambition, social distrust, and political uncertainty. Our innovation problem makes all our other problems harder to solve. In this book, Baird demonstrates how and where to find better ideas by lifting up people, places, and industries that are often overlooked. What's more, Baird ultimately outlines how to create long-term success through "one-pocket thinking"—eliminating the blind spot that separates "what we do for a living" and "what we really care about."
About the Author
Ross Baird is an entrepreneur and investor who is best known for finding, developing, and investing in entrepreneurs in places and industries where most people aren't looking. He founded Village Capital in 2009 and has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs in over fifty countries since then. He has visited over a hundred cities worldwide by train, plane, and bus in an effort to find new entrepreneurs and help people supporting them, and he and Village Capital have partnered with over twenty Fortune 500 companies to help large institutions uncover new innovations. Before joining Village Capital, Ross worked for a venture capital firm and was on the founding team of four different startups.
Ross and his work have been featured by more than fifty media outlets including the New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, Inc., and FastCompany. He has also lectured in entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia since 2012. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.
“A pioneering fusion of venture capital and crowd intelligence.”
—Matt Bishop, editor for the Economist and author of Philanthrocapitalism
“Baird’s motivation for writing the book comes from an insider’s knowledge that the system isn’t allocating resources to the best and the brightest, just to the best connected and most visible.”
“Every entrepreneur with a great idea should have a fundamental right to start a business. But today, far too many barriers in society prevent the best people from competing. In this book, Baird outlines compelling strategies to find the best innovations—no matter where they are.”
—Wendy Guillies, president and CEO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
“In this time of seismic shifts, our businesses, our governments, and our communities need to work together for our society to succeed—and we need new ideas to get there. Baird identifies the outliers that no one’s betting on and compellingly outlines how we can bring them into the mainstream.”
—Governor Deval L. Patrick, managing director, Bain Capital Double Impact
“Every single city and community has the power to change the world. But to realize that power, we have to find the ideas and entrepreneurs that people aren’t paying attention to. In The Innovation Blind Spot, Baird shows us how to do just that.”
—Brad Feld, cofounder, Foundry Group