Don’t be afraid of deviants. They just may save your business.
In today's challenging and sometimes puzzling business environment, deviance equals innovation--the kind of breakthrough thinking that creates new markets and tumbles traditional ones. In The Deviant's Advantage, two of America's most respected futurists show how this deviance proceeds along a traceable trajectory, explaining how and why:
· Christian fundamentalism morphed from college Bible studies to Republican party king-making
· Reebok cares more about what’s on the feet of kids in Detroit and Philadelphia than what the so-hip-it-hurts set is wearing in New York or on Rodeo Drive
· Hugh Hefner, the creator of Playboy, transformed into a cultural icon with decidedly Puritan sensibilities
Tomorrow's breakthrough concept is lurking out there right now in the mind of a deviant individual. Your choice is simple: find it and exploit it or be buried by those who do.
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“Where do breakthrough ideas come from? Where do you look to find the next great business concept, the next box-office bonanza, the next Broadway smash, the next social revolution? As this fun, insightful, and brilliant book makes clear, if you want to be ahead of the curve of change, you’ve got to spend time on the fringes of society. The spot-on lesson: Don’t be afraid of deviants—embrace them! They are creating the future before it arrives for the rest of us.” —Alan M. Webber, founding editor, Fast Company
“Leave it to Wacker and Mathews to bring much-deserved honor to deviant thinking and to insert it into the business world. They not only question several fundamental business norms, but they pretty much condemn them to that vast purgatory that exists between breakaway success and spectacular failure—which is precisely where conservative, non-deviant businesses usually end up.” —Scott Bedbury, author of A Brand New World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century and CEO, Brandstream
“In The Deviant’s Advantage, Watts Wacker and Ryan Mathews offer insights and ideas that are truly ‘out of the box.’ But make no mistake—their unorthodox theories connecting the concept of deviance with innovation and creativity ring true for many businesses.”—O. Burtch Drake, president-CEO, American Association of Advertising Agencies
“The Deviant’s Advantage is the best book ever written about how companies can benefit from strange new ideas and the oddballs and misfits who dream them up. Mathews and Wacker write so well that, although I should have been doing other things, I kept turning the pages. They provide compelling stories and arguments about how and why companies can benefit from fringe ideas and people, but at the same time, warn both companies and people of the hazards of embracing deviance.” —Robert I. Sutton, professor, Stanford University, codirector of the Stanford Engineering School Center for Work, Technology and Organization,
and author of Weird Ideas That Work
“Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker will challenge both the right and left sides of your brain. The opportunity to harness genius is all around you but requires dramatic stretching of peripheral vision to bring the fringe into focus. If you haven’t yet made the observation that everything, including time itself, is accelerating, you most certainly will after reading The Deviant’s Advantage. But you’ll also be challenged to examine new dimensions of your potential for personal development by coming to understand that business doesn’t exist in isolation. It’s part of our overall culture. A new breed of leaders is embracing the apparent contradictions of our society and harnessing what seem like emerging aberrant concepts to shape the future.” —Randy J. Rose, president, Energizer Battery, Inc.
RYAN MATHEWS is a futurist and principal of FirstMatter, a trend-watching consulting firm. Hailed as one of the few true philosophers in modern business, Mathews has been profiled in publications from Fast Company to Wired. He is a coauthor of the bestselling The Myth of Excellence and lives in Detroit, Michigan.
WATTS WACKER, also a futurist and principal of FirstMatter, has been profiled in such publications as Fast Company and Forbes and was called “one of the 50 smartest people in the business world” by the Financial Times. He is a coauthor of The 500-Year Delta and The Visionary’s Handbook. He lives in Westport, Connecticut.
From the Hardcover edition.
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