This book addresses a topic that has raised much consternation in the U.S. manufacturing community: the loss of emphasis on innovation in this country, a loss the author attributes in large part to short-term Wall Street thinking as well as an increasing fear of risk-taking. "We can -- and must -- regain our momentum," she writes. "If we do not, we will lose our position of strength, and with it our hopes for ongoing economic prosperity and enhanced quality of life for our children and grandchildren."
Estrin, who is CEO of JLABS LLC, addresses multiple aspects of innovation in her book. She outlines what she considers the five basic ingredients of sustainable innovation: questioning, patience, trust, openness and risk. She introduces the concept of Innovation Ecosystems, whose collaborative organisms include scientists, product developers, businesspeople and customers, "all of whom participate in one or more of three communities: research, development and application. Ongoing, sustainable innovation results from interactions between these communities at an organizational, national and global level."