Reinvention has grown as a major issue in the competition, startup, industrial strategy, wealth creation, sustainable development, climate change, and trade policy. The loss of silicon valley’s edge to Taiwan is intriguing indeed. Japan’s success in growing as an innovation powerhouse is the outcome of the reinvention of an array of products. Starting from the light bulbs, batteries, displays to digital cameras, the list goes on. South Korea and Taiwan have shown some successes. For scaling it up, China has come up with Made In China 2025 reinvention strategy. Consequentially, upon losing a few major products to reinvention race, the USA has become paranoid.
Unlike invention, reinvention recreates existing products by changing the technology core. It creates a force of creation and destruction simultaneously. Besides, reinvention makes products less energy and material-consuming. Like reinvented LED light bulbs are more energy-efficient than Edison’s invention of filament bulbs. Similarly, the reinvention of automobiles as electric vehicles and recreation of energy generation giving birth to solar and wind have ushered the possibility of reducing pollution. But such reinventions have been migrating industrial edge across the boundaries of firms and countries. Hence, it has been of great interest and concern.
Winning and losing in the reinvention race has become a subject of deep intellectual exercise–for shedding light on the US’s eroding innovation edge and rising Asian innovation successes. How can a little Asian economy like Taiwan succeeded to blunt the edge of Silicon valley through reinvention is intriguing indeed. On the other hand, due to the absence of a reinvention strategy, India failed to develop an innovation-based industrial economy. Such a reality offers an important lesson to new entrants for creating innovation successes out of reinventions and to find ways for sustaining successes to incumbents.
M. Rokonuzzaman has recently published a book on understanding reinvention dynamics. The title of the book is Winning and Losing in Reinvention Race. Due to the reinvention race, inventions have been evolving in an episodic form. This reinvention race is vital to overcome the saturation & economic stagnation and create a new wave of growth. In this evolution, reinventors have been snatching away inventions, turning inventing countries into importers. Despite its importance, winning and losing in the reinvention race are highly coupled. Winning firms or countries have been gaining by causing destruction to losers.
Although the reinvention race appears random, the author has detected reoccurring patterns. These patterns are vital for understanding the dynamics, leading to smarter rational decisions.
The author has analyzed a body of observations in detecting patterns that have led to the syncretization of general principles, forming a model (inductive), in establishing cause-effect relations. In addition to comprehending the unfolding dynamics, readers may find them relevant to derive or predict a likely future due to the change of candidate variables (deductive). Upon doing that exercise, readers will be in a position to take logically more correct decisions for having the expected outcome–like pursuing a startup journey or changing trade policy.
To contribute to this mission, this book spells out the findings into seven Chapters. It begins with analyzing observations about the evolution and migration of inventions from America in Chapter 1: ‘USA’s Technology Industry has been a Leaky Bucket.’ Chapter 2–Reinvention Opens Entry, Wealth Creation and Dislodging Window– underscores the necessity of rational decisions and national strategy for addressing exponentially growing complexity. The points made in the first two chapters are looked upon from the perspective of unfolding reinvention dynamics of the music industry in Chapter 3: ‘Rolling Waves of Reinvention Keep Turning Global Music Industry Episodic—firms enter, grow, and disappear.’
Further clarity is brought from the dissection of the evolution of electrical energy generation and the semiconductor industry, and the findings are placed in Chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 6 discusses the issue that some prevailing management thought runs the risk of failing to guide us to sustain our success—whether obtained from the cumulative effect of incremental progression or the creation of flywheel effect from a series of consistent moves. Eventually, we summarize the findings as a theory of the evolution and migration of inventions in Chapter 7: ‘Inventions Grow, Disappear and Regenerate in Episodic Form.’
Hopefully, curious students, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, development planners, professionals, and policymakers will find the reoccurring patterns–depicted by The Book— helpful in comprehending the invention evolution dynamics, predicting the unfolding future, and taking advantage of reinvention opportunities to create the next wave of growth.