Commercialising Innovation

Jerry Schaufeld

Published by






Reviewed by

Jude Umeh, FBCS, CITP


9 out of 10

This book provides a good take on how businesses can go about making money from innovation. It is particularly timely as so many organisations have decided (or are being forced) to embark on the 'innovation' journey without any real idea of what to do if and when a true innovation lands on their lap.

The author, Jerry Schaufeld, is certainly well qualified to discuss this particular topic, not least because he embodies the knowledge and experience - including: multiple startups, patents, consulting and venture funding pedigree. He spent many years working, investing and teaching the topic with large organisations, entrepreneurs and academia respectively.

Schaufeld presents a compelling step-wise model for commercialising innovation, based on real life experience, across several chapters in this book. He takes the time to explain and describe all the key components which factor into producing successful commercial innovation. For example, he studiously covers areas such as:

  • Business structure and funding strategies
  • Technology sourcing for viable products
  • Feasibility analyses 
  • Project planning and execution
  • Manufacturing considerations 
  • Intellectual Property considerations 
  • Product launch and market introduction 
  • Global competition and outsourcing 
  • Compliance and regulatory constraints
  • Financial modelling 

Along with the many examples, and pointers to further information sources, this comprehensive coverage delivers the complete package, in my opinion. As a handbook for commercial innovation, Schaufeld's work is highly instructive and has to be among a handful of really decent books on the topic. Don't just take my word for it, try it out for yourself if your organisation is interested in ways to reap the financial benefits from innovation.

Although this is a great book overall, it however contained a couple of minor niggles which let it down somewhat, in my opinion, e.g.:

  • There is an overly textbookish feel to the approach and treatment of the topics outlined above. Perhaps this is due to author's academic background, but it sometimes felt like there might a test to take after each meticulously covered topic.
  • Also, there were several typos and grammatical errors spotted among the otherwise excellent content in the book. Although not totally unforgivable, for a book of this importance, one would have expected a much higher degree of proof reading and copy editing diligence.

In any case, I still think the book is highly relevant for anyone interested in making money from innovation primarily because it outlines all the various approaches and models to choose from, along with specific recommendations. It is decent and readable, and despite the aforementioned niggles, it's still a great deal better than some of the other books I've read and reviewed on the topic of innovation.

Further information: Apress

October 2016