Shih's Discovery Summit speech focused on the relationship between manufacturing and innovation, as does the new book. In the prologue to the book, Pisano and Shih say that "manufacturing is often highly integral to the innovation process, and the common assumption that the United States can prosper as an 'innovator' without manufacturing is a dangerous one. Indeed, in some contexts, manufacturing is just as important to the innovation ecosystem as strong universities, outstanding R&D, and vibrant venture capital are." And much manufacturing has become knowledge work, requiring more than brawn.
What are the key takeaways from the book?
In a recent email, Shih said "the key link we would like people to understand is the connection between manufacturing and innovation. In circumstances when your manufacturing processes are not mature, or your products don't have a high degree of modularity between components, the ability to make has a strong connection to future innovation capacity."
What are people saying about the book so far?
"We have received a lot of positive reaction to date. I think many people hear the debate about manufacturing and the importance to jobs, but the public discourse has lacked the next level of detail. That is what people are hungry for, and what we are striving to do. In so doing, we hope we can enrich the national discussion on this important subject, and pull together as a country to invest more intelligently for our collective future," Shih said.