How to Develop a Disruptive Product

Principles of Biology digital textbook by Eric Markowitz –
One of the world’s oldest publishing companies brought in a ringer to revolutionize the way the company does business. The result? The first fully-interactive textbook.

Nature Publishing Group, which publishes several highly regarded scientific journals and textbooks, was founded in England in 1869, eight years before electric lights illuminated the streets of London. Now, 140 years later, with the help of Harvard Classics scholar Vikram Savkar, the company is beginning to disrupt the traditional textbook model that it helped to create.

This month at California State University, the company released Principles of Biology, an interactive, constantly updating biology textbook that retails for less than $50. Like most digital textbooks, the software is accessible on laptops and tablets, but unlike most digital textbooks, it’s not just a scan of a .pdf. The company calls it a “digital reinvention of the textbook,” meaning that students can interact with the material; they can literally match amino acids and corresponding DNA with their fingers. Inc.com’s Eric Markowitz spoke with Vikram Savkar about what it takes to create a culture of innovation in an old-school company. [Read more…]

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Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught To Big Business?

Forbes.com | by Matt Symonds | 4/23/2010
Entrepreneurship has become big business. Nearly two-thirds of all the colleges and universities in the U.S. offer formal courses in it, 10 times as many as in the 1970s, when only 200 institutions had the temerity to think they could teach such a thing. Now business schools are realizing that even if not everyone wants to be their own boss, people do want to know the secrets of successful entrepreneurship. So they are looking at a new set of potential students–“corporate entrepreneurs.”[Read more…]

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