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Where is the (real) innovation?

A book takes a critical look at the myths of the digital economic system and identifies new resources for Italy

Myths are still perpetrated today. And they also exist in the business industry. Without mentioning viral urban legends (even the Internet itself is often a myth). And without considering the series of tips for the correct management of businesses that fall under the umbrella of management theory. The myth of the brilliant manager exists and is widespread, as is that of the Internet being able to solve every problem and the notion of ‘teambuilding’ at all costs. But we need to keep our feet on the ground when it comes to striving for super efficiency. We need to know the facts and to understand. One way of doing this is by reading “Start down. The crisis of digital myths and the reawakening of innovation” by Gabriele Colasanto and Marco Rossella.

The book questions the myths of the digital economic system with an ironic and well-informed style. It contains figures, but above all stories, images, personalities and points of view in around 200 pages that will interest those in the industry but not only. The key point pressed home by the two authors is the need to reassess the ability of Italy to create jobs without having to launch futuristic start-ups every time. Which all too often is precisely what we are told is required. A phenomenon which is seen frequently in Italy, a kind of “perennial election campaign climate” in which artisans, SME’s and pensioners come first in a constant dialectic which both represents a sales pitch and fans the flames of the social discontent permeating the country. The book also makes an assertion borne out by the numbers: the international start-up system has not produced companies capable of inventing new paradigms at global level for at least fifteen years and is looking for original new ways to reinvent itself. Italy therefore risks continuing to frantically pursue a dream that is already old, regarding the legendary Silicon Valley with deference, gambling too late on imported ideas and reproducing the sins of pettiness and presumption that are typical of our country.

Divided into nine chapters and numerous in-depth profiles, the book begins with a prologue with a significant title – “Prologue.  Or on the need to bust the myth” -, and finishes with a conclusion with an equally attention-grabbing title – “For all those young people full of hope” -, which contains an important assertion in the final lines: “The overall impression is that it would do us good to stop using the word “digital” erroneously, at least for a little while, and to begin using the word “innovation” again: here, the playing field is larger and we can still make a contribution with our individual and collective stories”.

The book is further enriched with three contributions from Marco Grazioli (chairman of The European House – Ambrosetti), Salvatore Majorana (director of Kilometro Rosso, Bergamo) and Luigi Serio (who teaches Economics and Business Management at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore).

Colasanto and Rossella’s book is lively and well written and rather than theory focuses on people and real lives, stories of successes and failures that are able to teach us all something.

Start down. The crisis of digital myths and the reawakening of innovation

Gabriele Colasanto, Marco Rossella

GueriniNEXT, 2019

A book takes a critical look at the myths of the digital economic system and identifies new resources for Italy

Myths are still perpetrated today. And they also exist in the business industry. Without mentioning viral urban legends (even the Internet itself is often a myth). And without considering the series of tips for the correct management of businesses that fall under the umbrella of management theory. The myth of the brilliant manager exists and is widespread, as is that of the Internet being able to solve every problem and the notion of ‘teambuilding’ at all costs. But we need to keep our feet on the ground when it comes to striving for super efficiency. We need to know the facts and to understand. One way of doing this is by reading “Start down. The crisis of digital myths and the reawakening of innovation” by Gabriele Colasanto and Marco Rossella.

The book questions the myths of the digital economic system with an ironic and well-informed style. It contains figures, but above all stories, images, personalities and points of view in around 200 pages that will interest those in the industry but not only. The key point pressed home by the two authors is the need to reassess the ability of Italy to create jobs without having to launch futuristic start-ups every time. Which all too often is precisely what we are told is required. A phenomenon which is seen frequently in Italy, a kind of “perennial election campaign climate” in which artisans, SME’s and pensioners come first in a constant dialectic which both represents a sales pitch and fans the flames of the social discontent permeating the country. The book also makes an assertion borne out by the numbers: the international start-up system has not produced companies capable of inventing new paradigms at global level for at least fifteen years and is looking for original new ways to reinvent itself. Italy therefore risks continuing to frantically pursue a dream that is already old, regarding the legendary Silicon Valley with deference, gambling too late on imported ideas and reproducing the sins of pettiness and presumption that are typical of our country.

Divided into nine chapters and numerous in-depth profiles, the book begins with a prologue with a significant title – “Prologue.  Or on the need to bust the myth” -, and finishes with a conclusion with an equally attention-grabbing title – “For all those young people full of hope” -, which contains an important assertion in the final lines: “The overall impression is that it would do us good to stop using the word “digital” erroneously, at least for a little while, and to begin using the word “innovation” again: here, the playing field is larger and we can still make a contribution with our individual and collective stories”.

The book is further enriched with three contributions from Marco Grazioli (chairman of The European House – Ambrosetti), Salvatore Majorana (director of Kilometro Rosso, Bergamo) and Luigi Serio (who teaches Economics and Business Management at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore).

Colasanto and Rossella’s book is lively and well written and rather than theory focuses on people and real lives, stories of successes and failures that are able to teach us all something.

Start down. The crisis of digital myths and the reawakening of innovation

Gabriele Colasanto, Marco Rossella

GueriniNEXT, 2019