Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction

Prophet of Innovation Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction Pan Am Gimbel s Pullman Douglas Aircraft Digital Equipment Corporation British Leyland all once as strong as dinosaurs all now just as extinct Destruction of businesses fortunes products and

  • Title: Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction
  • Author: Thomas K. McCraw
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 248
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pan Am, Gimbel s, Pullman, Douglas Aircraft, Digital Equipment Corporation, British Leyland all once as strong as dinosaurs, all now just as extinct Destruction of businesses, fortunes, products, and careers is the price of progress toward a better material life No one understood this bedrock economic principle better than Joseph A Schumpeter Creative destruction, hPan Am, Gimbel s, Pullman, Douglas Aircraft, Digital Equipment Corporation, British Leyland all once as strong as dinosaurs, all now just as extinct Destruction of businesses, fortunes, products, and careers is the price of progress toward a better material life No one understood this bedrock economic principle better than Joseph A Schumpeter Creative destruction, he said, is the driving force of capitalism.Described by John Kenneth Galbraith as the most sophisticated conservative of the twentieth century, Schumpeter made his mark as the prophet of incessant change His vision was stark Nearly all businesses fail, victims of innovation by their competitors Businesspeople ignore this lesson at their peril to survive, they must be entrepreneurial and think strategically Yet in Schumpeter s view, the general prosperity produced by the capitalist engine far outweighs the wreckage it leaves behind.During a tumultuous life spanning two world wars, the Great Depression, and the early Cold War, Schumpeter reinvented himself many times From boy wonder in turn of the century Vienna to captivating Harvard professor, he was stalked by tragedy and haunted by the specter of his rival, John Maynard Keynes By 1983 the centennial of the birth of both men Forbes christened Schumpeter, not Keynes, the best navigator through the turbulent seas of globalization Time has proved that assessment accurate Prophet of Innovation is also the private story of a man rescued repeatedly by women who loved him and put his well being above their own Without them, he would likely have perished, so fierce were the conflicts between his reason and his emotions Drawing on all of Schumpeter s writings, including many intimate diaries and letters never before used, this biography paints the full portrait of a magnetic figure who aspired to become the world s greatest economist, lover, and horseman and admitted to failure only with the horses.

    One thought on “Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction”

    1. This is a (very long) summary of “Prophet of Innovation - Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction” by Thomas McCraw, Harvard University Press, 2007. In fact, these are extracts from the book and I mentioned the pages as much as I could. If you are courageous enough to read until the end, you might be interested in buying the full book. Schumpeter is clearly the Prophet of Innovation and Thomas McCraw’s book is a great piece of historical and economic analysis. It is about Schumpeter lif [...]

    2. Joseph Schumpeter(1883-1950)was a central European economist who spent the last eighteen years of his life at Harvard University. He was born in the Austro-Hungarian empire, in what is now Czechloslovakia to German-speaking parents (his father's family had lived in the area for centuries), but after his father died when he was four his mother moved to Austria and made sure he received an elite education. His degree from the University of Vienna was actually in law, but the topic in that time and [...]

    3. In this biography of 20th century economist Joseph Schumpeter, Thomas McCraw strikes a good balance between Schumpeter's life&times on the one hand and his thoughts, theories and ideas about economics on the other. Schumpeter's academically active life spans the first part of the 20th century. As a resident of Vienna, Bonn and Boston, he had first hand experiences of WW 1, the great depression and WW 2. Besides the history of Schumpeter's life, the book gives several interesting insights int [...]

    4. Of greatest interest to me is the context or frame-of-reference the biographical material provides for one of Schumpeter's most influential business concepts, "creative destruction," which he introduced in his most popular book, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy," first published in 1942. Scholars have divided opinions as to the influences on Schumpeter's development of this concept. They probably include Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Werner Sombart. According to Schumpeter, there is a [...]

    5. McCraw, one of the most respected business historians, finds a perfect subject in Jo Schumpeter, one of the top economists of the last century (along with Keynes, who occupied the other end of the economic thought spectrum). The biography presents Schumpeter's personal life (with many women as his carers, lovers and influencers followed by many tragedies through his life with some women he loved most being lost to death) and the context of his times (2 world wars and Germany's political and econ [...]

    6. Schumpeter was something else - great economist, teacher, mentor and a true innovator. Finding out more about him through this book makes me want to read his classic - Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. So many of the terms we take for granted were dear to Schumpeter - creative destruction, innovation, capitalism, venture capital, business strategy and business history to name a few. He was truly a Renaissance Man - raised and educated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, world traveler, lawyer, p [...]

    7. Schumpeter was a truly incredible thinker. While not a strict Austrian nor German economist, Schumpeteter's powerful research on the importance of the entrepreneur and the characteristics of the business cycle are still relevant today. Though less well-known than Keynes, Schumpeter's idea of creative destruction and the power of the entrepeneur to drive innovation will likely stand the test of time. Unfortunately, history repeats itself and the current wave of Keynesian government intervention t [...]

    8. I'd say 3.5 stars for this book. The concept of creative destructionism alone is worth digesting if it's not something you've come across (The Ecnomist has a weekly column in his name). New developments, particularly creative ones vs. adaptive, will inherently be disruptive from everything from the car replacing the carriage to the computer usurping the typewriter. Beside the ideas reading about Schumpeter's life is fairly inspiring between his work ethic, affability among economists of all stri [...]

    9. An excellent read not only about a man's life and work but also the ideas he created and championed. His views include the concept of creative destruction.This is an important book that probably won't be made into a movie but will influence ones' thoughts on capitalism vs. the managed economy crowd. At some point even an idiot realizes that individual freedoms, economic systems and prosperity are interdependent.

    10. Read this for an academic reading group and it was very well received. I liked the parts talking about his thinking and the historical surroundings than the particulars of his relationships, but it was fun to plow through. I have some background material on my blogswrence/economics/2

    11. I started this on the basis of "Creative Destruction" - an interesting biography of an economist in economically interesting times.The book placed the phrase and concept in the context of the man, his experiences and history.

    12. A very good biographer of an incredible man and thinker. My review of this book appeared in The Weekly Standard

    13. One of the most well written books I have read in a while. Fascinating discourse on Schumpeter's thoughts, relevant last century and just as relevant today. I wish some more DC folks would read about him and less about Keynes.

    14. The weaving in of the personal to Schumpeter's intellectual development was fascinating. Great insight on a seminal figure in innovation.

    15. Schumpeter has long been my intellectual hero, so my five stars are hardly impartial. But if you have any interest in economics and innovation and history, this is a must-read. Highly recommended!

    16. The greatest economists that we've never heard of. Schumpeter is seeing an awakening. Too bad Keyes' failed policies were in vogue in 1930-1970.

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