By @SimonCocking

The Frugal Innovator by Charles Leadbeater, published 2014. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration over Christmas then this was another good book to read. It’s a good reminder of the value of creativity and hard work to help growing your business. It’s generally the case that your competitors may be better funded, have more financial backers, and, initially at least, are better known than you are. However if you keep at it, then your persistence in the face of adversity actually helps to battle harden you and make you a leaner, smarter, more nimble against your rivals.

This book emphasises the need to re-think innovation, with a need for new tech and new thinking.

p49 “Innovation in the 21st century needs to be led by an ethic of elegant, effective frugality”

There are some good examples from India, Brasil and Africa. He refers to the concept of Jugaad innovation, the idea of re-framing adversity as opportunity. You can download the first chapter of it for free here.



In many ways this book, published in 2014 feels like a successor to EF Schumacher’s Small is beautiful, first published in 1973 ( free pdf here), which he cites as “a manifesto for frugal innovation”.

download (1)

There are a lot of good examples of good simple innovative ideas, all of which will hopefully help give inspiration for all.

It is a good book, though with some of the anecdotes you wanted him to go into more detail. Without this greater detail it felt more like the anecdotes were drawn from research rather having actually meet with and interviewed some of the people mentioned – who seemed really interesting, so it would have been great to have elaborated on them a little more.

See more here to buy the book, and see him speaking below, including talking about the value of libraries for a source of free inspiration, ideas and access to opportunities.



See more on his website here.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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