A field guide for naviating authentic demand

Unleash innovation &

Uncover Authentic Demand.

Innovation succeeds when the innovator’s “deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger.” For the first time, The Heart of Innovation unpacks the hidden challenges facing innovators as they try to uncover authentic demand – the foundation of every successful business.

With fresh case studies ranging from IBM’s entry to the Web to a single mother facing domestic violence in a slum in Kenya, this book offers a unique and proven path to enabling readers to think more clearly about innovation and become deliberate innovators.

Praise for The Heart of Innovation

"This book will help you unlock your blockers and inspire you to look meaningfully at how changing behavior creates results.  Actionable and relatable, a worthwhile read."

Elizabeth Cutler

Cofounder, SoulCycle and Peoplehood

James Altucher

Author Choose Yourself and The Big Book of Crypto

“Heart of Innovation blew my mind. I''ve been involved with 100s of startups. I wish someone had traveled back in time and given me this book before my first startup. It would've saved me a lot of grief and heartache."

“If you can't do what I did and learn deliberate innovation directly from Matt and Merrick, this is the book you need."

Joy Buolamwini

The Algorithmic Justice League

Virginia Weil

President of global innovation and product development, Ipsos

“An insightful and thought-provoking book that highlights the importance of creating, free from internal biases, products and services that solve a problem or tension in consumer's lives."

“The Heart of Innovation” will find a place on the bookshelves of entrepreneurs everywhere who compulsively read books on innovation, hoping to learn how dressing right, shooting for the stars, and being persistent when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles will lead them to stumble into founding the next Google.  It’s a book filled with good advice and compelling stories that may accidentally help hard-to-launch start-ups get unstuck.

But that’s not the goal of this entirely unique book on how to snap out of the “waking dream” of biases and behaviors that come pre-packaged in human psychology, ready to sabotage creative acts and innovation in all aspects of life.  This book will attract those who would never buy a business book about start-ups.  Most people, in other words.  It is a book about the difference between accidental success and deliberate success.  Its primary message rings as true for students, scientists, educators, and professionals from all walks of life as it does those steeped in the start-up culture of  Silicon Valley because it is grounded in the science of Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and his extensive network of collaborators who established the fields of social psychology, behavioral economics, and decision-making forty years ago.  It is the science and practice of identifying and measuring authentic demand--that is, demand that, once recognized, cannot not be satisfied.

The curious logic of “not not” that occupies much of this engaging text is just one of the narratives that makes this book hard to put down.  The authors masterfully weave these themes into the compelling story of the difference between accidental and deliberate innovation. In their world, accidental success is sheer luck, but deliberate innovation requires study, preparation, and repetition.  It might be hard to square that mindset with the quick-hit culture of tech startups, but it is sure to appeal to most others who--seeking to unlock their full creative potential—are willing to be deliberate in achieving success in today's rapidly-changing world.  A collaboration between celebrated academics, seasoned industrial innovators, and high-risk investors, The Heart of Innovation will become an indispensable guide to unlocking the power of creativity.

Rich DeMillo

Former CTO, Hewlett Packard, CEO Telcordia, Bellcore, Dean, Georgia Tech College of Computing

About The Authors

Matt Chanoff

Investor, Seasoned Economist, Cofounder of Flashpoint Management Company

Matt Chanoff is San Francisco-based angel investor who has worked with more than 30 early stage companies, helping them to design business models and strategies and develop marketing and implementation strategies. He has drafted more than 40 business plans, which have been used to raise at least $20 million in early-stage investment and over $50 million in Series C and mezzanine investment. He is an early investor in Florence Healthcare, RoadSync, Damballa, CodeGuard, Ionic Security, Parmonic, and SmartPM, among others.

Chanoff is the comanager of Profounder LCC, a seed stage investment fund established in 2008. He is a co-founder of Damballa and Pramana, two early-stage Internet security-related companies. With Merrick Furst, in 2011, Chanoff cofounded the startup studio Flashpoint, a first-of-its-kind deliberate innovation studio, to develop formative leaders and exceptional technology startups. Flashpoint was the thirty-sixth startup accelerator worldwide, very early in the development of business accelerators. He has served on the boards of early-stage logistics and cybersecurity companies, and he currently sits on eight non-profit boards in the areas of poverty, media, and education.

Prior to his investment career, Chanoff served as Chief Economist for Technology Forecasters Inc., designing and implementing broad-scale market assessments and market-entry strategies in the U.S, China, and Southeast Asia for Fortune 500 companies in several industries, including electronics manufacturing and components, high-tech materials, software, investment, and professional services.

Chanoff holds a Master of Arts degree in International Economics and Politics from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

Merrick Furst

Ph.D., Georgia Tech Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Deliberate Innovation and Founder of Flashpoint

Merrick Furst, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor and the Director of the Center for Deliberate Innovation (CDI) at Georgia Tech. In 2011, he founded Flashpoint, a first-of-its-kind deliberate innovation studio, to develop formative leaders and exceptional technology startups. Flashpoint was the thirty-sixth startup accelerator worldwide, very early in the development of business accelerators. Both at Flashpoint and at CDI, Furst works with hundreds of founders and innovators and is developing the discipline of Deliberate Innovation. To date, Furst has personally started eight start-ups.

Furst has been teaching entrepreneurship in an innovative form since 2006. He was a professor and the President of the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley, and previously, was a professor and Associate Dean in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Furst is known for seminal research in algorithms, complexity theory, and AI. He co-invented probabilistic circuit analysis and planning graphs, which are considered among the most influential breakthroughs in the field of AI planning.

Daniel Sabbah

Ph.D., Former CTO and General Manager, Next Generation Platform at IBM

Danny Sabbah, Ph.D. has more than 40 years of experience as a software professional with experience in software research and software development. He has managed organizations ranging from 5 to 25,000 to deliver products or set research directions. He currently consults with IBM Research, Private Equity and Venture firms. He is a Senior Advisor for Bridge Growth LLC and sat on the board of directors for Finalsite LLC. Sabbah is a member of the Arts, Sciences, and Engineering National Council and the Hajim Dean’s Advisory Committee at the University of Rochester.

Previously, Sabbah was the CTO and General Manager, Next Generation Platform, at IBM until his retirement at the end of 2015. His career at IBM spanned 40 years as a researcher, software developer, and eventually as a CTO and GM of various divisions in IBM’s software group. He was responsible for creating IBM’s cloud platform. His innovative leadership helped pioneer IBM into open source in the late 90’s and early 2000s, well before it was commercially popular. He was also instrumental in IBM’s successful drive into internet software (WebSphere).

Sabbah received his MA and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Rochester in 1981, where he specialized in artificial intelligence and computer vision. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University in 2019. He also received an Executive Education Business Degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Wegman

Ph.D., IBM, ACM, and IEEE fellow, member of the National Academy of Engineering, and Distinguished Alumnus from UC Berkeley

Mark Wegman, Ph.D., is known for his contributions to algorithms and compiler optimization. Pretty much every commercial quality optimizing compiler is based on his inventions. Every GIF format image on the internet depends on ideas he’s patented.

As he worked on IBM’s 10-year outlook on technology in the IT industry, he realized that, strangely enough, progress in technology driven by yet to be discovered inventions is relatively easy to do and often less important than the disruptions caused by a realization that technology could be applied to a need no one else has realized needed to be satisfied. That’s what attracted him to this work and to understand how to recognize authentic demand.

Wegman has published and patented more than 100 works, with more than 18,000 citations, primarily in algorithms, information theory and software engineering.

He was a member of the board of directors for Biospecific Technologies, where he helped grow its value twentyfold before it was sold.

"Provides unique insight into the process of innovation and the difference between "innovation" and 'invention'. The authors give a new way to think about successful products and services as well as strategies for disrupting the status quo. More than just a book for businessmen and entrepreneurs, it is a compelling narrative with lessons for anyone who wants to create change."

Richard Rashid, founder, Microsoft Research

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