The author proposes that "the solution to our economic and social challenges is […] One word: innovation."
He further proposes that we, as a country, out-innovate the other countries so we can produce and sell better products to them.
That's a very narrow-minded view of creativity. In fact, this is what's been done throughout history. Globalization, industrialization, colonization, ... were always based on exchanging 'better' products in return for resources and driving other countries into debt.
Not surprisingly, one of the first examples of innovators interviews in the book is about a student who created a sort of mowing machine attached to a bicycle and then, wait for it, started a company in Tanzania to sell to rural populations and even provided them with credit options.
Hey, selling shovels to rural workers so they can work for you and also pay interest! This is not innovation. This is has been done to death.
Here is a final quote:
"We have to become the country that produces more ideas to solve more different kinds of problems. We have to become the country that leads the way in developing the new technologies for a sustainable planet and affordable health care. We have to become the country that creates the new and better products, processes, and services that other countries want and need. We can no longer create wealth by outmanufacturing or outconsuming the rest of the world. We must outinnovate our economic competitors."
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