Brick by Brick. David C. Robertson

Brick by Brick

The world is full of people scrambling frantically to get out of imaginary boxes so that they can pursue the maxim “Think out of the Box.” In studying how LEGO rewrote the rules of innovation and conquered the global toy industry, David C. Robertson shows us how Innovation doesn’t just exist “outside the box.” In this bandwagon-crazy world, we would probably do well to innovate “inside the box” first.

LEGO began in a failed carpenter’s workshop. It began in the land which has given us the Viking, the Butter Cookie and the Great Dane. Many will also know it as the “Ouch! You’re supposed to have put away ALL your toys!!!” brick. David tells the story of initial successes, wild innovations that seemed to propel LEGO to top-of-market, and grim years of near-death of the brand. The book finishes with how LEGO has continued to grow in innovativeness while remaining true to its core values. I hope it is a continuing story, and I don’t think I’m alone hoping it is.

My Thoughts

There was only one recurrent theme that came to my mind – “Keep growing, keep strengthening, keep exploring.” During the Plougmann era, what was pursued was “What kids want.” What seemed right initially turned out to be disastrous for LEGO as a whole. It is so ironic that we are always told to “Give him what he wants. He’ll geek”, isn’t it? No, we should not be giving him what he wants. We should be giving him what he needs. It always pays off in the long run. He’ll find ways to get what he wants anyway, with or without your help. But if you don’t constantly help him to identify his needs, he might never realize what they are!

Conclusion

Very well written, detailed book. Do get your hands, your eyes and your mind on it!

Download the pdf.

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