Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at University of California, Davis
Andrew Hargadon received his B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University, in the mechanical engineering department’s product design program. He received his Ph.D. from the Management Science and Engineering department of Stanford’s School of Engineering, at which time he was named a Boeing Fellow and Sloan Foundation Future Professor of Manufacturing. Prior to his work in academia, he worked in product design at Apple Computer and taught product design at Stanford University. Today, Hargadon is the Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at University of California, Davis and a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. He is founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Energy Efficiency Center at UC Davis, and has written extensively in numerous journals and is the author of How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth about how Companies Innovate.
On the show, Professor Hargadon discussed in detail how his research into famed innovators Henry Ford and Thomas Edison informs not only the work of global consultancy IDEO, but also the innovative work of the most successful entrepreneurs. He spoke on how the greatest and most revolutionary breakthroughs are often, very surprisingly, the result of finding what has worked in other fields and other times, and creatively recombining them and retooling them to a new problem for a unique solution. It is not a flash of genius, but the process of immersion in history and many different cultures that builds the toolkit for the successful innovator to draw upon when confronted with ostensibly intractable problems.