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A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business Hardcover – Jun 29 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass (June 29 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470451025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470451021
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #403,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

"Esslinger's work shows that taste can triumph, design andproduction can be soul mates, and the eye of an individual canshape a product and a company." —From the Foreword by MichaelMoritz, partner, Sequoia Capital

For the first time, Hartmut Esslinger, internationally acclaimeddesigner and founder of frog design, inc., reveals the secrets tobetter business through better design. Having spent forty yearshelping build the world's most recognizable brands, Esslinger showshow business leaders and designers can join forces to buildcreative strategies that will ensure a more profitable andsustainable future.

A Fine Line shares the amazing story of Esslinger'stransformation from industrial design wunderkind to a globalinnovation powerhouse, while detailing the very real challengesfacing businesses in the new global economy. Offering companies farmore than a temporary innovation booster, Esslinger shows how heand frog build creative design into the framework of anorganization's competitive strategy, the same approach that hasworked so well for leading edge companies such as Sony, LouisVuitton, Lufthansa, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, SAP, Microsoft, andApple.

Offering a step-by-step overview of the innovationprocess—from targeting goals to shepherding new products andservices to the marketplace—Esslinger reveals how to arrive ata design that reflects an intensely human experience and willconnect strongly with consumers. With Esslinger's uniqueperspective, rich stories, and global mindset, A Fine Line exploresbusiness solutions that are environmentally sustainable andcontribute to the future of a thriving and lasting globaleconomy.

The blending of design and business intelligence holds the keyfor shaping a sustainable competitive advantage in the rapidlyevolving creative economy. A Fine Line equips business leaders withthe necessary tools to thrive in tomorrow's world.

About the Author

Hartmut Esslinger is the founder of frog design, inc., a leading global innovation firm, and one of the most respected designers and business consultants in the world. Esslinger founded frog design in his native Germany and sparked a design revolution. His work has defined the modern consumer aesthetic with such revolutionary products as the Apple Macintosh computer, Sony's Trinitron television, Lufthansa's brand and fleet image, Disney's Cruise Lines and Consumer Electronics, and Louis Vuitton's brand aesthetic. His designs are in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York. He is also Founding Professor of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Germany and Professor for Convergent Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.


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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Throughout the years since 1969 when Hartmut Esslinger founded frog design (one of the world's leading strategic design firms), having learned firsthand how truly great business leaders partner with designers, he has developed "a step-by-step innovation process that leverages the power of that partnership. That process is at the heart of the collaborative model of innovation-driven business design that [he's] outlined in this book."

First, Esslinger examines "the role of design in the rapidly developing creative economy and how savvy business leaders cultivate a culture of innovation within their organizations." Next, Esslinger "walks" his reader through a step-by-step view of the innovation process, "from targeting goals to successfully shepherding innovations to market," and then takes an "in-depth look at the tools of innovation and the sometimes counterintuitive process of following a highly technical path to arrive at an intensely human experience." Then in the book's final chapters, Esslinger takes "a long look" at the future of manufacturing and how business can transform the "cheap, cheaper, toxic" model of production outsourcing "into one of mutually beneficial and economic collaboration."

I wholly agree with Esslinger that creativity is the new major driver and a multi-million dollar segment of the new economic order. Also, that "design is the means by which companies can apply creativity strategically to their business purpose." I also agree that only business strategies based on creativity, insight, and cultural awareness can produce benefits that result in "human- adaptive solutions and not in commodity like products for which nobody is willing to pay full price - especially when the offerings outnumber the buyer...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
MORE BUSINESS THAN DESIGN Aug. 17 2010
By Eduardo Riggen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is more focused on why Frog is so great and how they managed to get some of their accounts. I thought I could get a glimpse of where they got their inspiration and how they turned it into products that sell, but there was none of that. I admire the author's success, and even though he tries to open up and show you how he did it, the book is more about business than design.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Man Behind the Innovation Curtain July 8 2009
By Daniel T. Edmundson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In A Fine Line Hartmut Esslinger gives forward-thinking insight into building a company's creative culture. The book allows you to crawl inside the mind of frog design's founder who held the fate of major brands like Disney and Sony in his hands. It effectively reveals Hartmut's approach to unique business solutions and the influence of design on corporate strategy. What I enjoyed most about the book's revelations, aside from providing key design and innovation wisdom, are the honest and humanistic anecdotes that Hartmut offers about his experiences working with Apple, cultivating a growing design firm, and pushing brands to take risks and move beyond the "norm."

Inspiring to say the least.
22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Not what I expected..... July 27 2009
By Consumer Product Engineer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is not the book I expected from a world class design company. I was looking for detail on their process of innovation and what I found was a soapbox presentation on "Green" design. This was intertwined with hints about companies that didn't use frog's recommendations to their demise. Much of it was a pitch about why you should use frog design and what might happen if you don't.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Blast starts in the middle - I want more March 2 2010
By Umyot Boonmarlart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The first couple of chapters are pretty dry and more about his company history, but after that is full of inspiring thoughts and ideas. You will see the world differently after finish the book. One thing though. Essinger is such a great visionary. There are so many thoughts in this book that scream for more explicit detail discussion.

I hope he has the second book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very good look at a true innovative process March 20 2013
By Bill Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hartmut has one or two "off" chapters, but otherwise this is a genius book showing genuine insight to industry and what it takes to stick out from the crowd. How to attack design instead of being complacent. A very good read.


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