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The Innovation Blind Spot

By Ross Baird


The Innovation Blind Spot provides an insider perspective on an emerging revolution in entrepreneurship. The smartest entrepreneurs, investors, and firms will exploit society’s blind spots, finding success in opportunities that are currently being overlooked. This book reveals where these opportunities are and how to pursue them.

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Publication Date: October 2018

ISBN: 9781944648626

Publication Date: September 2017

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“There’s a myth that the innovation economy is a meritocracy, but unfortunately your background and your network still play a huge role in success. Ross makes a compelling case for how we can access the untapped potential in our innovation economy.” —Donna Byrd, founding publisher of The Root and vice president of Digital Media at Univision Communications

“We know a lot about what it takes to generate new ideas—but so little about how to recognize the ones that are worth pursuing. The Innovation Blind Spot is here to change that. It’s a terrific read, with vivid data and memorable examples to help you stop betting on flops and spot the hits hiding right under your nose.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take


Our innovation economy is broken. But there’s good news: The ideas that will solve our problems are hiding in plain sight.

While big companies in the American economy have never been more successful, entrepreneurial activity is near a 30-year low. More businesses are dying than starting every day. Investors continue to dump billions of dollars into photo-sharing apps and food-delivery services, solving problems for only a wealthy sliver of the world’s population, while challenges in health, food security, and education grow more serious.

In The Innovation Blind Spot, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ross Baird argues that the innovations that truly matter don’t see the light of day—for reasons entirely of our own making. A handful of people in a handful of cities are deciding, behind closed doors, which entrepreneurs get a shot to succeed. And most investors are what Baird calls “two-pocket thinkers”—artificially separating their charitable work from their day job of making a profit.

The resulting system creates rising income inequality, stifled entrepreneurial ambition, social distrust, and political uncertainty. Our innovation problem makes all our other problems harder to solve. In this book, Baird demonstrates how and where to find better ideas by lifting up people, places, and industries that are often overlooked. What’s more, Baird ultimately outlines how to create long-term success through “one-pocket thinking”—eliminating the blind spot that separates “what we do for a living” and “what we really care about.”

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About the Author

Ross  Baird

Ross Baird is the founder and CEO of Village Capital, a firm that finds and invests in entrepreneurs solving the most important problems in society. Since founding Village Capital in 2009, Ross has supported hundreds of entrepreneurs in over 50 countries. Ross has spent his entire career on the founding team of start-up enterprises or investing in startups.

In addition to his work with entrepreneurs worldwide, Ross also serves on the faculty of the University of Virginia, where he teaches entrepreneurship and impact investing. He has an MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and Jefferson Scholar.

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Latest Press

CheddarTV — author interview on September 14, 2017

Mike Carruthers Show — author interview on September 12, 2017

Bloomberg Radio — interview on September 21, 2017 @ 2:45 p.m. EST

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Publication Details

Format: Paperback

Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1 in.

Weight: 1 lbs.

Publication Date: October 2018

Format: E-book (epub)

ISBN: 9781944648626

Publication Date: September 2017

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