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Culturematic: How Reality TV, John Cheever, a Pie Lab, Julia Child, Fantasy Football...Will Help You Create and Execute Breakthrough Ideas
Grant McCracken

Retail Price: $28.00
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Format: Hardcover, 000 pp.
ISBN: 9781422143292
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Pub. Date: May 15, 2012

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

A Culturematic is a little machine for making culture. It’s an ingenuity engine.

Once wound up and released, the Culturematic acts as a probe into the often-alien world of contemporary culture, to test the atmosphere, to see what life it can sustain, to see who responds and how. Culturematics start small but can scale up ferociously, bootstrapping themselves as they go.

Because they are so inexpensive, we can afford to fire off a multitude of Culturematics simultaneously. This is evolutionary strategy, iterative innovation, and rapid prototyping all at once. Culturematics are fast, cheap, and out of control. Perhaps as important, they fail early and often. They are the perfect antidote to a world where we cannot guess what’s coming next.

In Culturematic, anthropologist Grant McCracken describes these little machines and helps the reader master them. Examples are drawn from NFL Films, Twitter, the Apple Genius Bar, Starbucks, Ford, SNL Digital Shorts, Restoration Hardware, UNICEF, J. Crew, Pie Lab, USA Network, and the GEICO gecko.

For the traditional producers of culture — the creators of movies, design, advertising, publishing, magazines, newspapers, and corporate R&D — this book will inspire new innovation and creativity.

For the emerging producers of culture — the digital players — this book will serve as a practical handbook. Culturematic: our app for creating the world anew.


"No one views American culture--nor discovers its meaning--in quite the way Grant McCracken does. With his sparkling Culturematic as your guide, go from consuming culture to making it, one small, achievable, and ingenious step at a time."
—B. Joseph Pine II, coauthor, The Experience Economy and Infinite Possibility

"Culturematic pulls back the curtain on the fascinating cultural world that drives brands, corporations, and society. Both a revealer of history and a predictor of the future, Grant McCracken provides tools for innovation and mischief that will help you place yourself and your company on the relevant edge of culture. A guidebook, a tool, and a great read."
—Stanley Hainsworth, Chief Creative Officer, Tether

"Grant McCracken is a cool guy and thinker with consistently cutting-edge insights about the way people are thinking, working, and feeling. McCracken's challenge here, to be a culture-making entrepreneur--'a Culturematic'--resonated strongly with me, as I expect it will for many people and leaders who want to invent their futures by starting small."
—Peter Sims, author, Little Bets; Cofounder and Director, Fuse Corps

"We are leaving behind a marketing age that rewarded safe bets. Culturematic prepares us to listen more and hear the answers in unexpected places."
—John A. Deighton, Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"There's a misconception that innovation lives only in labs populated by white-coat wearing scientists. In his wide-ranging and entertaining book, Grant McCracken shows how that is not true. Culturematic manages to be both an engaging and practical guide to creativity and innovation. A worthwhile read."
—Scott D. Anthony, Managing Director, Innosight Asia-Pacific; author of The Little Black Book of Innovation.

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About the Author

Grant McCracken, an anthropologist, has studied American culture and business for twenty-five years. He is the author of several books, most recently Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation.

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