[The authors] are especially insightful about the catalyzing effects of market-creating, behavior-changing and culture-forming innovation on economic development by providing products and services people didn’t know they needed, thereby converting nonconsumers into consumers ... Skeptics will contend that the stony ground of today’s poorest countries is too barren for growth ... Some of the authors’ examples operate with an explicit social purpose, and plenty do not, but profit is what sustains all of them and makes their societal contributions sustainable. What the author describes and advocates is simply capitalism in action ... Instead of a book of glib answers, they present something much more powerful—a work of creative destruction for today’s failed development-policy paradigm.
The authors thoroughly and accessibly outline the basis for their logic and the potential barriers to innovations in devastated economies, drawing on examples of successful market-creating innovations such as the Ford Model T and the more contemporary example of Tolaram, a Singaporean company that, in order to sell instant noodles in Nigeria, ended up building infrastructure there to support manufacturing and distribution. Not all readers will find the emphasis on economic development over other goods morally appealing, but this book upends the typical ways of thinking and talking about poverty in developing countries.
Their extensive notes may seem a touch daunting, but they lend a case-study aspect to a book that will be valuable to business readers ... Of considerable interest to investors in emerging economies as well as development specialists and policymakers.