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The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity from Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity from Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay

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“A fresh perspective on business practices or working lives…and a snappy introduction to a new way of thinking” ( Financial Times), The Misfit Economy shows how lessons in innovation, salesmanship, and entrepreneurship can come from surprising places: pirates, bootleggers, counterfeiters, hustlers, and others living on the fringe of society.

Who are the greatest innovators in the world? You’re probably thinking Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford. The usual suspects. Well, The Misfit Economy isn’t about them. It’s about people you’ve never heard of. It’s about people who are just as innovative, entrepreneurial, and visionary as the Jobses, Edisons, and Fords of the world, except they’re not operating out of Silicon Valley. They’re in the street markets of Sao Paulo and Guangzhou, the rubbish dumps of Lagos, the flooded coastal towns of Thailand. They are pirates, slum dwellers, computer hackers, dissidents, and inner city gang members.

Across the globe, diverse innovators are working in the black, grey, and informal economies to develop solutions to myriad challenges. Far from being “deviant entrepreneurs” that pose threats to our social and economic stability, these innovators display remarkable ingenuity, pioneering original methods and best practices that we can learn from and apply to formal markets in urgent need of change.

In their “well-paced read about a unique perspective on supply and demand and those who create it” ( Library Journal), Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips investigate the stories of underground innovation that make up the Misfit Economy. They examine the teeming genius of the underground and ask: Who are these unknown visionaries? How do they work? How do they organize themselves? How do they catalyze and execute upon innovation? And ultimately, how can you take these lessons into your own world? The Misfit Economy tells you how.

Review

“This imaginative, provocative book reveals that if we want to overcome barriers, we can find surprisingly valuable lessons underground. I never expected to learn so much about entrepreneurship and innovation from pirates and gangsters.” -- Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of GIVE AND TAKE

"What do Somali pirates, Amish camel-milkers, and gang leaders have in common? They're all innovative—and successful—misfits in today's global economy. Think you can't learn anything from outlaws and provocateurs? This book will make you think again with engaging stories and insightful analysis of how people operating on the fringes create unique business models, and in the process transform the culture around them." -- Daniel H. Pink, author of TO SELL IS HUMAN and DRIVE

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