Eric Lefkofsky: The Start-Up King

He’s founded five incredibly successful start-up companies worth well over one billion American dollars, the most recent of which provides personalized cancer care through an interactive operating system that utilizes sophisticated machine learning techniques. He himself has a net worth of 1.7 billion dollars, and joined the Giving Pledge – in effect vowing to give more than half of his wealth to charitable pursuits during his lifetime. This tech industry darling and well-known philanthropist is Eric Lefkofsky, and his book Accelerated Disruption: Understanding the True Speed of Innovation could be considered yet another act of generosity, as it outlines the conceptual framework he credits for his own enormous success.

Lefkofsky is a fairly young billionaire, but he has accomplished more in his forty-seven years than most could in several lifetimes. Through many successful incorporations of new technologies into his various start-up companies – which have included Groupon, Uptake Technologies, and Tempus, among others – the Chicagoan has made his name synonymous with the concept of disruptive innovation. Disruptive innovation refers to the displacement of traditional business models by cutting-edge technological advancements, and Lefkofsky holds this ‘disrupt and defeat’ characterization of the business world close to his heart, as demonstrated in Accelerated Disruption.

The book builds upon the belief that the breakneck speed of technological innovation is uncontrollable, and therefore businesses should not only resign themselves to tech advancement but embrace and profit from it. Of course, this is much easier said than done – but Lefkofsky’s impressively successful track record lends great credence to his description of a wise “game plan” for entrepreneurs looking to get in on disruptive innovation. The book engages with various critical startup concepts, such as how to discern a smart change from an unnecessary one and how to remain financially stable during times of adjustment.

In Accelerated Disruption, Lefkofsky paints the modern business landscape and convincingly argues that technological growth is an inextricable feature. Lefkofsky’s sage, tried-and-true advice about how to harness innovation and, in simple terms, recognize a good idea when you see one, deals with nothing less than industry disruption.

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