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Get Inspired

Usher in a new year and new ideas with these stimulating reads.

  • The first time he rode in a plane, Bill Strickland decided to become an airline pilot--and did. Because the love of making pots rescued him from a drifting, impoverished childhood, he decided to start a ceramics center that would do the same for other Pittsburgh kids--and did. Neither achievement could have been easy, but in Make the Impossible Possible(Currency/Doubleday, $23.95), this MacArthur genius award-winner boils his extraordinary life of accomplishment down to a fairly straightforward combination of passion, purpose and persistence. Few entrepreneurs will fail to be inspired by the spirit he exemplifies.
  • In Something Really New (Amacom, $21.95), corporate product development executive Denis J. Hauptly tells how to devise successful products and services by systematically identifying tasks that customers are trying to perform, removing steps and helping users move quickly and easily through the remaining steps. This practical approach identifies likely obstacles to innovation and offers proven tricks to overcome them.

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This article was originally published in the January 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Get Inspired.

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