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Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution by Chris Trimble, Vijay Govindarajan

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Chapter Seven

HOW BEING BOLD,COMPETITIVE, OR DEMANDINGCAN INHIBIT LEARNING

IN 1951, after nearly thirty years as a manufacturer of a variety of small products in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Hasbro unexpectedly struck gold. A toy inventor sold Hasbro a quirky idea for $500 and a 5 percent royalty. Mr. Potato Head was nothing more than a set of plastic noses, ears, eyes, moustaches, glasses, hats, and so on that children could use to decorate potatoes or other foods. (Later, after parents complained of finding rotten vegetables behind their sofas, a plastic spud was included in the package.) No one could put their finger on the appeal of this product, but it was a runaway hit. Hasbro’s future was in toys.1

By the mid-1990s, Hasbro was headed by ...

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