This is an article review on The Bakeoff by Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker article titled, “The Bakeoff: Competing to create the ultimate cookie,” follows the work of Steve Gundrum who runs Mattson.
Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker article titled, “The Bakeoff: Competing to create the ultimate cookie,” follows the work of Steve Gundrum who runs Mattson. Gadwall tells how Mattson, a foremost Bay Area-based food R&D firm, arrangeed a high-tech three-team cookie contest, using ideology of product development borrowed from the software industry.
The cookie challenge For Steve Gundrum, was also a learning experiment in how people innovate and resolve problems. But the message learned had more to do with a surprising factor: metaphor. Gladwell investigates the idea that innovation is connected to metaphor-making, that the tastiest cookie or the most attractive killer application comes from a new mixture of cross-disciplinary ideas. Using a awareness with software development as a starting point, there were three teams.
The first team: Modeled after extreme programming, and Kent Beck’s collaborative vision of programmers working in pairs. Two food scientists work side by side, systematically, to develop a caramel chocolate oatmeal cookie.
The second team: Organized in conformist top-down fashion, with Barb Stuckey, an energetic, expressive and attractive young manager in charge. For their strawberry cobbler cookie creation, they use the “Hidden Valley Ranch dressing” lesson .
The third team: Patterned on open source software development and Linux,. Mattson collected 15 stellar food experts for a decentralized dream team. But, big individual egos work against harmony and teamwork. no one feels pride of ownership for the oatmeal caramel cookie they release.
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