Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

Reviewed on , book by David C. Robertson

LEGO’s headquarters is in Billund, Denmark, a small town of ~6,000 described after WW2 as: “a God-forsaken railway stopping point where nothing could possibly thrive.” The closest ‘city’ of 300,000 is an hour away. Copenhagen around three. The description is not too far from reality today of common Danish perception.. spoken as someone who’s been to the airport in the town more times than I can count (closest to my family). LEGO is great story of a company in an odd location that’ll likely see 100-years and has stayed on top of its game for about that long. This book’s primarily about the early 2000s where the company was seriously in the red after year’s of attempting to innovate too broadly, too fast. The company managed to rise from almost ashes, pushing out Mindstorm, and other toys that saved them in the 21st. It’s a good business tale about how to re-foster collective innovation, and how not to. Especially in the context of a company that’d been around for decades and decades, needing to occasionally kill old values, or revitalize them! The writing is not superb, and you’re going to find yourself skimming through some chapters to not get bored—but some chapters are great. I enjoyed it.