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Borrowing Brilliance: The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 3, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There really is nothing new under the sun, says entrepreneur Murray. All good ideas are constructed out of already existing ones, and rather than viewing borrowing as theft, we should view it as a necessary—even desirable—path to invention. Charles Darwin did it, as did George Lucas, Steve Jobs, Stephen King and a host of other innovators who knew how to take existing ideas and turn them into new answers to old problems. Murray draws heavily on his own experience and well-known successes—the evolution of the Walkman to the iPod, for example—to drive home his thesis, and even dips into the neurology of idea creation. The somewhat hashed-to-death point takes a more practical turn as Murray explains how the average organization can borrow successfully; his Brilliantly Borrowed Brainstorming system effectively lays out the steps, from identifying a good idea to adapting it to one's own uses. While somewhat repetitive, Murray's prescriptions are lucid and helpful, and this book should garner prime shelf space. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A wonderfully enjoyable tour of the creative process. Murray's lively description of how he used these tools to create his own products is a major plus. People will be stealing from this work for years to come!"
-Roger von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head and The Creative Whack Pack

"We met in strange places: Carlsbad, Lake Tahoe, Milwaukee, Kansas City. And so I spent my years with David Murray, just as zany, articulate, well-read, and completely unpredictable as is his book. Ah, the book: Dave Murray in person is just like his book, only more so. "Break the rules," he said. We broke them. "I'm thinking of writing a book about this," he said." I encouraged him. And here it is, how to be brilliant and innovative. New ideas are always amalgamations of old ones. Borrowed. Murray makes it seem simple, but don't be deceived. Everything he says is true."
--Don Norman, author of Emotional Design

"Everything a business book should be. A great concept brilliantly expressed in an interesting and well-written book."
-Al Ries, author of War in the Boardroom and Positioning

"Borrowing Brilliance is truly creative brilliance! It is simple, easy to's magical. David Murray shared his life's personal stories juxtaposed with his six simple steps to business innovation. His book brings to life these steps through building on the ideas of others. You can borrow and use his six steps and explode with fresh new ideas the day after finishing Borrowing Brilliance."
-Jack Mitchell, CEO Mitchell's / Richard's / Marsh's and Author of Hug Your Customers and Hug Your People


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592404782
  • ASIN: B003A02R4Y
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,455,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By K. Sampanthar on September 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Kord Murray; aerospace engineer, entrepreneur, innovator, fortune 500 executive; has managed to write one of the most personal, practical and insightful books on the innovation process. It is well written and a joy to read.

If you want to learn how to innovate; whether you an aspiring or current entrepreneur, working in a large/small corporation or self employed; whether you are working in the corporate world, or entertainment, media or academia; you will find within these pages a process that will lead to higher quantity and quality of ideas. Murray shares with you not only his personal story that illuminates and illustrates the process of innovation, but also gives you a unrivaled view into the journey of an innovator; a hero's journey. This is not for someone that just wants to manage the innovation process; this is for someone that wants to innovate; individually, as a team or company; someone who wants to generate ideas and implement them.

Detailed Review
I have been researching creativity and innovation for 2 decades and I have read far and wide on the subject and even developed my own innovation system based on my research; this is the first time I have read a book that covers the same breath and depth of my research and that came to the same conclusions. Murray's research and journey is very reminiscent from engineer to entrepreneur to innovator. His reading list (some listed at the back of the book and some that I can tell from his writing) mirrors my own from scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Stark on January 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading "Borrowing Brillance" by David Kord Murray... which I heard about when it was reviewed in BusinessWeek.

The overarching theme behind Murray's book is business ideas and where they come from... with that spot often not being one of "out of the blue" originality. That said, I found the guy himself as being almost as interesting as where the ideas come from.

The Guy

Murray seems quite the interesting fellow given his personal and business highs and lows described in the book. He first worked as a NASA engineer and then became an entrepreneur who was poised to sell his Lake Tahoe based financial company for $50 million, and would up with close to nothing. Through a combination of his past experience, lots of reading and a good contact made, Murray eventually found himself consulting with Intuit on the Turbo Tax direct mail program. This then led to a full time Innovation Exec role at Intuit, and then another entrepreneurial venture and now him writing this book and living back in Lake Tahoe.

Solid stuff and his story seems to be an interesting example of how speed bumps can come and you may not know where you'll wind up, but you just try to keep moving forward.

The Business Ideas

As stated previously, the book works with the concepts of ideas... and how to generate, repurpose and repackage them. Following up on this idea of pattern recognition and meaning making, Murray writes of how as a business society we're now out of the information age and onto the conceptual or innovation age.

The structure of the book is broken into 6 steps:

1. Defining - Define the problem and figure out the right one to work on.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mara Lindstrom on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Borrowing Brilliance is one of the most intelligent, thought-provoking, and inspiring accounts of the creative process that I have ever encountered. For those of you who are active creative thinkers, you must acknowledge that the process/technique of creative thinking and innovation is articulated so well by author David Kord Murray, that he has made it accessible to those who once viewed it impossible or solely, a 'gift'.
An exhaustive amount of research in all disciplines be it psychology, philosophy, science, literature or entertainment, along with the variety of personalities, inventors, scientists, authors, and entrepreneurs cited, sprinkled with the author's own personal story make this a compelling read. Mr. Murray puts it all on the line by exposing both his own failures and triumphs to demonstrate how his technique is applied and works. For those of you who do not think you have what it takes to be a creative thinker, you will learn. For those of you who have your name on copyrights, trademarks, & patents and believe you are the ultimate creative thinker, you will be humbled. This is truly an important book that I highly recommend for the individual and professional alike.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Miller on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bottom line: good book to add to the innovation book library because it integrates borrowed brillance on innovation into an easy-read suitable for the masses. David Murray is a great role model of his teachings. He has borrowed the brillance of Peter Senge, Albert Einstein, existing root cause analysis principles, the creativity techniques of DeBono et al, TRIZ, a number of engineering principles, and much more. If the way he presents it enables more people to benefit from these principles and practices, then that's a good thing. For the well-read and experienced innovator, you'll pick up a few new examples and perhaps some new ways of communicating what you already know.
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