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But The Art of Innovation really teaches indirectly (not to mention enlightens and entertains) by telling great stories--mainly, of how the best ideas for creating or improving products or processes come not from laboriously organized focus groups, but from keen observations of how regular people work and play on a daily basis. On nearly every page, we learn the backstories of some now-well-established consumer goods, from recent inventions like the Palm Pilot and the in-car beverage holder to things we nearly take for granted--like Ivory soap (created when a P&G worker went to lunch without turning off his soap mixer, and returned to discover his batch overwhipped into 99.44 percent buoyancy) and Kleenex, which transcended its original purpose as a cosmetics remover when people started using the soft paper to wipe and blow their noses. Best of all, Kelley opens wide the doors to IDEO's vibrant, sometimes wacky office environment, and takes us on a vivid tour of how staffers tackle a design challenge: they start not with their ideas of what a new product should offer, but with the existing gaps of need, convenience, and pleasure with which people live on a daily basis, and that IDEO should fill. (Hence, a one-piece children's fishing rod that spares fathers the embarrassment of not knowing how to teach their kids to fish, or Crest toothpaste tubes that don't "gunk up" at the mouth.)
Granted, some of their ideas--like the crucial process of "prototyping," or incorporating dummy drafts of the actual product into the planning, to work out bugs as you go--lend themselves more easily to the making of actual things than to the more common organizational challenge of streamlining services or operations. But, if this big book of bright ideas doesn't get you thinking of how to build a better mousetrap for everything from your whole business process to your personal filing system, you probably deserve to be stuck with the mousetrap you already have. --Timothy Murphy
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Great book. Read it back in 2001. Will be recommending to my corporate book club series on "innovation".Published 2 months ago by Karen
I love the ideas that Kelley presents in this book. IDEO's practices sound interesting, fun but also fast paced. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Blair Peterson
Got the book from the Stanford D school book List. Great book for any design minded individual or anyone looking to become so.Published 6 months ago by john
Not just a theoretical view on design but a more pragmatic easily understood approach backed by real world examples of success and failurePublished 7 months ago by Michele Hjorleifsson
Great book! Helps with getting excited about the process of innovation.Published 7 months ago by patrice ludwig
Sometimes best practices, once you learn them, seem like just plain good sense. This book is packed full of those. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Manuel Menezes de Sequeira