Customer Review

110 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait to Innovate!, April 17, 2009
This review is from: What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World (Hardcover)
Reorient your brain and body to creativity and innovation!
This book will make you want to become an innovator so bad.

I'm a 20-year-old Stanford sophomore who learned what Tina wished she had known when she was 20.

As a freshman, I took her class "Creativity & Innovation," mainly offered for graduate students. When, on the first day, Tina said "Creativity can be learned," I was skeptical. I simply thought her class would be no different from typical college classes with competitive individuals, problem sets, and grade curves.

The class was given the first assignment to come up with the best and the worst business ideas. My teammates and I were enthusiastic about developing fantastic ideas and scribbled total nonsense for the bad ideas when the time was running out.

I was baffled, however, when Tina ripped up all sheets of paper with the good ideas and gave us the bad idea submitted by another team. The idea was "selling used hypodermic needles." We laughed out loud at how terrible it was until three seconds later when we all turned silent and questioned, "Wait, is this really the worst idea?" We ended up coming up with a really clever plan that involved selling used needles to doctors who need small tissue and blood samples for their experiments. We even felt as if we could start selling used needles right away! Besides learning that it is always worthwhile to question our assumptions, my classmates and I were no longer competitors but awesome business partners!

Tina taught us that there are no bad ideas and how to redefine problems in different ways. In following assignments we got to redesign the cover for a large national magazine (and they even used our idea!); I got to try on a 3-carat diamond ring in a private salon at Tiffany's as part of a study on consumer experiences; and we set up the entire frozen yogurt shop into the classroom as part a class project on innovative companies.

Unlike other books of the sort, Tina's book avoids ambiguous principles embellished with fancy words but rather suggests ready-to-go strategies that you can implement in your daily life right away. Furthermore, she gives you good examples, that stimulate you and give you the nerve for action. You will end up being an active "doer" after reading this book. (For instance, I employed her methods to reinvent my messy closet!)

I'm truly happy that now the whole world can share her insights on creativity and innovation. Her book is a "crash" course, yet a very thorough, inspirational guide on how to change yourself and the world! I hope you all share the special excitement that I had while learning from her. Although I love the title, as you read this book you will see that it is never too late and there's no time to hesitate to become innovative.
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Location: Stanford, CA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 15,842,981