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The Myths of Innovation Paperback – August 30, 2010
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About the Author
Scott Berkun was a manager at Microsoft from 1994-2003, on projects including v1-5 (not 6) of Internet Explorer. He is the author of three bestselling books, Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation and Confessions of a Public Speaker. He works full time as a writer and speaker, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes magazine, The Economist, The Washington Post, Wired magazine, National Public Radio and other media. He regularly contributes to Harvard Business and BusinessWeek, has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington, and has appeared as an innovation and management expert on MSNBC and on CNBC. He writes frequently on innovation and creative thinking at his surprisingly popular blog: scottberkun.com and tweets at @berkun.
His ambition in life is to fill the above bookshelf, which is by his writing desk, with books he has written. If he were smarter, he’d have picked a smaller shelf.
He’s based in Seattle, WA, but speaks often all around the world speaking about creativity and other topics he’s written about. If you’d like to hire him to speak at an event, head over here: www.scottberkun.com. You can watch videos of him in action and get in touch.
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Top Customer Reviews
After finishing the book I'm going from 3 to 4 stars. I still think the ideas in this book are vital for any creative person to know. It is worth your money. But it might not be worth your time. Read on.
I came across Scott's work after stumbling over a few articles he wrote while still at MS. They are buried deep in MS website somewhere.
I liked his articles and so decided to buy one of his books.
If there is one thing I've learned by reading The Myths of Innovation, it's that you do the reader a disservice by having too many parenthetical statements and pointless footnotes. Stop interrupting the user's flow! Only interrupt when the information absolutely needs to be said. The things I'm talking about are the injected humor that usually takes way too long to deliver. Scott would be wise to remember: "Brevity is the soul of whit." -Bill Shakespeare. It just draws the reader out too much. Some of his jokes hit home for a small internal chuckle, but for the most part the humor is just way too forced. I assume the attempt was to make the book engaging, but for me it did the opposite effect. I quickly became tired of constantly being drawn out of the flow of the copy. Therefore it took me several months of off again on again reading sessions to finish this book. I loved the ideas being shared, but the delivery was a labor! Just too much being said.
Apply the same concepts of UX to your writing as you would your products. Don't interrupt the flow.
He starts the book with a great story of when he visited Google's head quarters and joined a tour group. He describes the moment when two of his co-tourists whispered to each other pointing over to a group of programmers "I see them talking and typing, but when do they come up with their ideas". This lays the groundwork for the rest of the book. It's a question many people ask of any creative/innovative person. Scott continues to explore our fascination with innovation and our desire to find the hidden secrets. Like all myths, the ones behind innovation are derived from quaint stories from history; Newton's Apple, Archimedes' bath tub.
Each chapter addresses one of the main myths and exposes the real path to innovation:
- the myth of epiphany,
- we understand the history of innovation,
- there is a method for innovation,
- people love new ideas,
- the lone inventor
- and many more.
The book is a fun read, and Scott has a very witty writing style. His stories and personal experiences help to explain some of his counter-intuitive demythologizing. As always the classic sign of a book I love, is that by the end I have many pages highlighted and copious notes written down the margins. Scott's book definitely fell into the category of `stimulating'. Even when I disagreed with him, I agreed with his underlying point.
I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in innovation. If you believe innovation is only open to lone geniuses or you are waiting for the proverbial apple of a good idea to fall on your head, then you NEED to read this book immediately!!
Scott has done a great service by debunking many of cherished myths that hold many people back from innovating. It is ironic that a book that aims to destroy innovation myths actually provides a set of insights that will help anyone come up with ideas (whether they work at Google or not).
Inventor of ThinkCube
This book is a quick read, but it served me well in resetting my mindset around innovation moving forward.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The topic itself is pretty simple and Scott shows all the right things.Read more
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