- Publisher: O'Reilly Media
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596521847
- ISBN-13: 978-0596521844
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 7.9 x 4.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,310,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Myths of Innovation
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
"Innovation" is a word that gets used so often in marketing hype that it seems to have lost its meaning. Scott Berkun sets out to reclaim the word and offer up a true definition in his book The Myths of Innovation. I found this book so compelling while reading it on my iPad that I ended up figuring out how to do highlighting as there were many points I wanted to remember and ponder.
Table of Contents:
The myth of epiphany; We understand the history of innovation; There is a method for innovation; People love new ideas; The lone inventor; Good ideas are hard to find; Your boss knows more about innovation than you; The best ideas win; Problems and solutions; Innovation is always good; Epilogue - Beyond hype and history; Creating thinking hacks; How to pitch an idea; How to stay motivated; Research and recommendations
One of the reasons this book resonated so deeply with me is due to my view of how people add importance to events that weren't critical at the time. For instance, a particular battle may be touted as the turning point of a war, and a commander's decision a brave and ingenious move. But the battle could have just as well been lost, no one would have written it up, and some other potential outcome would have decided the war. We seem to think that the outcome we received was the only possible course, and that's incorrect. Quoting Berkun: "Yes, when we look at any history timeline, we're encouraged to believe that other outcomes were impossible. Because the events on timelines happened, regardless of how bizarre or unlikely, we view them today as predetermined." I'm glad to see that Myths fights back against this common belief.Read more ›
If that is what you're after, then this book is fine. If you're after something more serious, then I would suggest looking elsewhere.
The author doesn't appear to have done any real research aside from surfing the web and chatting to people in bars. The book reads more like a personal blog of somebody who spends a lot of time reading about innovation. About half of the books "citations" were to web-pages (many of which are now dead links).
Overall this book comes across as an earnest attempt by a "pro-am". I suspect that it would have made for a great blog if the author turned each chapter into a post; but as a book it just feels cheesy and lacking real substance or authority.
I would have given it only one or two stars on the basis of the content, if not for the fact that the light-hearted tone made it enjoyable to read. So, overall, it's "Okay".
And I might add that the colophon alone is worth the price of the book (a sentence that perhaps has never been written).
I wonder how much time and research Berkun did on this book before he came up with the idea of orienting the book around myths? Was that the idea all along? Or did it emerge over time? Because it turns out to be a perfect way of presenting the material. First, everyone loves to feel like they know something that other people don't - the truth behind the myths. This "peeking behind the curtain" approach is a great way to keep the material interesting. Second, innovation is such a complex area that it would be very difficult to write a book about what innovation is -- it's a lot easier to talk about what it isn't. But by providing the boundaries via the myths, it inevitably provides great insight into how innovation really happens. And third, myth debunking seems to fit Berkun's auctorial voice. His casual, conversational tone is not only funny and engaging, but it naturally allows the type of speculation and interpretation that is necessary for the topic. In other words, a textbook-style examination of innovation would be a very poor choice.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Needed to read for school. I thought that it was kind of interesting in how people can use innovative products and services.Published 1 month ago by Artemis
Definitely--one of the best ever books about what Innovation is, how it is that we find it--how we implement it--and how it continues to baffle everyone when trying to teach... Read morePublished 1 month ago by OERA1
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Everyone talks about innovation: From the new smartphone to the latest toilet paper, every brand uses the keyword "innovation" to promote any kind of... Read more
Seems the whole idea could have been expressed in one chapter.Published 7 months ago by Allan Douglas
It’s always a good time to read it if you haven’t already.
The book should be the first book on innovation because it helps you establish the proper attitude toward the... Read more
I envy creative people. I would love to invent something. I can't. This book helped me understand how innovation comes to be. It is a perspective I didn't have. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Gene Christie
Well written, in-depth analysis of various "innovations" that have been recycled for the public's consumption. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Marty Lyons