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Showing 1-10 of 23 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 29 reviews
on November 8, 2013
Not only is this a well-written, highly readable introduction to the wealth of innovations found in nature that would benefit our world, it's also one of the best overviews of the challenges of change dynamics within established industries. The sweep of the potential that understanding and application of the natural world's designs and approaches has for improving the effectiveness of many of our commercial/industrial designs and tools is astounding. How innovations are accepted and incorporated, however, is a long and winding road. Any and all aspiring entrepreneurs in the industrial space should read this, especially the last section of the book. Harman has captured the experience of entrepreneurs, whether they go the "self-financing/grants/angel" route, or venture capitalists. The writing style is unpretentious, clear, engaging, and any reader will gather take-aways of real significance.
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on January 7, 2014
The Shark’s Paintbrush is an excellent read that intersperses insights from the world of design inspired by nature with stories of the natural world drawn from the authors personal experience. I found this personalization provided terrific context for why he is so passionate about biomimicry and bio-inspired design, bringing the ideas contained in it to life, as well as making the book particularly readable.

The book kicks off with a pretty comprehensive tour of what can be achieved from a biomimetic approach to problem solving, drawing on both 'classic' examples of biomimicry as well as sharing cutting edge examples that were completely new, to me at least. The section on fluid dynamics, and how nano and micro vortices can create quite surprising efficiencies in fluid and air flow was particularly fascinating, and started to finally hint at why a bumble can fly, when I believe classic calculations suggest that it is an aerodynamic impossibility. Sometimes evolution is so efficient that it designs executions that far outstrip even our most sophisticated models.

The next part of the book focuses more on the challenges facing entrepreneurs and biomimicists wanting to translate their ideas and prototypes to market. While not applicable to me personally, I found this a fascinating ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ exercise. The later chapters explore how the study of nature can help us to understand systems and processes, and how natures inherent efficiency can act as a model for sustainable innovation. Its hard to overstate how important a concept that is.

All in all an informative, engaging and inspiring book that nicely melds an extremely important and useful topic with the experiences of an interesting individual
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on October 10, 2014
Quite disappointing. I bought this book after waiting through pre-production for it to be availabel for the kindle. The book is more (i.e. mostly) about the authors struggles in the world of Venture Capitalism to get his Biomimicry business going (interesting but not what i wanted/expected). Far to much me me me for my liking, I was hoping for a book about biomimicry, not a book about how to start a biomimicry business using VC. Judging by the amount of time he spends referencing Janine Benyus' book, I am guessing that will have a lot more relevant material. if you're looking for a book that has a basic introduction to the precepts of biomimicry this is just ok, but if you want pure detail about biomimicry, then Benyrus would be far more useful.
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on February 25, 2014
The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation by Jay Harmon
This book is about the business opportunities in transfering inventions from the natural world to the manufacturing world. The majority of the book details brilliant inventions based on things evolved by nature. But hanging over every cool invention is the failure to implement it in a profitable way with wide distribution.

When you read about these inventions you will want to buy them, you'll wish they existed because of the good they could do the planet in terms of energy savings, efficiency, and simplicity. Then you'll get really fed up of hearing how venture capitalists and greedy conventional industrialists scuppered these brilliant inventions and inspiring young companies. Getting a paradigm shift past the guardians of the status quo is clearly super difficult. Just because you have a superior product doesn't mean you win market share. From a quiet, low energy, super efficient bathroom extractor fan to an organic shaped watercraft these products sound so wonderful.
Sadly this is not the first time a brilliant inventor has suffered at the hands of investors, his scientific peers, and the world of manufacturing: Viktor Schauberger went through all this at the beginning of the twentieth century as detailed in the book Hidden Nature: The Startling Insights of Viktor Schauberger by Bartholomew and Bellamy.
So I recommend The Sharks Paintbrush as a fascinating read.
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on September 23, 2016
Great book! What a fun and informative read. Jay is one of the very few people who have actually applied the principles of Biomimicry to create a successful product. Not only that, but he has taken the time to share his lessons on getting there! It's an enjoyable read on many levels. First, he takes us on an engaging adventure into Australian nature--a youth spent observing the way things REALLY work, after millions (and billions) of years of evolution. You get to go behind the scenes--how nature helped him make it through a difficult childhood, and how he became inspired by what he saw, enough to design something that could make the world a better place for every species on Earth. His stories are funny and engaging. Then, Jay shows us just how hard––and frustrating––it is to go from a great idea to a successful product. If you want to know what mistakes to avoid, this is the book! Jay is a fighter, and always retains his wit and humor. Great read, and highly recommended!
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on March 2, 2014
This book is an inspiration; there are designers, inventors and companies that are studying nature's models and making products based on what they see. Examples of biomimicry that are working and first hand experiences of business are interspersed with Mr. Harman's stories of his work as a naturalist. His stories are engaging, sometimes humorous but always the love of the natural world shines through. And the reader is made aware that biomimicry is the way of the future, that it makes sense, that nature is the most sustainable model. A delightful, informative, inspiring book for designers and anyone interested in the objects and processes we live with.
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on January 31, 2017
An inspiring introduction to Biomimicry. Definitely recommended to grasp the main topics concerning BIomimicry and sustainable solutions for the modern industry.
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on January 31, 2014
A thorough journey through the world of biomimicry. I enjoyed the myriad examples of applying nature's best solutions to today's problems. The last chunk of the book, now to run your own business, drags on and feels a bit misplaced. Overall it's a sharp and insightful book that I certainly am glad to have read.
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on May 27, 2014
Biomimicry is an exciting "new" field of science. The author details how we can learn how to solve energy and health issues by observing how nature does. Author Jay Harmon intersperses a fairly technical read with lively stories from his own experiences.
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on November 1, 2016
Provides a variety examples of biomimicry and how to apply to the industrial world to increase efficiency and preserve the planet. Must read!
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