Saturday, February 12, 2011

Book Summary: Tearing Down The Myths of Innovation

Since childhood, we’ve been force fed with false propaganda about creativity and innovation – Edison and his light bulb, Newton and the apple that fell on his head, Archimedes running naked through the streets of ancient Greece shouting Eureka. Now, imagine Pink Floyd playing in the background as Scott Berkun takes a sledgehammer at all that nonsense, starting with the myth of epiphany – the idea that innovation happens out of the blue if you just sit under an apple tree. That’s what The Myths of Innovation is all about.

The best part of the book, however, starts with the epilogue which ends with a brief description of the ‘simple plan’ for innovation – stop thinking/dreaming/reading and start doing something, focus on solving the problem instead of trying to innovate for its own sake, build trust and be willing to stick your neck out for the team, keep the team small, celebrate interesting mistakes and keep going. And then there are the ‘creative thinking hacks’ starting with the mantra that ‘an idea is a combination of other ideas’ and the need to loose inhibitions, find the right environment and stay committed. This is followed up with a crash course on how to pitch your idea. And finally a list of things to help you stay motivated – anger, desperation, pride, death, fun or a crazy friend.

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