Media praise for The Myths of Innovation

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"…Small, simple, powerful: an innovative book about innovation."
-- Don Norman, Nielsen Norman Group, Northwestern University; author of Emotional Design and Design of Everyday Things

"Ah, the technology history book, normally I'm not a fan. The writing is aloof and dry. The topics are vague, the history misinterpreted, and the lessons presented to vague to be applicable. And don't get me started on the illustrations, which are all too often pyramids with the authors perched at the top looking down on the lowly reader at the base. Thankfully, this book, The Myths of Innovation breaks all of these rules. It's an engaging, fun and quick read. The history is interesting, and the lessons presented are practical. I particularly like the author's tone. It's witty and light, which makes this a very fast read, one that leaves you wanting even more by the end...It's an easy read that is hard to put down. What's more it's really motivating. After reading this book you will want to dig right back into those crazy ideas lurking around in the back of your mind and give them another shot. With this book, you will have a few more tools at your disposal to turn your ideas into reality. "
-- Jack Herrington, Slashdot.org

"The naked truth about innovation is ugly, funny, and eye-opening, but it sure isn’t what most of us have come to believe. With this book, Berkun sets us free to try to change the world unencumbered with misconceptions about how innovation happens. "
-- Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start

"This book cuts through the hype, analyzes what is essential, and more importantly, what is not. You will leave with a thorough understanding of what really drives innovation "
-- Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon.com

"I loved this book. It’s an easy-to-read playbook for anyone wanting to lead and manage positive change in their business. "
-- Frank McDermott, Marketing Manager, EMI Music

"…insightful, inspiring, evocative, and just plain fun to read…it’s totally great."
-- John Seely Brown, former Chief Scientist of Xerox, and Director, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), current Chief of Confusion

"Occasionally I run across a book that puts into words my general and ill-defined feelings on a particular subject. And this is one of them - The Myths Of Innovation by Scott Berkun. He captures perfectly the difference between what we've been led to believe about innovation as opposed to how it actually works. And on top of that, it's a fun read...There's so much in this book to make you rethink and question the stories of innovation that have become part and parcel of our culture and society. But once you do that, then it's possible to truly understand how innovation occurs, and how you can play a part in that. This is a great read that will occupy your mind for quite some time after you turn the final page."
-- Thomas Duff, Duffbert's Random Musings

"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!! "
-- K. Sampanthar, Amazon.com

"This book is excellent - and has provided so much mental relief for me in its reading. So many people I know talk about innovation like its a thing, rather than a series of ideas, experiments and failures that may lead to something great...This is a perfect book for managers all the way up the chain. It documents everything about the creative field that those in it know, and those who manage people in it have been conditioned to forget. If there is one book you pick up this year, pick this one up, read it, give it to your manager, and have him give it to his manager."
-- Ron Bieber, Bieber Labs

"The book’s well-written, and it’s a physical pleasure to read. The book’s small size, pleasant paper, and great photographs all combine for a, uh, innovative experience."
-- Jim Holmes, Frazzled Dad

"Rife with examples from both the internet age and history (but far from dull), The Myths of Innovation shows that a work culture that supports innovation is achievable, if you’re cognizant of what is myth and what is truth. He provides really on-target tips for refining how teams should approach projects that are aiming for something new, something better. You’ll find a much richer appreciation of the concept of innovation, and the sort of eye-opening, inspiring understanding that will help you to persevere. "
-- Tiff Fehr, Digital Web Magazine

"The Myths Of Innovation is book that tries to put into perspective the history of the development of innovation...The Myths Of Innovation is an entertaining book that is easy to read and easy to understand. It makes you think before you assume. Although he debunks and destroys many myths, Berkun actually creates a set of insights that will help you come up with ideas, or at least get you to thinking about them. The book is written for anyone who wants to know how we got where we are, and why things are the way they are. If you want to learn, if you don't want to be hit over the head with statistics, if you are open to alternative points of view, and you have a sense of humor, then The Myths Of Innovation is for you."
-- T. Michael Testi, Blogcritics Magazine

"Scott Berkun has done an excellent job bringing google searches and his own research to print regarding innovation...I dog-eared the heck out of this book even as I experienced the dark angst that seems to be the flavor of this book. Scott shows us who some of the brave souls are who took intellectual and physical risks to improve the world and the near-total rejection initially of their ideas and concepts that eventually did in fact change the world for the better...If you want a thought-provoking experience looking at innovation, philosophy and morality, Scott Berkun has done a pretty good job bringing these related issues to our attention."
-- Robert Pritchett, MacCompanion

"Currently, the word innovation is about as muddied in the business world as intuitive or Web 2.0. In an effort to reclaim the rich and valuable ideas behind the word, author and consultant Scott Berkun exposes our misconceptions about innovation, and clearly shows us how to realign our expectations and assumptions about the concept...At 147 pages across ten clear chapters, the book is a crisp, easy read. Berkun’s introduction asserts that his intent is for The Myths of Innovation to be a reference you can read out-of-order and in fragments. Yet within these pages, you’ll find an extensively researched set of perspectives about innovation, building up to a strong lesson in redefining innovation—all with a sense of humor, too...Rife with examples from both the internet age and history (but far from dull), The Myths of Innovation shows that a work culture that supports innovation is achievable, if you’re cognizant of what is myth and what is truth. He provides really on-target tips for refining how teams should approach projects that are aiming for something new, something better. You’ll find a much richer appreciation of the concept of innovation, and the sort of eye-opening, inspiring understanding that will help you to persevere."
-- Tiff Fehr, Digital Web Magazine

"Business managers will find this an important key to understanding and business libraries will find it a popular contemporary approach and pick."
-- James Cox, The Bookwatch

"The fruits of innovation are often so unexpected and delightful, that it's natural for us to view the process itself as shrouded in magic and mystery. Still more, we readily accept that innovators and inventors are strange beings, blessed with obscure gifts that the rest of mere humanity cannot hope to comprehend. And so, before we know it, we succumb to the full range of myths of innovation that Scott Berkun seeks to dispel in this compact little book...Though the book includes numerous references and a bibliography, this is not at all an academic treatise. However, it's an entertaining and thought-provoking read, ideal for that plane journey, stop-over or a just as a quick holiday read."
-- reviewer, London Book Review

"One by one, Berkun unravels and explains the complex cultural and political forces and history behind innovations from the wheel to the internet with humor, realism and insight...The Myths of Innovation is a must-read for creative types searching for their muse—and anyone who want to understand more about the world we live in."
-- Gina Trapani, LifeHacker

"I enjoyed reading this book. It gives a lot of insight into how some of the worlds best minds came up with their ideas for innovative products. The tone is light yet informative. This book definitely gave me something to think about in terms of how ideas come about and different ways to think about problems."
-- Thomas Ufer, Amazon.com

"Like many people, I harbored the notion of the "Eureka" moment, a high-intensity experience that will lead to a world-changing invention and that will make me wealthy as a by-product. Berkun dispels this notion quickly, in the very first chapter, as he points to innovator after innovator who spent many years working to come up with the great idea, and many ore years developing that idea into a successful product...If you ever had what you thought was a great idea, or work at a company that considers itself to be in the business of innovation, you owe it to yourself to read this book. It is an easy and pleasant read, and it might be just the thing you need to innovate and follow through on your inspiration-or perhaps just decide that you need to work someplace else."
-- Rik Farrow, ;LOGIN:

"I started The Myths of Innovation in a positive frame of mind, generated by my interest in the topic (and the excitement of seeing my photos in print). I ended the book similarly enthusiastic. While it isn’t a long read (I started in Cambridge and finished before I touched down in Los Angeles), good books don’t need a lot of words to make their point. Scott Berkun clearly presents his arguments, demolishing many of the misconception about innovation. For those of us running businesses or developing new products, it’s a must-read."
-- James Robertson, boxes & arrows

"Scott Berkun's The Myths of Innovation is the new kid on the block in a long, long list of books about when, where and how innovations happen. It's a compact, engaging and eye-opening look at what's true and what's not about big ideas from the invention of fire to the invention of the PC. And it's a fun read."
-- Knowledge @ W.P. Carey, Arizona State University

"If you're looking for a thought-provoking, concise guide to modern innovation, I would suggest checking out Scott Berkun's The Myths of Innovation."
-- "Scott Berkun--The Myths of Innovation", Endless Innovation

"That said, The Myths of Innovation makes for an easily readable history and explanation for the origins of human invention. By taking a restrictive rather than prescriptive path, Berkun provides useful guidelines that may just allow the next Humphry Davy to be as well-remembered (and wealthy) as a shrewd marketer like Edison."
-- Robert Blinn, core77

"Innovation is unpredictable. Berkun suggests ways that it might be cultivated. One should strive to define a problem precisely. Perhaps advantage is that no one else sees it as a problem or where it is believed that a solution exists for the problem. Then, try to tackle it. How some inventors got their ideas? As Berkun puts it, sometimes, clarifying a problem starts you on the road to innovation."
-- Kalyan, As Life Goes Digital

"What the book isn't is a tutorial or magic bullet that will help you unleash a torrent of brilliant ideas. Instead, the author takes us on a fascinating journey through history providing background, stories and advice on what not to do and which supposedly tried and tested methodologies are in fact nothing of the sort...The book lives up to its title. It does a neat and surprisingly entertaining job of debunking almost everything you ever believed or hoped was true of innovation and the processes behind it. It will leave you hungry to explore new ways of trying to discover and created armed with the new insights it provides."
-- Iain Laskey, PC Book Review

"Berkun's book is great for exploring all angles, including the pitfalls, of innovation."
-- Jerry Singleton, Edmunton Linux User Group

"Epiphany has little to do with either creativity or innovation. Instead, innovation is a slow process of accretion, building small insight upon interesting fact upon tried-and-true process. Just as an oyster wraps layer upon layer of nacre atop an offending piece of sand, ultimately yielding a pearl, innovation percolates within hard work over time. “The most useful way to think of epiphany is as an occasional bonus of working on tough problems,” explains Scott Berkun in his 2007 book, The Myths of Innovation. “Most innovations come without epiphanies, and when powerful moments do happen, little knowledge is granted for how to find the next one. To focus on the magic moments is to miss the point. The goal isn’t the magic moment: it’s the end result of a useful innovation.”"
-- Janet Rae-Dupree, Bright Ideas: The New York Times

"This is a quick read, in part because it is not very long, and in part because it is never boring. I think I would describe this as a "technology self-help" book. On the most obvious level, it serves as inspiration to everyone who works in information technology -- and not just the engineers and the rock-star CEOs. On a deeper level, The Myths of Innovation can affect the work habits and thinking patterns of literally anyone. At some time or another, we've all said, "There must be an easier way to do this!" The Myths of Innovation arms you with all of the necessary tools to make that sentiment into a starting point for invention...I definitely recommend The Myths of Innovation, not just to IT workers or inventors, but to anyone who wants to succeed through innovation. "
-- Jem Matzan, The Jem Report

"Berkun’s debunking of the myths of innovation provides us with fascinating lessons in how innovation actually happens. In addition to 10 readable chapters, Berkun provides a useful, although highly selective, annotated bibliography, as well as a list of references."
-- Jeanne Dorle, Citizen Times

"Some days, when I've had too much coffee with my cream and sugar, I'm ready to explode with a burst of new ideas, creative thinking, and brilliant innovations. This book brings me back to the reality zone, and firmly reminds me to take the next practical steps to develop that idea into a successful product. "
-- Douglas Vos, Vos Virtual Network



"It's an engaging, fun and quick read. The history is interesting, and the lessons presented are practical. I particularly like the author's tone. It's witty and light, which makes this a very fast read, one that leaves you wanting even more by the end..."
--Jack Herrington, Slashdot.org