How do you know whether a hot technology will succeed or fail? Or where the next big idea will come from? The best answers come not from the popular myths we tell about innovation, but instead from time-tested truths that explain how we've made it this far. This book shows the way. In The Myths of Innovation, bestselling author Scott Berkun takes a careful look at innovation history, including the software and Internet Age, to reveal how ideas truly become successful innovations-truths that people can apply to today's challenges. Using dozens of examples from the history of technology, business, and the arts, you'll learn how to convert the knowledge you have into ideas that can change the world.
Why all innovation is a collaborative process
How innovation depends on persuasion
Why problems are more important than solutions
How the good innovation is the enemy of the great
Why the biggest challenge is knowing when it's good enough
"For centuries before Google, MIT, and IDEO, modern hotbeds of innovation, we struggled to explain any kind of creation, from the universe itself to the multitudes of ideas around us. While we can make atomic bombs, and dry-clean silk ties, we still don't have satisfying answers for simple questions like: Where do songs come from? Are there an infinite variety of possible kinds of cheese? How did Shakespeare and Stephen King invent so much, while we're satisfied watching sitcom reruns? Our popular answers have been unconvincing, enabling misleading, fantasy-laden myths to grow strong." -- Scott Berkun, from the text.
"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
"Small, simple, powerful: an innovative book about innovation."
-- Don Norman, Nielsen Norman Group, Northwestern University; author of Emotional Design and Design of Everyday Things
"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
"Brimming with insights and historical examples, Berkun's book not only debunks widely held myths about innovation but also points the ways toward making your new ideas stick. Even in today's ultra-busy commercial world, reading this book will be time well spent."
-- Tom Kelley, GM, IDEO; author of The Ten Faces of Innovation
"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
Scott Berkun knows innovation. A member of the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft from 1994-1999, he is a full-time author at www.scottberkun.com and wrote the 2005 bestseller, The Art of Project Management (O'Reilly). He also teaches creative thinking at the University of Washington.
Table of contents
The Myths of Innovation
- Photo credits
- 1. The myth of epiphany
- 2. We understand the history of innovation
- 3. There is a method for innovation
- 4. People love new ideas
- 5. The lone inventor
- 6. Good ideas are hard to find
- 7. Your boss knows more about innovation than you
- 8. The best ideas win
- 9. Problems and solutions
- 10. Innovation is always good
- A. Research and recommendations
- About the Author
- Title: The Myths of Innovation
- Release date: May 2007
- Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
- ISBN: 9780596527051
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