Interviews. Over the course of two years, I interviewed more than 100 people, ranging from phone/email conversations to serendipitous airplane and bus chitchat, and all the way to conference room debates and multi-hour beer-enhanced discussions. These conversations were a primary source of inspiration for sorting out which myths to cover and the most useful angle of exploration for each one. Interviews are the only way to access true stories of innovation too graphic, embarrassing, absurd, or criminal to ever find their way on the record.
Lectures and discussion. Some of the book's themes were presented in lectures at Google, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Adaptive Path MX, Seattle Mindcamp, O'Reilly's FOO camp and Ignite, University of Washington, and MIT. I'm grateful for all those who asked questions, pointed out mistakes, and laughed at my jokes.
Web site. As an experiment, I used my web site to raise questions, ask for references, propose hypotheses for feedback, and extend the reach of my research. It proved a fantastic way to benefit from people I'd never have access to otherwise.
Survey. 110 people who identified themselves as innovators filled out an online questionnaire exploring both general innovation and innovation mythology. These people ranked from scientists to writers to computer programmers to artists. This survey was intended to provide anecdotal evidence, and the results are not of a rigor to infer much beyond what was mentioned in Chapter 6. Selections ...