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The Myths of Innovation Hardcover – 14 May 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (14 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527051
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Scott Berkun (@berkun) is the best selling author of four books, Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker and Mindfire Big Ideas for Curious Minds. His work has appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Fast Company, The Economist, Forbes Magazine, and other media. He has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington and has been a regular commentator on CNBC, MSNBC and National Public Radio. His many popular essays and entertaining lectures can be found for free on his blog at http://www.scottberkun.com.

Product Description

Review

Ever been asked (or told) to brainstorm? Then The Myths of Innovation is for you. -- Digital-web.com, June 2007

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 -- Lifehacker.com, August 2007

This is a great read that will occupy your mind for quite some time after you turn the final page.
-- Duffbert's Random Musings blog, June 2007

an entertaining and thought-provoking read, ideal for that plane journey, stop-over or a just as a quick holiday read. -- LondonBookReview.com, August 2007

witty and light, which makes this a very fast read, one that leaves you wanting even more by the end
-- Jack Herrington, Slashdot.org, May 2007

About the Author

Scott Berkun worked on the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft from 1994-1999 and left the company in 2003 with the goal of writing enough books to fill a shelf. The Myths of Innovation is his second book: he wrote the best seller, The Art of Project Management (O'Reilly 2005). He makes a living writing, teaching and speaking. He teaches a graduate course in creative thinking at the University of Washington, runs the sacred places architecture tour at NYC's GEL conference, and writes about innovation, design and management at http://www.scottberkun.com.


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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Graham VINE VOICE on 28 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. Scott has a great writing style - friendly and informative, well suited to the task in hand. What could have been a dull history of innovation has been turned into a short, punchy work. He manages to pack a great deal into the 192 pages; examples of how innovation works, where innovation comes from, and debunks several popular myths of innovation, pointing out that whilst there is a 'eureka' moment, there's a whole lot of hard work which lead up to it in the first place.

I read this book on a train journey, and found myself picking back through it on the return journey. It's jam-packed with interesting anecdotes and information. Inspirational too - it put the idea of writing and where ideas come from in a new light.

Recommended reading. Top stuff.
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Format: Paperback
I have read The Myths of Innnovation twice. The first time around I wasn't especially enamored with this book. It felt too lightweight in it's structure and the language felt too comfortable. It was easy to read, and as such, it didn't feel like most of the books out there discussing the dreaded "I" word, Innovation.

I then realized I'd made a number of significant and interesting notes and decided to re-read the book. I actually really enjoyed it the second time around. I guess my expectations were that the book would be a scientific heavyweight (not sure where that expectation came from though).

The main concept in the book is along the lines of "Do cool work, accept that ideas come from other ideas and if the timings right, cool things will happen". And throughout the book that message is re-enforced with good examples and stories.

There was a point in the middle where I started to lose focus somewhat, but the examples brought me back in and it felt good to have finished the book. Scott picked some really well known innovations to tell a story about how ideas come about, all of which revolved around the concept that no idea is brand new. All ideas come from other ideas. All Innovations can be broken down and traced back to several other ideas.

Scott also suggests that many ideas are beyond our control and exist outside of us. Scott also talks about how ideas and innovations gain traction in society and culture. He makes a point of suggesting Myths and marketing spin are more effective at promotion than education, something which we clearly see in many products and services.

He makes some very interesting points about Historians being able to tell a story deciding which facts to include and which ones to leave out.
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Format: Paperback
In the knowledge economy, Innovation represents the Holy Grail : the undisputed source of wealth, pride and prestige. It is one of the most respected and worshiped word in corporate vocabulary. Yet you can hardly find organisations that share a same definition, let alone have a clear plan to manage it. The reason is : we are misguided by common misconception that run rampant in business and popular culture (Berkun).

With The Myths of innovation, his second book, Scott Berkun aims to clarify the topic : he is merciless with wishful thinking using his ruthless wit and encyclopaedic culture on the subject.

This paperback re-edition is a revised version of the original 2007 edition including four new (and amazing) chapters. As usual with Scott, this is a fantastic read, filled with conviction, great ideas, provocative thoughts, common sense and unexpected bursts of humour. The telling stories, the usability of the advises, the hindsight and wisdom of conclusions and the Occam Razor approach of Scott brings bucket loads of value to the reader.

Julian Casabianca`s 8th Phrase for the Young is Unlocking life mysteries is the responsibility of dissatisfied people. Scott must be a hell of a dissatisfied guy.
Don't get me wrong : you won't find any bitterness, jealousy or envy in his writing. The dissatisfaction acts as a fuel, a positive energy leading his writings towards the Truth. The allegoric one. The one that innervates all his best sellers and blog posts. This obsession with truth is the mark of great writers as Nabokov said about the work of Tolstoi.

The tool set for this unlocking operation is books. This is one of the reasons why Scott is such a great writer : he is a great reader in the first place.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Scott takes you in a journey over the ideas you probably well known but was not aware of details. He goes though the history of innovation,
shows us some interesting examples and provides with entertainment. I lack better proven, well formed references thou - especially when it comes to Philosophy - I think Scott's analogies are to shallow in few places. On the other hand, this book should entertain you - it's obvious you will not get an answer how to create good idea. One of my teachers told us a joke once - how to build financial empire? Well it's simple, create popular product and logo - like Coca-Cola - and you are set. That's more or less the book is about. It shows how great inventions were created, how they were born and brought to us by inventors who were quite often rejected by others. Descrates wrote once: "it is necessary to reject everything that raises doubts in order to left only pure truth". I think, this idea remains somewhere in the background throughout all the book. If you really want to be outstanding person, you can't think like others do - you have to reject what you have been told, and do your things. Then, with little luck, you might become real inventor.
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