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24 Reviews
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chance favours the connected mind
The common image of the individual operating alone in the laboratory dreaming up brilliant flashes of inspiration is countered by Johnson with the argument that ideas are generated by crowds where connection is more important than protection.

Steven Johnson's technique is the personalisation of his theme, drawing unexpected conclusions from the personal story...
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by M. Hillmann

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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very skinny latte
I enjoyed Steven Johnson's "Ghost Map", but have found his other books curiously unsatisfying, rather like having a skinny latte for lunch and realising a few hours later that something more substantial was needed. This latest one I found particularly frothy.

The problem is that I think I know something about the area. My professional career has been spent in...
Published on 14 Nov 2010 by Chris ap Alfred


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3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, but I wanted more, 11 April 2011
I enjoyed the book as it presents some nice ideas about inovation and how it can happen. My interest was business inovation and idea generation, so I was satisfied with the book. But... I feel that the ideas were not explored enough and I think it could have been slightly better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!!, 3 April 2011
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K. Akartunali (Madison, WI) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this book a lot. It questions our perceptions on 'innovations' and 'good ideas' in general, and proposes 7 types of environments/factors that flourish them. It gives insightful perspectives, and the language has a very nice flow, with small example stories of some famous ideas connected nicely to each other with the flow of thoughts. At the end, it also presents a counter-example point of view to challenge the book as well. If you like books that make you think, this is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and convincing., 10 Feb 2011
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Giovanni Anchois (Milan, ITALY) - See all my reviews
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"I discovered Steven Johnson through TED, and I bought this book because of the things he was explaining in his speech. The book is very good, I enjoyed best the sections on cities as hubs of innovation and the somehow lengthy articulation of how Darwin slowly worked his hunch into a full fledge theory. The final ecosystem: the reef. Totally recommended."
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Natural History of Innovation, 11 Aug 2014
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An interesting read with some challenging ideas. This was recommended as part of the reading around a course I'm considering. It certainly fuelled my curiosity but it merits a second read..only 3 stars on this read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where good ideas come from Steven Johnson, 8 Jan 2011
As reviewed in the Economist (November 2010?) the author suggests how new ideas emerge more easily from accidents or errors in research or in thinking processes, much as mutations occur in evolution, than they do from academic or monolithic thought processes where the proponents-such as in Religions or Politics where rigid beliefs and convictions fiercely guard their dogmas from the slightest possibility of 'error'. A fascinating theory well researched and carefully crafted. My only complaint however was that the author occasionally used terms that I personally was unfamiliar with without defining his intention, almost as if he were writing for experts in his own discipline, rather than for the general public. (Mea Culpa?)
One minor complaint- my (hardbound) copy had type format so small and printed in grey rather than in black made for eye straining effort in reading.

Vincent Butler RSA Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
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5.0 out of 5 stars The book I received is brand new. If you ..., 24 Oct 2014
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Mr. C. G. Amory "Chris Amory" (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation (Paperback)
The book I received is brand new. If you haven't read it, you'll find it provokes you into wishing you'd read it years ago.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas but incredibly long winded, 29 Nov 2010
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Paul Teevan - See all my reviews
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After Steven's intresting Everything Bad is good for you, I expected a book written in a simalar style, only talking about ideas.

Instead he talks about a much smaller range of concepts, with only incredibly long anecdotes to back up, written with needlesly long and inefficent sentances. THis book could have been a third of its length and conveyed all the ideas it had to offer. Despite its large size, it also has a relatively small scope, focusing on 2 or 3 ideas per chapther, and mostly only on scinetific breakthorughs, as opposed to creative pursuits (don't expect to see how a great aurhout gets a story.

It does debunk the Eureka moment thing in an intresting way, but again it could have done that a lot quicker.

Good book, if you can endure it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Understand your ideas and let them grow, 6 Jan 2012
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N. Alterskye "muso_confuso" (MK, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation (Paperback)
Deep, layered and thoroughly enjoyable. As someone who has a lot of ideas and potentially innovative concepts, I really engaged with the book. It provided me with clarity and assurance that in the real world nothing just happens ... nearly everything is an evolution of previous concepts and ideas.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Good ideas come from, 14 Nov 2010
I bought this book after seeing Steven Johnson's talk to the TED conference on line. Like the talk the book is quite inspirational in the way it draws on well known events to explain the attributes for an innovative environment and draws out latent perceptions of how we see key steps forward in human society and our understanding of the world surrounding us. Text books are seldom a page turner but this one is
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where is the spark, 14 Aug 2011
By 
Victor Pilmoor (Watford England) - See all my reviews
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Johnson makes an excellent case for the 'Connected Mind'. The way we foster creativity is important, and this work is helpful to that extent. The five or six elements that contribute to connectedness are usefully recognised.

Though it seems to me that the fusion of Natural History and our understanding of Nature results in some confusion. It is as if the natural world arose by some design of intelligence, whilst dismissive of Intelligent Design.

What is less clear: what energy drives the spark of ingenuity?
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Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation by Steven Johnson (Paperback - 29 Sep 2011)
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