The Myths of Innovation – written by Scott Berkun has completely challenged my closed mind regarding what I thought I knew about innovation and inventors. I came into the book knowing that Scott is one of my authors; however, the topic of innovation and the well-researched book has once again far exceeded my expectations. In ten short chapters, many of the preconceived myths of innovation such as – history of innovation, the best ideas win, innovation always is good, and the lone inventor fallacy are blown to smithereens. Scott clears out the nonsense and grandiose stories that have been passed on by many regarding innovation and gets down to the truth of the driving factors of innovation. I could honestly say that a whole generation of innovators could be grown if this book is mandatory reading in public schools.
A few highlights that will stay with me are:
- Divinchi’s quote – “Stand still and watch the patterns, which by pure chance have been generated: Stains on the wall, or the ashes in a fireplace, or the clouds in the sky, or the gravel on the beach or other things. If you look at them carefully you might discover miraculous inventions.”
- Inventors with hard work and ideas from others take thoughts and put them together into a finished puzzle – for instance, the cell phone is a culmination of various technologies.
- Many variables going on during an invention – for instance what would have happened if IBM bought Apple in the beginning? Steve Jobs offered it to them in the early stages.
- History is romanticized by those who interpreted it and there is no objective history.
- Page 91 – To brainstorm correctly you need to have three things: facts, ideas, and solutions. And you need to spend quality time in each section.
- Page 132 – Pick the right problem to solve and defining them correctly – remember the palm pilot objectives – Fits in shirt pocket, syncs seamlessly with PC, fast and easy to use, and no more than $299.
- Page 146 – Software that rewards people for slowing down and thinking about what they’re reading and writing might be the greatest innovation of all time
- The interesting factors of why the United States is one of the few countries on the English standard and not metric…just has not caught on.
This book will remain in my book shelf again and Scott is becoming one of my favorite authors due to his out of the box thinking; I highly recommend this book to all and if possible purchase his other books or visit his website www.ScottBerkun.com .