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Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural…

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation (2010)

by Steven Johnson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0444412,199 (3.91)10

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One of this fine writer's (and thinker's) best. ( )
  altonmann | Jan 24, 2018 |
The natural history of innovation
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Nice conversational read. I added this in my trek through books on innovation and I'm glad I did. Johnson packaged his points very well. He presents that not just good ideas, but evolutionary changes arise from things like the "adjacent possible" - where at any moment many different, but only certain things are possible; where serendipity and error generate those "good ideas"; where exaptation, liquid networks, "slow hunches" and specific platforms germinate and nurture the ideas which we take for granted today. Very little is truly never-been-thought-of-before, flash-like innovation, but the processes of the creation of ideas are the innovation of which Johnson writes. My one beef is the lack of in-text cites...I dislike the form of endnotes without direct references as I read.

Recommended. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
This book is really more like a 3.5 star book, but I can't do that on here and I do really like Steven Johnson's writing in general (been in a fan back into the early FEED days). I also should admit that part of the reason for that half-star demotion might be that I listened to this as an audiobook. The issue was not the narrator or anything you would typically expect, but rather a simple matter of making it difficult (I was listening to it driving to and from work) to stop and ponder or jot down notes.

Those caveats aside, I really did enjoy this book quite a bit. Jonhson has a way of clarifying ideas and concepts that I find to be helpful and stimulating. In this case, the subject matter, how new inventions, discoveries, etc. are made, is near and dear to my heart. Though I don't consider myself to be a revolutionary thinker who is regularly coming up with some flash of insight, I do take the idea of consistently trying to set myself up for new ideas, very seriously. Johnson brings together a lot of pieces of information on this subject that I had heard, in one form or another, before, but puts it into a very digestible format. I'm particularly grateful that I also own a physical copy of this book -- I'm looking forward to reading through his notes and reviewing the structure and organization of the material. I suspect that process alone will add to what I have gained from this book. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
A fine survey of innovation and creativity. Sort of innovation 101. The appendix: chronology of key innovations, 1400 - 2000 is interesting. Good "further reading" section and lengthy bibliography. No new ideas here, but a nice survey course and reference book for further reading. ( )
  charliesierra | Sep 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Especially for people in business or education, it’s a worthwhile book. It talks about the institutional structures that facilitate good ideas – how you get lots of people thinking about cutting edge problems, how you put people together in a space where different skill sets and influences can come together, how you make the right kinds of materials available but don’t force a conclusion.
check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZG...
Like The Tipping Point and Freakonomics it goes beyond the traditional 'big think’ guides that promise to teach us how to get ahead or why things went so wrong; instead, it explores what makes us tick, and as a result might actually have an impact far beyond the boardroom.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Telegraph, Hollis. Leo (Nov 21, 2010)

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Johnson addresses an urgent and universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? He provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how the ideas are born that push careers, lives, society, and culture forward.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 184614051X, 0141033401

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