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Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation Paperback – 4 Oct 2011
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"[A] rich, integrated and often sparkling book. Mr. Johnson, who knows a thing or two about the history of science, is a first-rate storyteller."--"The New York Times"
"A vision of innovation and ideas that is resolutely social, dynamic and material...Fluidly written, entertaining and smart without being arcane."--"Los Angeles Times"
"A magical mystery tour of the history and architecture of innovation."--"The Oregonian"
"A rapid-fire tour of 'spaces' large, small, mental, physical, and otherwise... Where Good Ideas Come From may be the ultimate distillation of his thinking on these issues... One admires the intellectual athleticism of Johnson's maneuvers here."--"Boston Globe"
About the Author
Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of Future Perfect, Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad is Good for You, and is the editor of The Innovator's Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.See all Product description
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He has provided informative details of some of the great innovations — those that succeeded and those that failed as well. His statement on Pg. 46 “….an idea is not a single thing. It is more like a swarm.”, more or less gives you a the essence of where good ideas come from and how a good idea has to be identified — from a swarm of ideas and worked upon using various tactics and incubation period. Using coral reefs, evolution, past inventions and accidental discoveries; he convinces how most of the new ideas are born as a result of explorations and errors. He articulates very well on how existing innovation provides a network, a platform; for exchange of ideas that makes people smarter and provides an eco-system to grow better, innovating ideas.
As each chapter progresses, he successfully unfolds the intertwined dependency of each tactic to other, thus connecting the dots. His research work on past and current innovations (restricted to western world to a great extend though) and theories of possibilities is commendable. He has picked up discoveries, inventions, innovations right from 1400’s in essence till current.
He ends well by adapting framework from Yochai Benkler’s book on four possible combinations — Market/Individual, Market Network, Non-Market/Individual and Non-Market/Network — to demonstrate the impact of legal system, economies of market place, individual contribution and collaborative contribution resulting in the number of viable and successful innovations that churn out under each quadrant.
Over all a good read.
Other than that, it's a good book on the getting ideas and seeing the patterns of innovation in life in general.
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