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Book Reviews

"The Myths of Innovation" by Scott Berkun (O'Reilly)

Review by Rick Brockman

Overall, by debunking ten myths of innovation (e.g. "the lone inventor, the eureka moment, the best ideas win, innovation is always good") what the reader can glean is the subtlties (i.e. the truths of how innovation happens). That's interesing reading! and it's the author's intention stated explicitly to cite examples of innovation that will root reader in personal observation. I particularly enjoyed examples close to my personal interest: environments in computer innovation like Apple II, the Internet, the Mouse,

A concluding paragraph I particularly like :

"Many innovations, for all their progress, leave a sailboat of forgotten goodness behind. And in our race to innovate, we instinctively reject people who hold onto the past. We can't know that they don't have a point. Perhaps they've pointed out something timeless that we didn't think about. Is there an innovation that can replace a hug from your mom? Ice cream on a summer day? Is a strip mall a worthy substitute for an open meadow, or the latest Gehry office tower for the Chrysler Building? The passion of creation leaves us partially blind; we're focused so intently on what we're creating we forget the good things already here, or that our innovations might leave behind."

This is a book that you can read and benefit from re-reading for years.

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