Summary of The Art of Innovation

Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm

Doubleday Broadway, more...

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The Art of Innovation book summary
Lessons in creativity from the firm that designed the Apple mouse and the Palm handheld.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

10 Style


With his tour through the inner workings of design firm and idea factory IDEO, Tom Kelley achieves the nearly impossible: He presents creative and innovative observations about creativity and innovation. Toss aside ordinary innovation books and tear into this beautifully constructed showpiece. Kelley distills the often amorphous concepts of brainstorming and teamwork into directives with honest-to-goodness real-life applications. His notions about prototyping are fresh, insightful and practical. His bigger-picture ruminations illustrate not only how organizations should work at innovation, but also how easily dumb bureaucracy can smash creative initiative. If the book has one failing it is that reading it can be a bit like watching a home movie of a friend's children: Your role is clearly to join in the adulation. That aside, getAbstract recommends this treatise as one of the few can't-miss books in the creativity genre.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to get the most out of a brainstorming session
  • What personalities and roles are essential to forming an effective innovation team
  • Which seven secrets lead to better brainstorming


Outsourcing Innovation
Why do companies outsource their creative and design functions? Experience points to four main reasons: "Capacity" – The number of ideas that they require is more than they can afford to generate internally.
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About the Authors

Tom Kelley is the general manager of IDEO, a design consultancy specializing in product development and innovation. Jonathan Littmann wrote The Fugitive Game and The Watchman, and contributes to Red Herring magazine.

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