Summary of The Myths of Innovation

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Best-selling author Scott Berkun argues that historical accounts of famous innovators foster the misconception that innovation demands having a new “big idea.” But, that’s a myth. Giants like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs got straight to work on solving particular problems by experimenting with many smaller ideas. Berkun presents his arguments with fun and irreverent humor. He offers a strategy for learning how to innovate by going to work on a problem – any problem – right away. This revised and expanded edition includes four new chapters of practical advice on jump-starting your creativity, staying motivated and pitching your ideas. getAbstract recommends this manual to entrepreneurs, inventors, and anyone pursuing innovation in technology, media or the arts.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How misconceptions undermine the creative process;
  • How innovators create by combining hard work, experimentation and persistence; and
  • How you can innovate using this formula.

About the Author

Scott Berkun also wrote Making Things Happen and Confessions of a Public Speaker. He taught at the University of Washington and was a manager at Microsoft. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, The Economist, The Washington Post and Wired.



Inspiration and Perspiration
Conventional wisdom about innovation perpetuates unhelpful myths. Legends about great creative geniuses imply that famous innovators came up with their breakthroughs in “flashes of insight.” Most people aren’t so lucky; for them innovation means hard work and...

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    Maria Elena Kobayashi 10 months ago
    Interesting to see how culture and innovation mix again...
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    Rajesh Venkiteswaran 2 years ago
    Insightful. The fact that idea generation requires a lot of hard work and discipline is generally ignored, which leads to frustration
  • Avatar
    Shivanand Yerva 2 years ago
    All good tips. 5 points at the end of the summary very important.
  • Avatar
    Chris Garrigan 2 years ago
    great STUFF