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REVIEW: "The Myths of Innovation", Scott Berkun

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKMYTHIN.RVW 20071103 The Myths of Innovation , Scott Berkun, 2007, 0-596-52705-5, U$24.99/C$32.99 %A Scott Berkun www.scottberkun.com %C 103 Morris
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 17, 2008
      BKMYTHIN.RVW 20071103

      "The Myths of Innovation", Scott Berkun, 2007, 0-596-52705-5,
      %A Scott Berkun www.scottberkun.com
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 2007
      %G 0-596-52705-5 978-0-596-52705-1
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$24.99/C$32.99 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596527055/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596527055/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 176 p.
      %T "The Myths of Innovation"

      Berkun states, in the preface, that the intent of the book is to note
      popularly held myths about innovation, and then to examine, with
      historical examples, the realities. There is, however, no implication
      that there are to be suggestions about what to do in terms of aiding
      innovation: this work is about avoiding mistakes, and doesn't address
      the "how to."

      Chapter one scrutinizes the concept of the epiphany: sudden revelation
      or insight. The author starts with an example of Google (not
      Microsoft?) as a company believed to foster such idea creation, but
      then basically denigrates the perception. Examples of mythical
      epiphanies that are known not to have happened are retailed, and there
      is an emphasis on the primacy of hard work and preparation, as well as
      some stress on the fineness of the line separating "creative" from
      "crazy." There is an incomplete and poorly structured look at
      historical novelties in chapter two. Chapter three says that there is
      no procedure for driving or producing innovation. The innate, and
      evolutionarily driven, conservatism of the human species is used, in
      chapter four, to prove that people don't like new ideas. Berkun
      appears almost to attempt to establish that nothing was ever invented
      by the legendary "lone inventor" as he examines that notion in chapter
      five. Chapter six notes that people think that the birth of new
      thoughts is a rare occurrence, but mostly talks about how to ensure
      that they are stillborn. Chapter seven essentially repeats chapter
      three: if there is no method for producing ideas, then of course there
      is no way to manage the process. Examples of cases where the
      invisible hand of the market did not choose the best alternative are
      given in chapter eight. Chapter nine doesn't really deal with any
      myths in regard to innovation, the stories told just point out the
      importance of limited ambition. New ideas don't bring unalloyed
      benefits, says chapter ten.

      Berkun writes entertainingly, but his points are as one-sided as the
      myths he tries to destroy. The ideas presented are important, but
      hardly new. And, since he is determined to observe but not to
      recommend, it is hard to say how helpful this is going to be to
      anyone. But it is fun.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2007 BKMYTHIN.RVW 20071103

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      When we write programs that learn, it turns out that we do and
      they don't. - Alan J. Perlis
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