Where Good Ideas Come From

Front Cover
Penguin, Oct 5, 2010 - Business & Economics - 336 pages
6 Reviews
Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, on sale November 15, 2016.

The printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery--these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the breakthrough technologies that push forward our lives, our society, our culture? Steven Johnson's answers are revelatory as he identifies the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation, and traces them across time and disciplines. From Darwin and Freud to the halls of Google and Apple, Johnson investigates the innovation hubs throughout modern time and pulls out the approaches and commonalities that seem to appear at moments of originality.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Review: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

User Review  - Tom Braun - Goodreads

Here's my capsule review: this book has some interesting ideas, but should have been shorter. I've posted a more thoughtful review on one of them new-fangled blog things the kids are into these days. Read full review

Review: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

User Review  - Kirsti - Goodreads

Another great one from Steven Johnson. To me, the most interesting idea was exaptation--when a feature that's evolved for one use turns out to be good for an entirely different use. For instance ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Steven Johnson is the author of seven bestsellers, including 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 anthology The Innovator’s Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites—most recently, outside.in—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.

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