Where Good Ideas Come From

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Penguin, Oct 5, 2010 - Business & Economics - 336 pages
6 Reviews
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.

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Good ideas are likely those that connect to eachother. Upon investigation of many events, myths had to be debunked. The author defines seven patterns of innovation and how they relate, including the Adjacent Possible, Liquid Networks, The Slow Hunch, Serendipity, Error, Exaptation, Platforms. A four quadrant diagram is used to classify breakthroughs as market, non-market, individual, or network. An appendix lists the major innovations of the previous six centuries. 

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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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