Posted by cadsmith on December 19, 2007
The Myths of Innovation, Berkun, 2007, 192pp, claims that learning to innovate involves dispelling the notion that there is a single approach that yields results. Research is compared to popular stories to locate myths. The author attempts to understand the conditions and constraints at the time of the innovation in order to derive how it occurred, though the way that people innovated is often not a matter of record, and it did not happen in a straight line. Good ideas seem plentiful, but there are secondary factors which prevent the best ones from taking hold. A lot of work precedes an epiphany since defining a problem is not achieved in a single pass. Brainstorming deals with facts, ideas and solutions. Acceptance may be delayed by decades or more. Artifacts such as the wonders of the modern world are still being analyzed for clues. The individual methods of innovation vary since each person had to get past the agreed upon conventions of the time, or the inertia of the status quo which is resistant to change or risk. Ideas from various sources are mixed and it usually takes some collaboration for innovative results. Though it is unpredictable, there are measures of goodness, and acceleration is continuous. Human nature seems to differ from idealistic techno-evolutionism since there is a principle that ideas are rejected on feelings rather than merits. Innovation is not always necessary since some traditions are not easily replaced. Managing it also has several challenges which are discussed. This book has an innovative bibliography which is ranked by significance as well as by order of appearance. Author site. Video for large-company audience (emphasis may be different for other types of organizations, e.g. startups or crowd-source). With respect to testing, one of the factors identified for acceptance of innovation is trialability. For example, tea bags were invented as samples of large tins and eventually became a product in their own right. Measurements occur to determine if originating problem is solved and whether new problems are created, and for who.