Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Myths of Innovation

Most people admire "innovative people," but only from afar.  Up close and personal, however, innovation just seems like a lot of hard work.  To an outsider, innovators get all the breaks.  "Things just seem to happen around them."  But that's the myth.  Up close things are different. 

Guy Kawasaki has a great interview with Scott Berkun, the author of "the Myths of Innovation." As a sample here's the first interview question:

Question: How long does it take in the real world—as opposed to the world of retroactive journalism—for an “epiphany” to occur?

Answer: An epiphany is the tip of the creative iceberg, and all epiphanies are grounded in work. If you take any magic moment of discovery from history and wander backwards in time you’ll find dozens of smaller observations, inquiries, mistakes, and comedies that occurred to make the epiphany possible. All the great inventors knew this—and typically they downplayed the magic moments. But we all love exciting stories—Newton getting hit by an apple or people with chocolate and peanut butter colliding in hallways—are just more fun to think about. A movie called “watch Einstein stare at his chalkboard for 90 minutes” wouldn’t go over well with most people [emphasis added].

I'm not much of an innovator, though I would like to be; I'd like to be more creative.  I'm most often still hung up on "what people might think."  I may not be an innovator, but I'm trying to be a hard worker and a life-long learner.  The book looks like a good read!

Read the whole interview here.


TheSpurlings said...

Hey Jeff,

Good post. Guy Kawasaki is a good author to read for those desiring to minister with innovation (which to me is a necessity of an ever-changing culture). He doesn't right from a religious perspective, but what he has to say can be easily applied to outreach/church planting. I have sitting on my shelf waiting to be read "The Art of Start" (I think his most recent book). And he's also a MAC man, which is a bonus (smile).

p.s. What is the connection between you and my aunt Daisy in Ithica, N.Y.?

Jeff said...

Hey, thanks for the comment. I do like Kawasaki. I'm not a big fan of his Truemors site, but on the whole I appreciate his approach to things.

I'm hoping to read "The Art of the Start" as's on my Amazon wish list anyway :)

I'm not sure what connection I have with your aunt Daisy....give me a hint?