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.