Scott Berkun Spells Out The Myths of Innovation

The myths of innovationThe Myths of Innovation is a must-read for would-be innovators

(important notice: this post is the original and unabridged version of a post written in 2010 for Bnet, to which I used to be a regular contributor)

“Poor is the substance, alas! and yet I’ve read all the books”: Stéphane Mallarmé’s warning would be perfectly valid for most of the literature devoted to innovation. There are books on that subject, however, which are worth reading such as the inevitable myths of innovation by Scott Berkun.

Berkun is a full-time writer and speaker and former program manager at Microsoft, the man behind the success of Internet Explorer at a time when the web was dominated by Netscape. He also delivers lectures such as this amazing Carnegie Mellon presentation on the book I am describing here.

His book is not based on dubious principles but spells out clearly the “don’ts” of innovation. It’s a lot more powerful than most books because of that because it’s easier to learn from mistakes than mimic other people’s behaviour. Here are Scott Berkun’s ten myths of innovation summed up in a few words, and I hope this will convince you to buy a copy of his book too:

The 10 myths of innovation by Scott Berkun

  • myth number one: the myth of the epiphany An epiphany, in essence, a sudden moment at which creation is supposed to happen, is epitomised by Archimedes’s Eureka moment or Newton’s apple. If many innovations are described as magical moments, the truth is often more complex: hard-work is required, the Eureka moment is often coming at the end of that process (not the beginning). Most Eureka legends aren’t real; they are myths aimed at giving a romantic view of innovation,

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