The other myths of innovation?

There’s been buzz around two recent articles listing myths of innovation, one from CIO Insight and another from CEOForum, and I didn’t write either of them, despite the title of my 2007 bestseller being The Myths of Innovation.

While I know very well how many people do (and do not :) read my books, you’d think perhaps the authors of articles might do a google search on their core idea to see what else is out there.

Of course I’m not the first to wander this path, as many of the good books in the Myths of Innovation’s annotated bibliography, like Farson’s The Innovation Paradox, are decades old.

However, it’s important to note a major goal for the book was to avoid simply listing things that are false. It’s fun but doesn’t teach much, and gets dull fast. Other people have done this well. And as it happens there are some mistakes in my book too.

Instead the goal was to use myths as the seed for exploring what we can learn from attempts at innovation that have already happened. Every chapter moves quickly away from myths and on to the truth, as best I could form it from extensive research.

You can find many lists of myths like the ones above. And they’re fine to read.  But within the limits of a blog post, where few demand many sources, or deep exploration of the significance and impact of the myths, they’re easy to discount.

Here are the ten myths from the book:

  1. The myth of epiphany
  2. We understand the history of innovation
  3. There is a method
  4. People love new ideas
  5. The lone inventor
  6. Good ideas are hard to find
  7. Your boss knows more about innovation than you
  8. The best ideas win
  9. Problems and solutions
  10. Innovation is always good

If you were interested in the aforementioned articles, and missed my book the first time around, I hope you’ll give it a spin.

You can read Chapter 4 online and free – PDF (3 MB) or watch my lecture at CMU on The Myths of Innovation.

5 Responses to “The other myths of innovation?”

  1. Todor

    Hi Scott,

    It seems that the link to ‘The Myths of Innovation’ on amazon is wrong. It got me to ‘Lies My Teacher Told Me’… Now you know I haven’t read the book yet ;)

    1. Scott Berkun

      Thanks Todor – fixed now. Lets hope that not linking to my own book is the stupidest thing I do today.

  2. Jin

    Hi Scott,
    Can you please help me with these?
    Many innovation attempts start with a technical idea, while others start with the identification of a business need and an innovative solution to address that need. what is the the differences between the two approaches in terms of effectiveness and the time to market innovations then.



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