Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Oct 7, 2010 - Business & Economics - 326 pages
307 Reviews
Where do good ideas come from? And what do we need to know and do to have more of them? In Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson, one of our most innovative popular thinkers, explores the secrets of inspiration. Steven Johnson has spent twenty years immersed in creative industries, was active at the dawn of the internet and has a unique perspective that draws on his fluency in fields ranging from neurobiology to new media. Why have cities historically been such hubs of innovation? What do the printing press and Apple have in common? And what does this have to do with the creation and evolution of life itself? Johnson presents the answers to these questions and more in his infectious, culturally omnivoracious style, using examples from thinkers in a range of disciplines - from Charles Darwin to Tim Berners-Lee - to provide the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of inspiration. He identifies the five key principles to the genesis of great ideas, from the cultivation of hunches to the importance of connectivity and how best to make use of new technologies. Most exhilarating is his conclusion: with today's tools and environment, radical innovation is extraordinarily accessible to those who know how to cultivate it. By recognizing where and how patterns of creativity occur - whether within a school, a software platform or a social movement - he shows how we can make more of our ideas good ones.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Absolutely brilliant research and storytelling. - Goodreads
Dude's writing style is so pretentious. - Goodreads
Solid. Easy to read. - Goodreads
A good introduction to innovation theory. - Goodreads
Amazing research, well done. - Goodreads
Some decent insight. - Goodreads

Review: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

User Review  - Jurgen Appelo - Goodreads

Amazing research, well done. Read full review

Review: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

User Review  - Alvaro Raba - Goodreads

Surprisingly short book. It is filled with good concepts and ideas, but some of them feel up in the wire like they should be narrowed down or supported with additional theory. The books biggest ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Steven Johnson is the author of the US bestsellers The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, Everything Bad Is Good For You, and Mind Wide Open, as well as Emergence and Interface Culture. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites - currently, outside.in - and is a contributing editor to Wired.

Bibliographic information