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"Where Good Ideas Come From" by Steven Johnson

I'm fairly stubborn, so it takes a lot for me to change my ways. This book has changed my daily work routine. Johnson outlines 7 environments that have historically produced the most innovative ideas. It's easy to apply the lessons to your typical working day. Best book I've read in probably 5 years.

4-minute Teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU

TED Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0af00UcTO-c

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594487715




Could you share some of the specific changes you made to your daily routine as a result of your exposure to this book?

Also, have you read Csikszentmihalyi's Creativity?


Yes, "Creativity" is very good, although for some reason it didn't 'wow' me as much as when I first read "Flow".

Two quick and easy changes from WGICF:

1. The power of bad/wrong ideas. I used to approach a problem space by first eliminating all of the obviously bad ideas. Johnson makes a compelling case that invalid facts and invalid ideas juice our creativity. Since reading the book, I've made an effort to at least consider the bad ideas and implementations. More than once there has been a nugget of creativity that I would have otherwise glossed over.

2. Liquid networks. I get banged up A LOT (2x - 5x per week) by people who have an idea and want to bounce it off of someone. I used to view these as a fun distraction and would reward myself with a 1-hour coffee only if I had met my goals for the previous week. If I was behind, these meetings were the first to go. Now, I always make it to these, even if I'm hopelessly behind. The idea is that the more you lift your head out of the sand and participate in a larger network of thought, the more creative you'll be.





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