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The Innovator's Cookbook: Essentials for Inventing What Is Next

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  126 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Essential reading-and progressive thinking-on the subject of innovation, from the national bestselling author.
Steven Johnson, an acknowledged bestselling leader on the subject of innovation, gathers-for a foundational text on the subject of innovation-essays, interviews, and cutting-edge insights by such exciting field leaders as Peter Drucker, Richard Florida, Eric Von H
ebook, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Riverhead Books
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Jan 23, 2012 Arjun rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
While its not truly a Steven Johnson book, it has some interesting insights. Its a breakdown of creativity, and has short essay/chapters written by various creativity experts (Teresa Amabile, Clayton Christensen, Richard Florida, etc). I thought it served as a nice overview, and I recommend it to anyone who's looking for a short review of any of those authors. This lead me to Teresa Amabile's new book, The Progress Principle.
Gary Butler
44th book read in 2014.

Number 356 out of 387 on my all time book list.

Follow the link below to see my video review:

Jun 03, 2016 Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basically, a collection of innovation-themed essays. All good stuff.
This is a collection of essays edited by Steven Johnson. While I enjoyed and profited from some of the articles (esp. the essay by Teresa Amabile), I found some of the other essays uninteresting or too business specific to be of interest to me.
Ron McGhee
Sep 10, 2011 Ron McGhee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a little secret. I love listen in the background when experts in a particular field discuss their trade. I relish hearing writers discuss plot construction, astronomers discussing theories of time and space, candidates talking about political economics, or doctors discussing new medical procedures. It was for this reason that I eagerly awaited reading, The Innovator’s Cookbook: Essentials for Inventing What Is Next.

Steven Johnson presides as editor and contributor to an array of nine ess
Lee Penney
This ‘cookbook’ gathers together a series of essays and interviews around the subject of innovation, from leaders in the field (so it says).

It was another book that turned into a war of attrition, each chapter a battle on the road to finishing it. It did spark some thoughts, but largely I just found myself tuning out of sections, forcing me to go back and re-read them, sometimes multiple times.

To call it a cookbook is a bit misleading, this isn’t a series of instructions about how to innovate or
Mar 11, 2012 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology
Highly uneven as one would expect from a pretty random set of essays and interviews. The field of innovation is, almost tautologically, rapidly changing. It is difficult if not impossible to create a timeless recipe for creativity. Many parts of the book were dated by the time it was published, and that was not too long ago. The best essays are by the big idea people like Brand, Drucker and Noveck. Yet it is the small idea people who make incremental changes on a daily basis who are perhaps the ...more
Chris Salzman
Not what I expected. I read it because of a video showing how they did the shoot for the cover and it hooked me. The book itself's a collection of essays that I think are geared towards people who are on the fence about whether or not innovation is a worthwhile thing. Some practical advice on how to create space for innovation to flourish, but for the most part it's a lot of stuff I feel like I already knew--or at least assumed.
Mark Pare
Ok, this was pretty simple imho.

1. Innovation needs talented passionate people collaborating freely.
2. Innovation needs funding at critical junctures.
3. Innovators need freedom and a platform to display.
4. Large companies/governments/organizations are poor at innovation due to bureaucracy.

Not a bad read, with some good essays. Not a book looking for instruction.
Apr 06, 2012 Derek rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't find this to be much of a cookbook. Not enough ideas on how to innovate. I also found that the various articles that make up the chapters of this book are from several different time periods, which made sections of the book outdated.

Far better to read The Innovator's Dilemma, which really outlines the problems that most success businesses run into.
Vernon Smith
I agree with the other reviewers that this is simply an edited collection of other works, some of them quite old. What I really was looking for was more commentary from the author. I think it could have been so much more as a true recipe book with a formula for success. Still, well worth the read.
Apr 03, 2013 Kellyann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Most of the essays were focused on business and innovation as it relates to products, so I found my attention wavering as I tried to make useful connections to my own work in my mind. A few essays were spot on appropriate, though, and after reading with my morning tea before work, I found myself referring during the day to what i had read that morning several times.
Hodgepodge of essays vaguely held together by the word "innovation." Not up to Johnson's usual standards. I learned a bit from a few of the essays, and didn't mind any of it, but was fairly disappointed.
Nov 26, 2011 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up thinking it was referring to experimenting in the kitchen, but just kept reading b/c it was easy to read and interesting! Several short perspectives on thinking or managing or encouraging innovation.
Mar 29, 2016 Trever rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought the stories could have been better. Overall disappointed with what the book could have been.
Sep 09, 2012 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech, 2012
A mix of interviews and guest essays on how to be innovative. Several pieces were dedicated to IDEO, whose books I find more helpful. Still a nice resource of short pieces on how to be innovative.
Nov 22, 2013 Ig-88 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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very hit and miss collection of essays and interviews. Overall nothing new under the sun (and can we stop referencing Dr. Florida's work?)
Mar 25, 2014 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essays about Innovation. Interesting perspectives. Calling it a 'cookbook' is a bit misleading - expected it to be more methodological.
Greg rated it liked it
May 09, 2015
Oscar Falcón Lara
Oscar Falcón Lara rated it it was amazing
Oct 20, 2016
Katie Day
Katie Day rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2012
Soni Suman
Soni Suman rated it it was ok
Nov 13, 2014
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Apr 15, 2015
Mark Osler
Mark Osler rated it really liked it
Nov 17, 2014
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valentina rated it it was ok
Nov 12, 2011
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Dec 01, 2012
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Nov 04, 2011
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Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of ten books, including Wonderland, How We Got to Now, Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You.
The founder of a variety of influential websites, he is the host and co-creator of the PBS and BBC series How We Got to Now. Johnson lives in Marin County, California, and Brooklyn, New York, with his w
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