The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm
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The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  2,419 ratings  ·  104 reviews
IDEO, the widely admired, award-winning design and development firm that brought the world the Apple mouse, Polaroid's I-Zone instant camera, the Palm V, and hundreds of other cutting-edge products and services, reveals its secrets for fostering a culture and process of continuous innovation.

There isn't a business in America that doesn't want to be more creative in its thi...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 16th 2001 by Crown Business
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Ron Banister
Great insight into the creative process. Updates to follow...
Hans de Zwart
This book is not only full of inspired ideas on how to do (product) innovation it is also a very readable company history of IDEO. It full of contrary thinking that goes straight against the standard corporate practices. One of the last pages has a good summary:

* Watch customers -- and non-customers -- especially enthusiasts.
* Play with your physical workplace in a way that sends positive "body language" to employees and visitors.
* Think "verbs" not "nouns," in your product and service offerings...more
Budi Rahardjo
I had this book for a long time and had not had a chance to read it until I saw a talk on IDEO. Watched the story about them on ABC News, through YouTube. Then, I decided to read the book.

It's a wonderful book. Straight to the point. The kind of writing I like. I am a busy person and I appreciate things like this. Maybe I like it because I already watched the story. But then again, there are books that are boring to read - even if you've heard about them.

This book is worth of my time! Recommende...more
Iftekhar Alam Himel
Too many words, too few ideas.

I value a non-fiction work on its steep learning curve, proper data & facts and precise construction. I cannot say that the book performed very well in all criteria.

The book does offer good insights into product development & pave ways into creative process. But the construction could have been more organized. Well you can forgive that for a first book & the fact that it is about “creative process”.

It does lack insights driven by proper data/facts. All...more
Mungkin kita belum sering mendengar IDEO, tidak seterkenal Microsoft atau Google. Padahal firma desain yang didirikan 37 tahun yang lalu di Palo Alto California ini sudah banyak terlibat dalam proses desain produk yang mungkin produknya sudah kita kenal bahkan pernah kita pakai. Sebut saja mouse pertama untuk komputer Apple Lisa dan Macintosh, digital organizer Palm V, Handspring, phone cell cerdas Treo, Monitor Sync Master SAMSUNG, alat pacu jantung, inkubator tempat penyimpanan ginjal, kamera...more
David Glad
Although the version of the audiobook hinted at being late 90s and hugely dot-com, it was nonetheless a pretty good book. (Too bad palm pilots and digital assistants are also known as smart phones now, which also means the centralized nature of it as a consequence will be that device failure will rip you from your world. Luckily cloud computing -- not yet fully evil -- and other off-site storage of your data will mean you probably will not lose anything in the event of such failure.)

I had become...more
It was an interesting course on design thinking as well as this post by Paul Sloane that brought me on to this book. At the start of the book, I was introduced to the design thinking process which was also a key aspect of the design thinking course that I participated in earlier this year.

The first 2 phases of understanding / empathizing as well as defining the problem and key needs of the user are crucial, I learned. Re...more
Earlier I happen upon 'Ten Faces of Innovation' on Levenger's website. My local library didn't have this particular book yet. So I decided to check out it's predecessor: 'The Art of Innovation'. This book open my eyes to things, my work place, my everyday experience and interactions with products. I read this yesterday and Saturday and couldn't put it down. I took lots of notes on my CircaToma notebook of course and began making lists of things that bug me. IDEO call it a 'Bug List'. I called my...more
The Art of Innovation got a mention in Jeffrey Pfeffer's "What Were They Thinking", and I was intrigued by the story of a design consultancy that was behind such eclectic and diverse projects such as the Apple mouse, Oral B's Squish Grip brushes, the Palm V and Amtrak's Acela service. The book opens promisingly enough with an anecdote about the Deep Dive - ABC's Nightline challenge to IDEO to redesign a shopping cart in 5 days. The book flags somewhat in the middle - there are still plenty of an...more
Garland Vance
The Art of Innovation tells the story of IDEO brainstorm, design and launch cycles that have led to some of the most creative innovations in the world. Sounds interesting, right? It's not. Of the 15 chapters, I found 2 or 3 of them interesting and insightful. There were two problems that I found. First, the book was written almost a decade ago, so the innovative products about which they tell stories are now dinosaurs. This, of course, cannot be helped unless they update the book each year. But...more
Wow! A must read.

Even if you don't like business books, this is another book that you will enjoy. The examples of IDEO projects make this a VERY fun read. These are the guys who brought to you thinks like easy to grip tooth brush handles and ... and ... well a good portion of the items you love in your household.

This book will inspire you to jump out of your old rut and begin pushing yourself beyond what you thought capable. Only if we could all implement these concepts (and create a work envi...more
Amy Cheng
Having read some of IDEO's case studies, I looked forward to reading more about their innovation philosophy.

With fun anecdotes such as reinventing the shopping car and the sand hill challenge, the book is a easy, entertaining read.

The insights I took away are as followed:

1) Innovation can be practiced and cultivated
2) Prototype and seek feedback as soon as possible
3) Its all about observations and point of view, look and learn from your surroundings, a different profession and most importantly y...more
It feels a bit like a corporate autobiography, with its many stories, looking back how things worked before, like leafing through an interesting photo album at a friend's house.

Still, I did take away quite a few notes, that seem to influence my thinking in general, almost right away.
- I feel like I became more observant, things around me offer more opportunities
- I like the idea of "everything can be improved", and it gives me a fresh look
- Prototype early, prototype often
- So many different way...more
Cian O'donovan
Useful reminders on brainstorming. But starting to show its age. Reminded me of sitting though lots of "creative" meetings with London agencies
I first read this book 11 years ago just before graduating as a Computer Science major. The interesting stories of prototyping new devices made the C++ network programming I had been doing seem like a dead end. It inspired me to seek product management jobs instead of engineering jobs. Since this book was written, the quality of open source software and cost of server hosting has improved to where engineers can now prototype and market products without much startup capital. IDEO's clients are no...more
Daniel Kao
Reading this book made me feel like a little kid in a candy store.

Reading about IDEO's offices gave me a lot of insight into their creative process, and how much of it is a lot more organic and naturally free-flowing than other companies. In that sense, IDEO is more of a playground, a place where adults go to play with Styrofoam and bubble wrap in order to design and solve big problems.

Hearing the stories of failure and otherwise flopped projects from this book, it has given me an inspiration to...more
Micah Smurthwaite
Written in the shadow of the dynamic landscape of technology, a book from 2000 will have outdated examples. However, the principles of creative friction in order to avoid groupthink are still applicable. Disagree and commit.

Instead of a product focused approach, take a needs based approach. In other words, what is the problem and what is the smartest way to solve it.

Take brainstorming: Go for quantity, Be visual, Encourage wild ideas, Number your ideas and try to get to 100. Ways to kill a bra...more
Taking a class at CBC and this book is required reading. I've read lots of it before as my boss believes in this process of innovation and wants to use it at our company. This type of innovation is so familiar to IDEO that it's easy for them and they have lots of fun doing it -- they are a VERY successful company. The thing we need to remember in the real world is the process -- understand the market; the power of observation and getting feedback; brainstorming to visualize a concept; develop pr...more
This book has a lot of helpful ideas for running a company or a project/team, especially if you're in the design industry (but even if you're not).

My problem with it is Kelley's patronizing tone. Throughout the book I felt like I was being told just how great his company (IDEO) is, how they do everything right (even their mistakes are right!), etc. Needless to say, it got to be kind of nauseating/overwhelming.

Because of that, it took me forever to finish, and unless someone can give me an EXTREM...more
The IDEO group has been at the forefront of design innovation in San Francisco/ Silicon Valley, and Thomas Kelley's brother David was a founder of IDEO and has helped develop the at Stanford University. Great insights about brainstorming, assembling and working in teams, office space, and prototyping. One of their key mottoes is "Fail often to succeed sooner." Clearly it helps that they are making a lot of fun, cool stuff, but they have been wildly successful at integrating a sense of p...more
Chitrarasu M
Just started will let you Know once completed.
I loved this book. I was totally inspired while reading it.

Includes information on brainstorming, teams and prototyping. Totally cool book with practical easy to implement ideas. Also, it turned my thinking on teams around as the author devotes time to discussing their “hot teams” approach and how the myth of the lone inventor is a just that a myth. I didn’t realize Edison had a team of people who worked with him, but he did and they all collaborated to come up with some of his patents.

So very i...more
Book by a co-founder of IDEO. Interesting read, and confirms what I’ve believed all along, that observing customers is key to solving problems right. The book is rather IDEO-centric, and comes across as a bit of a sales pitch for the firm, but still it is interesting reading about their company culture. It would probably be worth another read because I think I remember hearing many things that I thought could be applied to a startup. I can’t remember what those things are anymore though. Maybe I...more
Ko Matsuo
Stories about the innovation fostering culture of the design firm IDEO. I'm used to innovation happening on a much smaller scale so the framework described was inspiring.

Characteristics include tons of observation and prototyping, incessant brainstorming sessions, enforcing close quarters and no offices to encourage teamwork, using building locations with the best views as places to inspire creativity, shunning hierarchy, bureaucracy, and self-proclaimed experts.
IDEO is a design firm who brought innovation, change and creativity into other company's business plans. Not always an easy task. Not always welcomed.

The book gives lots of examples of companies they helped, how they helped them, how innovation was important in the development of new ideas and, really important, the thinking behind the innovation--how they got there.

Interesting read for the most part.

interesting look inside IDEO - an industrial design & strategy firm started by David Kelley. they do things differently within their walls and it has produced some of the more innovative products of our time.

if you've ever wondered what a company like Google or Apple does to make it so special, this will be a wonderful 300 pages for you. it does a times feel like its one big commercial for IDEO, but you don't really care - it just makes you want to work there.
Garrett Mccutcheon
A great collection of innovation strategies that can be applied by anyone working in any field. Presented in a fun, readable fashion, the author pulls you through example after example illustrating the points he's making. Short chapters and shorter subsections make it an easy book to pick up and read a few pages of at a time. If you're serious about wanting to learn how to form an innovative organization, this should be the first book you pick up.
Michael Greenberg
Overall a great book on creativity and innovation from the one of the founders of IDEO. It's starting to get a little dated as it's pre-smartphone era (they are very excited in the book about the Palm V and Handspring Visor, e.g.).
Nevertheless, there is a lot of great advice about how to think about product design, regardless of the industry you are in. Certainly a good starting place if you are curious about innovation and design thinking.
Lamech Mariita
This book presents a management perspective to the Art of Design Innovation. It's written by a management consultant, Tom Kelley. He brings the process of contextual design to life, with stories, annecdotes, and great illustrative examples of how sharp minds solve problems. You must read this book if you want to improve your business through creativity. I found the book very inspiring and so easy to read in even one session.
An inspiring book for anyone who works in the creative industries and needs to get the best out of a creative team. Sadly the book is about 20% too long and could have done without the last bit (a decent editor probably would have picked up on this) - so I didn't give it 5 stars.

This book helped me organise my business better - and there aren't many books I've read which I can truthfully say that about...
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