Tuesday, April 03, 2007

More on Ideation-The Birth and Death of Ideas

This is my final post on the book, Ideation – The Birth and Death of Ideas. It somehow has taken me too long a time to read the second part of the book as it is more about the formalities of registering, protecting and developing ideas. Here are some more tidbits from the book. I loved the first few chapters as it provided some well researched details about inventors and their psychology.

- Creative thinkers are divergent thinkers and have the following characteristics based on a study by P.J Guilford :

o Fluency – volume of solutions

o Flexibility – plethora of approaches

o Originality – things that have not been thought of

o Elaboration – thinking through details and execution

- Many inventers border on eccentricity. Examples quoted in the book are that of Archimedes’ famous reaction to his discovery while in his bath, Mozart’s giggling and promiscuous behaviour in court which resulted in many people not recognizing his genius (except the court musician who noticed and got jealous), Einstein’s confusing lectures, Newton’s lack of friends and preference for complete solitude, and suicidal tendencies in visually creative people and authors. The book puts forth an interesting reason for some of these behaviours – “Frustration of seeing the truth clearly but being unable to convince anyone else of this vision”. Another reason is apparently the possibility of one part of the brain not being able to cope with the intensity of the vision that the other part of the brain - that operates in an enhanced mode - conjures up.

- The authors also note that most creative/inventive people are alienated, live in poverty (mostly because they don’t care about money and enjoy the very experience of being creative/inventive and also because their talents are not understood or recognized), are persistent, and highly focused on the relationship between their inventions and ethics. Inventors are also labeled as traditionally paranoid because of reasons like theft of ideas by wily people often leading to unfair kudos and financial rewards for the latter. The authors of the book step out of the confines of typical “professional” thoughts for a moment and go to the extent of cursing idea stealers.

- Ideas are classified as Problem Solution, Evolutionary, Symbiotic, Revolutionary, Serendipitous, Targeted, Artistic, Philosophical and Computer-Assisted Discovery.

- In the chapter on The Corporate Innovation Perspective, the authors point out that the Finance and Accounting body in USA has been the first to admit that CFOs are ill equipped to value the intangibles in an organization.

- Another lovable quote by David Sarnoff that the book provides is “Let us not paralyze our capacity for good by brooding over man’s capacity for evil

Previous posts related to this book:

So what’s more important?

Ignorance and knowledge are strange siblings

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