Where Good Ideas Come From

I've been reading my friend Steven Johnson's new book Where Good Ideas Come From. Steven gave me an advance copy of the book. It is available for pre-order at Amazon [kindle here] and it will be released on October 5th.

I hope Steven is not a stranger to any of you. His books over the past decade are some of my favorites and his take on the intersection between technology, science, society, culture, and innovation is unique and important.

Good Ideas (as I call it) is an examination of the sources of creativity in all of us. It is a deeply scientific book but it reads more like a narrative, which is one of Steven's gifts. He tells wonderful stories about science.

I've been pulling quotes from the book for several weeks onto my tumblog (aka my commonplace book). If you follow me on Tumblr, you will have seen a number of them. I will keep doing that until I finish the book which may happen this week.

Steven showed me this four minute video last week on his iPad. It is an excellent (and whimsical) summary of the book and has all of the core concepts in it.

Steven gave a talk about Good Ideas at TED Oxford in July. TED just posted it to the web today. Here it is. It is worth watching if you have the time (17 mins long). If you watch it all the way to the end you'll hear a great story about the invention of GPS.

Good Ideas is as close to a must read for this audience as there is. It has informed and amplified my thinking about innovation and creativity and I am sure it will do the same for you.