How to Fly A Horse

How to Fly A Horse

The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery

Book - 2015
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"What do Thomas Jefferson's ice cream recipe, Coca Cola and Chanel No. 5 have in common? They all depended on a 19th century African boy who, with a single pinch, solved one of nature's great riddles and gave birth to the multi-million dollar vanilla industry. Kevin Ashton opens his book with the fascinating story of the young slave who launched a flavor revolution to show that invention and creation come in unexpected shapes and sizes. From the crystallographer's laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long forgotten woman, to the electromagnetic chamber where the stealth bomber was born on a 25 cent bet, Ashton weaves tales of humanity's greatest creations to unpack the surprising true process of discovery. Drawing on the Amish and the iPhone, Kandinsky and cans of Coke, Lockheed, South Park, and the Wright brothers--who set out to "fly a horse"--he showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary--and usually uncredited--acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs. Creators, he shows, apply everyday, ordinary thinking that we are all capable of in particular ways, taking thousands of small steps, working in an endless loop of problem and solution. He explores why innovators meet resistance and how they overcome it, why most organizations stifle creative people and how the most creative organizations work. In a passionate and profound narrative that amazes and inspires, Ashton's book sheds new light on how "new" comes to be"--
"Inspiring and empowering, this journey behind the scenes of humanity's greatest creations reveals the surprising way we make something new. What do Thomas Jefferson's ice cream recipe, Coca Cola, and Chanel No. 5 have in common? They all depended on a nineteenth-century African boy who, with a single pinch, solved one of nature's great riddles and gave birth to the multimillion-dollar vanilla industry. Kevin Ashton opens his book with the fascinating story of the young slave who launched a flavor revolution to show that invention and creation come in unexpected shapes and sizes. From the crystallographer's laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long-forgotten woman, to the electromagnetic chamber where the stealth bomber was born on a 25-cent bet, Ashton weaves tales of humanity's greatest creations to unpack the surprising true process of discovery. Drawing on the Amish and the iPhone, Kandinsky and cans of Coke, Lockheed, South Park, and the Wright brothers--who set out to "fly a horse"--he showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary--and usually uncredited--acts that led to our most astounding breakthroughs. Creators, he shows, apply everyday, ordinary thinking that we are all capable of in particular ways, taking thousands of small steps, working in an endless loop of problem and solution. He explores why innovators meet resistance and how they overcome it, why most organizations stifle creative people, and how the most creative organizations work. In a passionate and profound narrative that amazes and inspires, Ashton's book sheds new light on how "new" comes to be"--
Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, 2015.
ISBN: 9780804170062
9780385538596
0385538596
Branch Call Number: 609 Ashton 01/2015
Characteristics: xxviii, 314 pages ;,25 cm

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spl_merley Jan 19, 2017

I really enjoyed Ashton's storytelling in this exploration of creativity and invention; encountering many wonderful examples of people who made discoveries through persistence and hard work. This is as much a philosophical look at creativity as it is about the practices and principles that will help individuals and organizations to embrace and foster creativity. Creating is a part of what makes us human and I developed a deeper appreciation and respect for creative work from reading this book.

m
markgre
Jul 05, 2015

Very engaging book on creativity and innovation. Stories show how this process is messy, hard work, and built in to each of us.

l
lyallfalk
Mar 23, 2015

Ashton makes his findings sound as though no one else has come to the same conclusions as he. No great news as far as I'm concerned.

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