A New Take on Innovation

Thanks to my iPad and a rediscovered joy for reading, I’m reading How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer.

It’s a great read so far, and I highly recommend it regardless of what you do for work. It’s interesting. Anyway, one excerpt resonated with me today:

Once this overlapping of ideas occurs, cortical cells start to form connections that have never existed before, wiring themselves into entirely new networks . . . . From the perspective of the brain, new ideas are merely several old thoughts that occur at the exact same time.

This debunks the eureka moment as a single great idea, which gives some comfort to those of who struggle to innovate on demand. Ideas come from mixing peanut butter and chocolate.


Anyway, if you comment, don’t ruin the ending 🙂




  1. HWD is a great book and Lehrer has plenty of great stories to make the ideas more concrete. Your connection of his neurophysiology of ideas to innovation complements Scott Berkun’s thinking. He is definitely in the “no eureka moment” camp.

  2. I really like the stories; they bring the abstract nicely into focus with a concrete use case. As a product guy, I’m in the everything is better with use cases 🙂

    Thanks for the tip on Scott Berkun, will investigate. Any book in particular?

  3. I have the dead-tree version of How We Decide waiting on the bookshelf, so maybe I’ll get back to this after a while. 🙂 Too many books to read…

  4. Good read, the iPad (or I’m guessing a Kindle too) definitely awoke my reading bug, something about the ability to carry a bunch of books around and avoid the space issue. Or maybe I’m attempting to justify a pricey gadget 🙂 Either way, it’s working so far.

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