By @SimonCocking. Review of  Think Like an Innovator – 76 inspiring lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers and innovators.  By Paul Sloane published by Pearson, priced £12.99. Available here and see Paul’s guest post for us here.

In the foreword the author suggests using the book as something to dip in and out of to gain inspiration and insights. With 76 global innovators, each described in around 500 words there is a wide, though not deep, range of inspiration. It is enjoyable to begin with the artists and David Bowie in particular. With such a short section for each artist it is hard to touch on some of the truly innovative ideas someone like Bowie came up with, both musically and in the wider area of innovation. Also to cite Madonna’s acting in Desperately Seeking Susan as an example of her broad range of talent was slightly wincing to read (watch the film and you’ll see what we mean), though to be fair she did also win a Golden Globe for her role in Evita.

Overall the book is an enjoyable read, and useful reminder to take strength in your belief in your own vision and the knowledge that to be innovative and groundbreaking is to not take the easy option. In this way, time and time again throughout the book Sloane gently nudges you towards the wider observation that innovation requires perseverance, and a resolute belief despite, or often because of the fact you are going against the grain of perceived common wisdom.

It is a relatively short book, with a diverse range of people featured. If there was a second edition it would be good to expand, even a little, on many of the entries. Exciting innovators like Elon Musk are also involved in Solar City and the other initiatives. Mentioning these would then allow the reader to gain a wider understanding of the range of activities he is involved in. Also to include Freddie Mercury and not Peter Gabriel,  Laurie Anderson, David Byrne or Brian Eno perhaps also seemed a shame, as they would have brought further, interesting, diverse perspectives and insights.

Naturally this is the challenge of a listicle type of book, to be thought provoking, and inspirational, so perhaps it has achieved it’s purpose.

Top Tips for the Technical Innovator, by Paul Sloane


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