The Idea Factory Summary

The Idea Factory SummaryBell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

The Great Age keeps moving full-steam ahead, striking every corner of the world.

Neglecting the modern equipment and technology leads to disastrous results.

This preview will give you a couple of inside information about Bell Labs, and their intentions.

Who Should Read “The Idea Factory”? And Why?

What’s your idea? – Do you have any plans for the future or ingenuity doesn’t play a part in your life?

The Idea Factory,” tells an unforgettable story that changed the lives of billions of people. As such, we recommended to all individuals who want to explore more and understand better.

About Jon Gertner

Jon GertnerJon Gertner obtained his B.A from the Cornell University.

He is an author, and a researcher encouraged by Bell Labs’ incredible success over the course of history.

“The Idea Factory Summary”

One can never be too certain when it comes to the age we live in. Such claims are based on the availability of advanced technology, with lots of room for improvement.

The smartphones, tablets, personal computer, and the internet are creating a whole new generation.

In truth, there are plenty of mind-blowing innovations in recent history, which triggered the new era, and any list cannot go without Google, Amazon, Apple, and other giants.

The cutting-edge technology gives credit to tools invented by their predecessors, which were only upgraded.

We bet that you have at least heard of a man called Alexander Graham Bell? – The inventor of the first telephone back in 1876, looked for a way to cash in on his passion, and driven by such incentive, he invented the Bell Telephone Company, which later was reconfigured into the “American Telephone and Telegraph Company” – AT&T.

The labs were in charge to make the phone service not only reliable but accurate on long-distances with very little error. At the time, busy ringing tones were still non-existent, and the caller needed persistence (often in the form of shouting) in order for the person on the other end of the signal to pick up the phone.

While the Great Depression was raging throughout Europe and North America, Bell Labs had little choice but to reduce the number of employees or working hours.

However, many young scientists enrolled in various studies to compensate for the non-working periods.

The war, of course, had a massive role in the Bell Labs development. They altered their methods and way of production by focusing more on creating and designing assets for military use.

In 1940, the US Congress demanded that all spheres of the American Society, including the scientists, should contribute to the war efforts against Japan and Nazi Germany.

As a response, Bell Labs gladly accepted this honor and dropped the regular production.

Radars became an indispensable asset on the battlefield, used for both defensive and attacking military strategies.

Efficient radars could detect planes, submarines, bombers, and other enemy units even in dense fog, or a storm.

This strategy proved to be decisive, and Bell Labs continued during the post-war period to supply the American Army with the latest technology that will later be used in the Cold War.

In the 40s, the Lab Scientists invented a transistor, and officially entered the field of influence on a global scale.

Yet, even top-notch technology has its weaknesses. As a practical and highly efficient device, the transistor was known for its unpredictable behavior, which periodically produced inaccurate reports.

Fellow Labs scientist known by the name of William Shockley discovered a way to improve the device and fix the issues.

When the public was introduced to the transistor, it didn’t have the effect everyone was expecting. Its relevance and impact didn’t rise to the surface with the first wave, yet Claude Shannon was among the very few who anticipated such reaction.

Right before the end of WW2, Bell Labs’ highly skilled innovators and technicians began their experiments, for the purpose of enhancing the transmitting capabilities.

One of the main methods, which will remain deeply embedded into the history of telephony is known as the pulse code modulation or PCM.

It may seem odd to some people. But Shannon’s ideas marked the beginning of what’s known today as the age of modern technology and digital communication.

The range of their activities cannot be defined since Bell Labs covered almost anything associated with their area of expertise.

A decade later after WW2, it wasn’t merely a dream to use telephony for overseas communication.

A new invention named satellite technology enabled this happening and stimulated the production of the first-ever, communications satellites.

Bell Labs’ renowned scientists Cal Fuller and Gerald Pearson took into account the properties of silicon, and despite the odds managed to build and maintain a silicon solar battery.

This device will become the first functional solar power tool in history, and the representative of the top-notch solar technology.

It’s needless to say that Bell Labs transformed the world. The transistor, overseas communication, satellites all originate from a group of highly experienced technicians and innovators. Still, this was just the beginning.

In the 1960s, Bell Labs embarked on a new adventure and began their research concerning the mobile telephony. Before taking any concrete steps, it was vital to solve the two main issues:

First: The availability of wireless frequencies, which indicates that only a dozen of calls could be set in motion simultaneously.

Second: The scientists had little clue about – How can a caller move around and speak without experiencing a call disconnection?  

It wasn’t until the 70s that AT&T’s monopoly was challenged. The corporation was forced to “surrender” its local company holdings, which later became independent companies.

Bell Labs continued in the same manner, with intentions to impress the world with its know-how and expertise.  

Unlike Google, Amazon, Yahoo and other Marketing Brands, AT&T placed its fate on innovation, which was not the case with other companies.

Such orientation spontaneously triggered growth, expansion and worldly domination in the realm of communications.

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“The Idea Factory” Quotes

You get paid for the seven and a half hours a day you put in here,- Kelly often told new Bell Labs employees in his speech to them on their first day, but you get your raises and promotions on what you do in the other sixteen and a half… Click To Tweet The men preferred to think they worked not in a laboratory but in what Kelly once called “an institute of creative technology. Click To Tweet One study group in particular, informally led by William Shockley at the West Street labs, and often joined by Brattain, Fisk, Townes, and Woolridge, among others, met on Thursday afternoons. The men were interested in a particular branch… Click To Tweet My first stop on any time-travel expedition would be Bell Labs in December 1947. Click To Tweet I tried to get other people to do things. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In our opinion, this book deserves all the merits for being right on the spot with its accuracy, and simplicity.

We cannot be more pleased, for being a part of such amazing journey, which hopefully will continue with a new set of innovations.

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Ending Aging Summary

Ending Aging PDFThe Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime

Three decades ago, for the soundtrack of “Highlander,” “Queen” decided to ask the world an apt question. Namely, “Who Wants to Live Forever?”

According to the English gerontologist Aubrey de Grey, the answer to the question is fairly obvious: absolutely everybody. However, the more interesting part of his book on the subject, “Ending Aging,” is that children alive today may be able to.

And Aubrey de Grey is not an SF writer. He’s a doctor. With a PhD.

So, lend us your ears!

Who Should Read “Ending Aging”? And Why?

Gerontology is a fairly new science: the first courses in it date from about forty years ago. However, it’s also a science you don’t need to be especially interested in to be… well, interested in. Because it deals with something that will inevitably happen to you: aging.

Inevitably?

The spoiler is in the title of this book: not necessarily so. If you want to know how is that possible, read this book. Also, read it if you don’t want to die. And we’re not joking.

About Aubrey de Grey

Aubrey David Nicholas Jasper de GreyAubrey de Grey is an English biomedical gerontologist, and the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation. He is also the editor of the journal “Rejuvenation Research”, as well as a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and an international adjunct professor of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

He has authored two books: “The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging” and “Ending Aging.” In addition, he has provided “A Roadmap to End Aging” for over 3 million TED enthusiasts.

“Ending Aging PDF Summary”

Although we don’t fully understand why it’s happening, aging seems as inevitable as death and taxes. For some reason, in humans, with each following mitosis – that is, the division of a cell into two new ones (which is how you grow) – the telomere (which controls the process and stops chromosomes from sticking to each other or knotting) shortens.

40 to 60 times later (something called the Hayflick Limit) – it’s too short to control anything; so, the division of the cells stop. And that’s how the mechanism of cellular aging – or senescence – works. And, basically, there’s nothing most organisms can do about it!

Most?

Yes – that’s the twist you’ve been waiting for!

First of all, you must know that some animals have negligible senescence. In other words, there’s a chance that if you ever see a rougheye rockfish or an Aldabra giant tortoise that the same specimens may have been seen by, say, Benjamin Franklin!

And there’s something even stranger. Its Latin name is turitopsis dohrii, but it’s better known as the immortal jellyfish. Its life cycle is, literally, a cycle – since, instead of getting old, the larva-turned-medusa turns to larva once again!

Talking about hitting the reset button, ha?

Well, if a jellyfish can do it, asks Aubrey de Grey, then why shouldn’t humans be able to as well?

That’s why he has developed a seven-step anti-aging program, called the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, or SENS for short. The “goal-directed rather than curiosity-driven” approach has a threefold basis.

Firstly, that we know more about aging than any human generation before. Secondly, that we have developed regenerative medicine to a point where we can use it to repair some of the negative effects of the aging process. And, thirdly, that not experimenting further in the field is unfair to the people living today.

Because we may already be able to at least double their lifespan – not to mention increase the quality of their lives.

The strategies themselves are seven in all – OncoSENS, MitoSENS, LysoSENS, AmyloSENS, RepleniSENS, ApoptoSENS, and GlycoSENS – and each of them propagates researching a different aspect of regenerative medicine to repair a different aging damage.

For example, MitoSENS deals with mitochondrial mutation. The mitochondria live in the cell’s cytoplasm and produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of our body’s chemical energy. So, they are basically the cell’s powerplants.

However, just like real powerplants, they cause serious side effects, such as free radicals, which in turn, cause mitochondrial mutations. And these contribute to aging possibly more than anything else.

The SENS solution: allotopic expression (AE). That is, copying the DNA for mitochondria from the cytoplasm in the nucleus, which should protect its genes better. For some time successfully carried out only in yeast, it seems that the SENS project went a step further just recently. (Yes, we’re talking about humans).

Does this mean that we’re close to immortality?

Of course, not – though it means that we’re on the right track! However, aging can be caused by many different factors as well. Cells, for example, produce waste. They recycle it nice and tidy, for the most part, but they can’t do nothing about lipofuscin, one of the “wear-and-tear” or aging pigments.

Lipofuscin is a byproduct of the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids and should be disposed of by the lysosomes. However, they are no match. And lipofuscin piles up in our bodies until we die.

However, lipofuscin is also fluorescent and the fact that you can’t see glowing zombies in the graveyards mean that it’s properly broken down by something else.

And that something else are bacteria and microbes.

LysoSENS proposes taking enzymes out of them and adding them to the lysosome. So that it can properly deal with all the intracellular junk inside us.

Key Lessons from “Ending Aging”

1.      Senescence, Negligible Senescence and Immortality
2.      Prevention and Medication Won’t Work – We Need to Press the Reset Button
3.      Let’s try de Grey’s Seven-Step SENS Program on Mice First

Senescence, Negligible Senescence and Immortality

Senescence is how scientists call the process of cellular aging, which is the reason why we get old and die. You can understand how it works if you’ve ever copied a copy from a copy of an original. Understandably, your replica is much less readable and aesthetically pleasing when compared to the original.

Now think of doing this 40 to 60 times. You’ll end up with an extremely muddled piece of paper.

Well, that’s what happens with your cells. Fortunately, when the information inside them may become unreadable, there’s one part of them – the telomere – which says “it’s closing time.” Unfortunately, this also means that you are unable to rejuvenate anymore.

However, turtles and some fish seem to have cells which reproduce without such losses of information for hundreds of years. And one specific type of jellyfish is basically immortal – because its old cells produce young cells, which, once again, produce old cells. Ad infinitum!

A real-life – and never-ending – Benjamin Button!

Prevention and Medication Won’t Work – We Need to Press the Reset Button

Aubrey de Grey says that we should learn a lesson from this jellyfish. Namely, that preventing aging won’t work – just as medications won’t work either.

What will – and what our research should focus on – is resetting the cell structure. It’s not only the only possible option to end aging; it’s also the more appealing one.

Because this way, we’re not finding a cure against death; but, instead, the fountain of eternal youth!

Let’s try de Grey’s Seven-Step SENS Program on Mice First

Now, Aubrey de Grey has identified seven ways we age. And, accordingly, has developed seven different strategies how to fight them.

OncoSENS focuses on lengthening telomeres to stop changes in the nuclear DNA; MitoSENS on backing up the mitochondrial DNA in the cell’s nucleus to protect it better; LysoSENS on injecting enzymes from bacteria in our lysosomes so we can break down intracellular junk more completely.

AmyloSENS deals with the extracellular junk – either through vaccination or enhanced phagocytosis. RepleniSENS proposes a wide array of strategies to stop the loss of cells which can’t be replaced. ApoptoSENS, on the other hand, proposes vaccination and senolytic agents to kill the cells which stop dividing so as to make room for the healthy ones which can.

Finally, GlycoSENS aims to break the multiplicity of bonds and cross-links which make the tissue less elastic as we grow old.

Too controversial or unscientific?

Aubrey de Grey says – “ok, then, give me the money and 20 mice. I’ll only move on to people if I can make 10 of them live twice as long as the oldest mouse… And only if they are willing.”

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“Ending Aging” Quotes

The ultimate purpose of this book is to show you that you could add many more years to people’s lives than you may currently think. So many, in fact, that now is the time to decide whether you want to. Click To Tweet Around 150,000 people die each day worldwide – that’s nearly two per second – and of those, about two-thirds die of aging. That’s right: 100,000 people. That’s about thirty World Trade Centers, sixty Katrinas, every single day. Click To Tweet We can probably eliminate aging as a cause of death this century – and possibly within just a few decades, soon enough to benefit most people currently alive. Click To Tweet Most people do not think about aging in the same way that they think about cancer, or diabetes, or heart disease. They are strongly in favor of the absolute elimination of such diseases as soon as possible, but the idea of eliminating… Click To Tweet In the sense that matters most, aging is just like smoking: It’s really bad for you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The premise may sound unscientific, but don’t be fooled: “Ending Aging” is as scientific as books of this kind can get. Namely, you will not be able to enjoy it if you don’t know at least some biology (and even more advanced on occasions). However, the main idea is certainly appealing.

And as Paul Boutin from “The Wall Street Journal” says, “if even one of his proposals works, it could mean years of extended healthy living.”

So, let’s pray that it does.

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The Design of Everyday Things Summary

The Design of Everyday Things SummaryThe Cognitive Psychology of Good Design

“The Design of Everyday Things” is hard – especially if it is good. Learn the process that yields good and intuitive design, that users can easily grasp.

About Donald A. Norman

Donald A. NormanDonald Norman is an author, the director of The Design Lab at University of California, and Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science at the same University.

“The Design of Everyday Things Summary”

Have you ever struggled to grasp how a simple everyday object works?

If you have, you are not the only one!

In fact, many people have problems using seemingly simple everyday objects.

However, no matter how simple the product, the problem is never the person who uses it – the problem is always bad design.

Bad design happens when designers oversee the relation between users and the product.

Good design is the complete opposite and brings products and people together.

But, why do bad design happen?

Well, one of the primary causes is the rapid technological advancement.

The continually changing technology makes it hard for designers to develop complex products that are easy to use.

However, no matter how many functions a product can do, and how revolutionary it may seem, if a user cannot use it, it is worthless.

Hence, designers should always strive to develop products which are user-friendly.

User and learner friendly products allow people to learn how to operate them as they go, instead of trying to comprehend thick and complicated manuals.

So, what can designers do to make the design good?

Well, they should create products which have clear clues that show users how to operate them.

The product needs to communicate with users by giving them feedback in the form of sounds, vibrations or signs.

Signs also help the user understand if the device is turned on or off.

And what happens when you try to make your design good, but users still find it difficult to use it?

When users have a hard time using a product, you need to search for the root-cause of the problem.

A quick fix will not do in the long run.

So, if you get bad feedback on the easiness of use of the product, do not blame your customers, but listen to them.

The keys to good design are having patience and practicing design thinking.

Only that way you can find out why users encounter problems and how you can make your design better.

Key Lessons from “The Design of Everyday Things”

1.      The Three Psychological Levels Users Engage With a Product On
2.      The Role of Constraints
3.      Creating Human Centered Design

The Three Psychological Levels Users Engage With a Product On

  • The visceral level, connected to unconscious actions
  • The behavioral level, linked to quick, conscious reflexes
  • The reflective level, related to problem-solving and planning

The Role of Constraints

Constraints are clues that show users how to use the product. They can be physical or cultural.

They also remind people about some ways of using the product that they did not think of.

Creating Human Centered Design

  • Study how users interact with a product
  • Generate ideas to solve the problem
  • Build a prototype
  • Test the prototype

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“The Design of Everyday Things” Quotes

Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating. Click To Tweet Rule of thumb: if you think something is clever and sophisticated beware-it is probably self-indulgence. Click To Tweet Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible. Click To Tweet A brilliant solution to the wrong problem can be worse than no solution at all: solve the correct problem. Click To Tweet Cognition attempts to make sense of the world: emotion assigns value. Click To Tweet

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Monetizing Innovation Summary

Monetizing Innovation SummaryHow Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price

Monetizing Innovation” is an easy-going and absorbable book that further examines the stigma of price-sensitivity and ways to handle it.

About Madhavan Ramanujam and Georg Tacke

Madhavan RamanujamMadhavan Ramanujam and Georg Tacke are experts in product segmentation and consultants that helped many companies in their efforts.

“Monetizing Innovation Summary”

Experts estimated that approximately 75% of new products fail to exceed expectations, regarding sales. These goods or commodities including both tangible and intangible products mainly fail due to bad design that is not suitable to the customers’ wishes.

The “Nine-Rule Approach”

The authors advise the companies and start-ups to implement the steps below if they intend to keep high-intensity in the struggle for better market positioning. Analyze everything, from top to bottom, and you’ll soon get the big picture and all other features that go with it.

  1. Willingness-to-Pay

As an illustration of this theory, Ramanujam and Tackle explain how Gillette managed to increase its profits in India by designing a cheaper blade. Conversing with the customers and understanding their “ideal price” is vital for reaching success.

  1. “One-Size-Does-Not-Fit-All”

Examine and underline the perfect ratio of price to assets/features. Some customers are more price-oriented while others prefer an all-encompassing product. The price sensitivity varies on a case-to-case basis; your job is to test each possibility and then based on these results develop a strategy.

  1. “Configuration- and Bundling”

Apply a design that fits the customer’s possibilities. “Who will pay for your product and how much” is the key question. First, present the core product that has only the most basic features at a lower price. Afterward, add some extra features and segments to see whether your customers are still interested in purchasing your product,

  1. “Go Beyond the Price Point”

What are your plans for generating income? Do you think that a monthly subscription is better than sharing free information? Internet or regular companies must adjust their financial strategy to fit the business objectives.

The pricing model must be compatible with the product or service you are offering, otherwise, your company will face a quick downfall.  

  1. “Pick a Winning Price Strategy”

Making trade-offs between risk and benefits is unavoidable. Adjust your strategy to fit your goals – for instance: do you prefer to have a larger base of customer or higher profits? Maximize your influence and chose the best method that is either aggressive and penetrating or it’s based on replication.

  1. “Build an Outside-In Business Case”

Foresee every possible behavioral change with the help of product segmentation, market positioning, and a wide variety of choices. Revise your plans and see whether you’re dealing with an overly price-sensitive group of customers – all insights are welcome.

  1. “Communicate the Value”

Don’t be shy about launching on a full-scale word-of-mouth marketing campaign. Tell the whole story and pay special attention to the benefits that product will bring to the users.

  1. “Use Behavioral Pricing Tactics”

Customers can behave in an entirely unpredicted way. A sudden shift from rational to irrational and vice versa is possible. Behavioral science explains the mood swing phenomenon and advises the companies to advocate for multiple choices. For instance, setting up a “basic and premium possibility” is a great method for making the more expensive offer look more affordable.

  1. “Avoid Knee-Jerk Repricing”

You did your very best to convince the audience, and yet you failed. What’s next? – Resist the temptation to reduce the price of your latest invention. Such endeavor will convey negative signals that will further damage the quality and popularity of the product.

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“Monetizing Innovation” Quotes

Nearly three out of four new products or services miss their revenue and profit goals. Many of those crash and burn entirely, and some take their companies with them. Click To Tweet A pricing strategy is your short- and long-term monetization plan. The best companies document their pricing strategies and make it a living and breathing document. Click To Tweet Products lose integrity when a company’s knee-jerk response to a lukewarm early market reaction is to reduce their product’s price in the first few months. Click To Tweet Your pricing strategy should be to land a customer by showcasing the lower up-front costs and then expanding on a higher variable amount. Click To Tweet Your business case must model the linkages among the four elements of price, value, volume and cost. When you do that, your monetary forecast will be far more precise. Click To Tweet

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Future Shock Summary

Future Shock Summary

“Future Shock” takes you back in the 70s and allows you to see the future through the eyes of Alvin Toffler.

About Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler is a writer, thinker, and futurist. In all of his works, he collaborated with his colleague and wife Heidi Toffler.

“Future Shock Summary”

“Future Shock” is the term Toffler gave to the trauma that happens as a result of going through great changes in a short time.

In his book he explores how people can adapt to the changes they face, and while doing that he establishes a new social norm: embracing change.

Although it was written in the 70s when people were not aware that many of the ways they conducted business and the technology they were familiar with would disappear, his thoughts remain relevant even today.

Preparing for change and embracing it is not a topic that will lose its importance soon.

Today, we are used to this sort of advice, but at the time when Toffler advocated his views, his thoughts were unusual.

He did not know much for the Internet, but he did a wonderful job in predicting the future by forming a new mode of being that he called “The Ad-hocracy” which will transform the world into a “free-form world” of kinetic organizations.

According to his notions, which later turned out to be exact, many functions will disappear, offices will no longer be as necessary, communication will be constant and conducted over different types of media, etc.

He tries to find ways to balance vicarious experiences, which are the things you pay others to do for your enjoyment and non-vicarious experiences, which are the things you do.

As you can already notice, Toffler’s predictions are incredibly accurate.

Finding the balance between these two types of experience has only grown to become more critical as time went by.

Such is the case with most of his questions and predictions, which proves that he was a thinker that was a step ahead of his time, and raised questions that people can relate to even today.

Key Lessons from “Future Shock”

1.      A World Full of Many Markets
2.      “Invention with Invention”
3.      Stability Zones

A World Full of Many Markets

Toffler came up with another prediction that relates to the many markets.

He discusses the emergence of “overchoice” which according to him is tied to the consumer’s increasing focus on individuality.

He further predicts that technological advancements will be responsible for creating product variety, as consumers will reject standardized products and search for individuality.

“Invention with Invention”

Toffler believes that markets can maintain their competitiveness and survive only if they meet invention with intention.

He argues that new technology should be regulated as little as possible, and tries to address all kinds of other aspects that may play a significant role in shaping society.

“Stability Zones”

He also addresses the people’s need for stimuli.

He recommends for people to embrace stability zones in their lives, out of which the strongest one is a long-term, monogamous relationship.

He believes that in the profound connection to another person, one builds the emotional basis from which they can observe the world as it changes, without changing their identity.

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“Future Shock” Quotes

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Click To Tweet If you don't have a strategy, you're part of someone else's strategy. Click To Tweet Change is not merely necessary to life - it is life. Click To Tweet Science fiction is held in low regard as a branch of literature, and perhaps it deserves this critical contempt. Click To Tweet The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order. Click To Tweet

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The Phoenix Project Summary

The Phoenix Project SummaryA Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

“The Phoenix Project” explains the basics of DevOps.

About Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford

Gene KimGene Kim is an author, a researcher and an award-winning chief technology officer. 

Kevin Behr is chief science officer and general manager of Praxis Flow and founder of the Information Technology Process Institute.

George Spafford is a research director for Gartner.  

“The Phoenix Project Summary”

DevOps is an innovative IT management system that is created to help coordination and collaboration among business units, products owners, and different IT operations.

The authors explain DevOps by wrapping it up in a business fable about Parts Unlimited, an auto parts company that DevOps saves.

But, do not be skeptical: although it is structured as a story, the book offers an overview of DevOps, before it gives functional details and a technical rundown.

A few main lessons can be extracted from the book.

First, the authors argue that traditional project management does not work with IT operations since it cannot alleviate issues that happen between software development and IT operations.

Second, as its name suggests, DevOps integrates IT operations and software development together in a productive unit.

Third, DevOps is based on a “set of techniques” and “cultural norms, processes, and practices.” It is a pragmatic approach to managing IT operations, and under this system, information security, product management, development, IT, etc, can all work together.

DevOps first tries to remove bottlenecks before making any improvements. It also uses rapid feedback loops to reduce or even eliminate future production problems.

Hence, IT professionals can notice problems quickly and immediately fix them, therefore avoiding disruptions to work.

Finally, the authors explain the three ways from which DevOps derives its principles.

The first way is creating a fast and uninterrupted workflow “from development to IT operations to the customer.”

“The Second Way” is implementing a “flow of fast feedback,” which allows IT professionals to be proactive and avoid problems by fixing “quality at the source.”

“The Third Way” is allowing space for “continual experimentation” by promoting a corporate culture of innovation.

Key Lessons from “The Phoenix Project”

1.      DevOps is Not “Only for Start-Ups and Unicorns”
2.      DevOps is Not “Only for Start-Ups and Unicorns”
3.      Misconceptions that Can Cloud the Understanding of DevOps

DevOps is Not “Only for Start-Ups and Unicorns”

Every so-called unicorn started out having the same problems of a conventional horse.

These unicorns did not use DevOps from the very beginning – they graduated to it.

The authors believe that DevOps is even more significant to horses than it is for start-ups and unicorns.

DevOps Purpose

DevOps is created to help increase customer satisfaction, improve product quality, and fuel and speed up experimentation and innovation.

All of these points lead to enhancing the company’s competitiveness on the market.

Misconceptions that Can Cloud the Understanding of DevOps

  • “DevOps replaces Agile.” 
  • “DevOps replaces ITIL.” 
  • “DevOps means NoOps.”
  • “DevOps is only for open source software.”
  • “DevOps is just ‘infrastructure as code’ or automation.” 

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“The Phoenix Project” Quotes

Improving daily work is even more important than doing daily work. Click To Tweet Being able to take needless work out of the system is more important than being able to put more work into the system. Click To Tweet Any improvements made anywhere besides the bottleneck are an illusion. Click To Tweet A great team doesn’t mean that they had the smartest people. What made those teams great is that everyone trusted one another. It can be a powerful thing when that magic dynamic exists. Click To Tweet We need to create a culture that reinforces the value of taking risks and learning from failure and the need for repetition and practice to create mastery. Click To Tweet

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Abundance Summary

Abundance Summary

MicroSummaryThis New York Times bestseller is a manifesto for the future, showing practical solutions to humanity’s most significant concerns: lack of quality food, water, education, healthcare, and freedom. In this book, the author explores some subjects, showing us how exponential technologies can help us improve our quality of life for one purpose: to achieve abundance. Come with the 12min team to explore a few technologies of the modern world!

The Future Is Better Than You Think

What are your thoughts on the robotic future?

In this book summary, we present the positive effects of such advanced technology.

Who Should Read “Abundance”? And Why?

Are you skeptical about the robots? Who imposed such opinion on us? Don’t take any movie plot too seriously that one day, the humanity will be at the mercy of our artificial “friends.”

Abundance” acts as a futurologist, a faithful life-partner that will help you overcome your fear from the exciting future and everything that comes along with it. In truth, it’s recommended to anyone eager to hear the other side of the story.

About Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Peter H. DiamandisPeter H. Diamandis the founder of XPRIZE. He is also a successful, award-winning American engineer, physician, and innovator, who was awarded for his willingness to foster innovation and deal with the societal problems.

Steven KotlerSteven Kotler is a renowned American journalist and an author who has written many articles and columns for several top-notch magazines including The New Yorker.

“Abundance Summary”

Although the media output is primarily dominated by governments worldwide, we may be slowly entering a new stage named – freedom. According to experts, the “dark times” lurking ahead should be interpreted with a dose of skepticism.

This news even produces a collective mindset, which is bothered by several questions like: How long will it take the world to experience a downfall due to various factors such as climate change, shortage of resources or advanced technology? Evidently, the clock is ticking, and there’s no escape route.

Abundance is not convinced in this plot and picks up an argument with this theory. Instead of endorsing an ending-scenario, the society is actually on the brink of financial prosperity, and innovative future.

The modification in the business world is just a beginning, followed by advanced technology and economics that will improve people’s well-being from a financial standpoint.

In truth, these tendencies have a source that is responsible for the birth of these thoughts, which shape our pessimistic view of what’s coming.

Our brain’s architecture covers the first source or particularly an area known as the amygdala. This section (amygdala) is responsible for keeping us on full-alert when a threat is somewhere nearby. The defense mode is triggered when we face unpleasant predicaments – initiating the fight or flee response.

The second aspect has pretty much to do with the information we receive on a daily basis. News and media outlets are deliberately promoting negative and threatening news to elicit some expected reaction from the public.

Education is also under threat:

Business leaders from all around the world, unanimously show concern about the education system that is not providing the students with the skills required to endure in the era of instant change.

Abilities such as critical thinking and problem-solving are often overlooked, leaving the economy exposed to various risks. Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler are just giving you a heads up, that our education system is falling apart because it’s outdated.

A successful future surely relies on innovation and invention that is not prone to restraints from the society.

Generally speaking, the world is not ready to embrace failure as an integral part of growth. There is some aversion, caused by numerous factors. To reduce the stigma attached to it, one must undergo certain training, and endorse methods that stretch beyond its comfort zone.

To put it differently, if you are reluctant to try out new things, you’ll never achieve anything remarkable. In trying to avoid risk, you assume that you’ll get away without blemish, which is not the case.

From the beginning of the 21st century, we’ve been “bombarded” with many science-fiction movies such as Star Wars in 2001, which brought us to a state of anticipation, awaiting the “Robot” takeover. This vision has not been materialized yet, and in truth, this plot is not as realistic as we thought it is.

The industry experts foresee that these intelligent robots will replace many job positions such as the intense health care for the elderly and cashiers.

After the Tsunami in Japan, in Hurricane Katrina, many people start questioning the power to prevent such devastating forces.

An English expert and engineer in water treatment – Michael Pritchard motivated by this sequence of unpleasant events, decided to embark on a journey and provide a solution for this issue. A few years later, he invented the Lifesaver water bottle.

Pritchard argued that conventional filters were designed only to capture bacteria, and their capabilities didn’t involve recognizing viruses. That statement forced him to turn his issue over to nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is best described as a manipulation of matter on various scales – involving both atomic and molecular. The process of creating materials is feasible by using atoms as building blocks – and these outputs are known as nanocomposites.

Key Lessons from “Abundance

1.      Pritchard’s theory of simplicity
2.      A new age is ahead of us
3.      Firms are on full-alert

Pritchard’s theory of simplicity

Lifesaver, on first glance, doesn’t look like a long-term solution because it’s not based on high-tech.

Consisting of hand-pump on one end and a filter on the other, it surely was subjected to lots of discussions and skepticism.

A new age is ahead of us

The development of advanced hardware tools and computers marks the beginning of an era belonging to the artificial intelligence.

At this very moment, companies are involved in developing robots, who can behave like us, meaning they are capable of facial expression, emotional outbursts, and even interaction.

Firms are on full-alert

Companies nowadays are becoming aware to a greater extent of the risks and benefits of a specific strategy.

To handle the complexity of today, they have little choice but to dive into the mastery of innovation and follow proven techniques in order to conduct a successful campaign.

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“Abundance” Quotes

Abundance is not about providing everyone on this planet with a life of luxury—rather it’s about providing all with a life of possibility. Click To Tweet Culture is the ability to store, exchange, and improve ideas. Click To Tweet When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. Click To Tweet The true measure of something’s worth is the hours it takes to acquire it. Click To Tweet In today’s hyperlinked world, solving problems anywhere, solves problems everywhere. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Abundance has left us in a dilemma, and it’ll surely give you something to think about.

In reality, we all hope for a prosperous future, and that’s exactly what Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler are trying to stimulate.

| New / Extended | Abundance Summary

Transforming Rarity In Abundance

Technology and innovation can make rare things plentiful. History tells us when we can not get easy access to something, this item becomes scarce, and technology intervenes to make it abundant.

Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s most prosperous cities, is spending its fortune to create Masdar, the world’s first post-oil city.

The primary focus is that all its residents will live and work without producing carbon waste. Masdar was founded to overcome the problems that will appear shortly due to lack of oil, water, etc. Situated in a region with plenty of sunlight for most of the day, Masdar has an alternative to petroleum in solar energy.

Regarding the lack of water, Masdar is close to the Persian Gulf, with a lot of salt water. There could be a way to extract pure water from the ocean.

In 1968, great thinkers around the world came together to reflect on the gap between consumption and resource production.

They based their research on comparisons between population growth rates and the availability of global resources. Today, almost 40 years later, the predictions seem to be true. We are running out of oil, drinking water, uranium, and phosphorus.

Many countries have tried to reduce rates of population growth, and their methods have been somewhat barbaric.

So if population control methods are not feasible, the only way is to manage the resources. And technology is the answer to turning scarcity into abundance.

The Pyramid Of Abundance

To find a definition of poverty, let us first think of the meaning of abundance.

Abraham Maslow developed his famous pyramid of needs, in which he prioritized human needs starting from the most basic ones like water, food, sleep, and others, until reaching the self-realization. Similarly, we can think of a pyramid of abundance with three levels.

The base of the pyramid has the basic needs like potable water, nutritious food, and adequate housing. There is a strong concern in developed countries on meeting the basic needs of other countries. The biggest concern is access to safe, clean water.

Africa spends 5% of its GDP on health, mainly to provide clean water.

According to Bill Gates, improving health conditions helps control population growth.

Level two of the pyramid provides energy, media, and education for all. Level three concerns health and freedom issues. Humanity is still threatened by diagnosed diseases and expensive medicines.

There are many theories and predictions about humankind. Some are positive, and others only prove that we are moving towards the degradation of civilization.

Modern times require an extensive study on the growth of exponential technologies, but unfortunately, no university or curriculum meets this need.

Peter Diamandis, Ray Kurzweil, and Dr. Simon Worden, who completed their doctorate in astronomy, have developed a plan to begin Singularity University.

The curriculum was selected considering the eight exponentially growing technologies. All these eight technologies can meet future global needs and problems.

Water Shortage

Water is a basic need of the human being, and its scarcity is a threat to life. Without access to clean water, people are prone to many diseases.

As agriculture and other industries make use of water, we need to review our ways of consuming drinking water. How to turn this scarcity into abundance? Dean Kamen may have the answer.

Dean Kamen has developed the DEKA Research and Development.

His ideas led him to invent a distiller for clean water in any degree. The modern version, called Slingshot, provides 1,000 liters of water per day and uses energy equivalent to a hair dryer.

He has made deals with Coca-Cola to help provide clean water to developing countries by producing slingshots on commercial scales.

Nanotechnology has also developed many new filters and devices to purify water from contaminants. A “nanofilter” was developed to remove salt and arsenic from the water. Nanotechnology promises a great future for obtaining clean water at lower energy costs.

Feeding Nine Billion People

The world today faces a dire situation with food shortage, and few resources to overcome it even with large amounts of money.

In the last century, despite our efforts, we have failed to increase the production of some of the largest sources of food such as wheat and rice, even involving large agricultural technologies.

However, our ability to produce food has increased thanks to the petrochemical industry.

To meet our need for protein, we need meat. Cattle breeding destroys the land and does not provide enough for our needs.

Aquaculture means the cultivation of fish as food. Farmers create fish pods and use mineral-rich soil for fertilization. Many technologies like this have the potential to tackle the food problem that the world is facing.

While these technologies are efficient, feeding nine billion people is not an easy task. The current need is not only to provide food for the world but also to strengthen our ecosystem.

All of this has been done on a very small scale. We need to follow the experts, or the future of the world will be doomed.

Abundance PDF

Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurs, according to Bill Drayton of Ashoka, are “individuals who combine the pragmatic, results-oriented methods of a company with the goals of a social reformer.” Kiva is an example of this since it is a site that offers loans to small businesses in poor countries using a P2P microcredit platform.

His network grew rapidly, and in 2011 he made a loan every 17 seconds. KickStart is another nonprofit, helping people create cheap irrigation systems for farmers and making soil blocks for building houses.

So entrepreneurs from Africa buy these kits and build their small-scale business. These are some of the accomplishments of DIY innovators, and their impact can be felt at all levels of the pyramid.

Development Of A New Class Of Philanthropists

Tecno-philanthropist is a new type of philanthropist who has the potential to use technology to change the world.

Today’s techno-philanthropists have realized that problems in one part of the world affect people in the other as well since we all share the same ecosystem.

Ebay’s first president, Jeff Skoll, created the Skoll Foundation that invests in social entrepreneurs.

Naveen Jain, who was born very poor, began to study entrepreneurship very young. His mother encouraged him to study. And now he is in a position to help the rest of the world using his fortune. Billionaires are helping to find solutions to global problems.

What is the best way to spend your fortune, if not to help humanity? Bill Gates and Warren Buffet had the idea of giving half of their fortunes to charity after and before death.

New Opportunities With Technology

The advent of technology diminishes the physical entities in our lives. The most affordable option is the smartphone that has a camera, GPS, browser, e-mail, dictionaries, e-books and health applications, naming just a few.

When Artificial and Robotic Intelligences are involved, things change completely in shape.

The availability of numerous job opportunities is another positive aspect of the technologies. The new technologies are sustainable and do not require much commitment.

Cutting costs is another advantage. Moore’s Law has proven that, over time, the physical components will reduce in size and cost and increased efficiency.

Chris Anderson’s drones are an example of this. eBay, Craigslist, and iTunes are on the cutting-edge list and improved customer experience. And energy is the biggest concern to make abundance possible.

Energy Shortage

Energy is the great force to overcome many problems in the world, as it provides the electricity that is used by all industries. And this will help provide education and jobs, helping to eliminate poverty.

Andrew Beebe was thinking about renewable energy when he founded his Energy Innovation business. EI Solutions has already installed its photovoltaic (PV) panels at the headquarters of companies such as Google, Sony, and Disney.

Beebe believes that solar energy is the strongest source of energy. Reducing PV costs has great potential, as it increases the accessibility factor, helping to overcome the energy crisis currently facing.

To achieve abundance, any energy must have exponential growth potential, and solar energy meets this criterion. With time, the cost of solar energy is decreasing as its potential is increasing.

Also, the technology is also bringing innovations with maximum results and with minimum energy consumption, such as LED bulbs.

We will have enough energy and means to save energy as well. That will bring prosperity, energy, and communication for all. We are moving toward our dream of abundance.

Customizing The Educational System

Today’s educational system kills creativity and the natural potential of the human being. Tony Wagner of Harvard and Sir Ken Robinson, agree that the curriculum taught these days is not necessary and is easily forgotten.

The 21st-century teachings involve three things: reading, writing, and arithmetic. And that is what is required in most jobs today, not memorization, which is an essential part of today’s education model.

Instead of memorizing, this model promotes thought. It is important to follow methods that make our children enjoy studying so much, that they start learning on their own.

The future of education is a personalized system since each student is different. Games provide a safe way to measure the mental and intellectual growth of a child.

However, children learn best when someone cares about their studies, and therefore the need for teachers cannot be reduced.

There are many ways to deal with teacher shortages, and AI is just one of the solutions.

According to UNESCO, two-thirds of illiterate children are girls, which affects the growth of society at all levels. If all children had access to education, then surely our dream of abundance would come true.

Medicine And Technology

The fact that humans now live longer lives is a way of measuring the degree of improvement in health.

Medicine is an area with exponential changes, and we continually increase our standard to maintain a high quality.

Africa has the highest numbers of sick people and suffers greatly regarding numbers of doctors. And even worse is the fact that only 55% of physicians hit the diagnoses, while amazing 45% of the time, people suffer because they do not get the proper medical treatment.

Advances in the field of participatory medicine can make our phones run diagnoses in real time. The future holds great promise for us regarding health care facilities, as over time they become more accessible.

The Relationship Between Freedom And Access To Technology

Now we draw our attention to the peak of the pyramid, toward freedom.

Freedom means many things, and most of them are intangible. However, we will focus on the tangible forms of freedom, such as freedom of expression, empowerment of people, etc.

Providing people with all the necessities of life is tantamount to providing them with freedom.

Exponential technologies are already working on it. Ushahidi, WikiLeaks, and World are Witness are some of the sites reporting human rights abuses around the world.

Ushahidi and Enough is Enough helped people vote in elections without the involvement of any political party.

The abundance of communication equipped the common man with more information than the President of the United States.

According to the UN, access to the internet is a fundamental human right. Facilitating communication helps to achieve freedom of expression. Not even governments can censor everything since it is against the nature of technology.

Information and communication technologies broaden our horizons, give space for freedom of expression and are a great platform for communication with the whole world.

They can be used for both good and bad as it can help activists as well as terrorists.

By focusing on the good side of things, information and communication technologies hold the future of human empowerment and freedom.

Small Groups Have Great Power

Although abundance is possible, until we reach it, the real world concerns are still threatening.

Four things control change: the desire to learn something new is the first stimulant. Fear is so much stronger and allows you to do extraordinary things.

Making money is the third motivating power. And finally, our ultimate motivator is the desire for self-realization. To speed things up, incentives can play an important role.

The problem with large organizations is that they have a lot to lose and can not risk; then small groups have a greater chance of reaching the impossible.

The US government spends about $ 100 billion on AIDS in five years; consider whether a contest that gave a prize of 1 billion dollars to the champion, was conducted to find the cure for the disease.

How many could highly intelligent people bring solutions to any problem at any time and place?

The Fear Of Failure

Failure is important to generate new ideas. Baba Shiv studied neuroeconomics and divided humans into two categories when he considered risk. A group of people is afraid of losing; the second group is ashamed to make mistakes.

Mistakes and failures open opportunities for innovation. A person cannot be successful if he does not prepare to take big risks.

Many of the great innovations were created by young people before they were thirty years old.

Thinking outside the box is our only way to reach abundance. Since developing technologies for abundance means thinking big and taking big risks, the first thing to do is to prepare individuals to risk, not to fear. Ratan Tata told The Economist that “failure is a gold mine. “If we can learn from our mistakes, then this is not a failure.

He then narrated how his company gives awards for the best unsuccessful idea. Another idea to overcome our fear of failure is to make a quick prototype of an idea so that we can know where we are going.

Michael Schrage, an MIT researcher, created the 5 * 5 * 5 method. Five teams, five people, have five days to create five business plans that cannot cost more than five thousand dollars and five weeks of work.

This methodology makes use of two very strong concepts to bring innovation: small groups and the power of constraints. This method is used by companies trying to move forward in particular areas.

The Next Steps

We are so busy in our lives that we find it difficult to understand the potential of exponential technologies.

We underestimate our potential. Change brings innovation and makes possible what could not be imagined before.

Before the invention of the wheel, no one dared to say that we would use cars. One discovery leads to many other possibilities, and then a chain reaction begins.

Technology has changed our lives and brought many career options for everyone.

That was not always the case. In the past, children grew up knowing exactly what their ancestors did. But technology empowered us to make decisions with countless options and gave us a huge range of knowledge.

Americans spend 75% of their money trying to meet their basic needs, and in developing countries, that number rises to 90%.

One researcher calculated that a person anywhere on earth would need approximately $ 10,000 to cover their basic needs and be in a position to improve their future. Twenty years ago, the cost of using average American accessories was much more than $ 10,000.

But then, all those accessories became available on a smartphone, greatly reducing the cost. That is the impact of exponential technologies. One day the cellphones got better and opened the way to other possibilities.

Final Notes:

Why should we wait for a change to happen when we are well equipped with the tools for abundance? We do not need the support of government and corporations, just of individuals cooperating and sharing ideas on a mutual platform.

Abundance is only possible if we believe in it. Once our dreams become our thinking, the thought becomes our actions and actions can bring the changes we need.

So the first thing to do is to change how we look at things. Be optimistic about the future and plans for abundance. Only then can we achieve what we have long wanted: abundance.

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The Creative Habit Summary

The Creative Habit Summary

MicroSummary: Written by world-renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp, “The Creative Habit” brushes off the nature vs. nurture debate, revealing how strict routines, organized effort, and a host of creative exercises may help almost everyone achieve greatness.

Learn It and Use It for Life

Stuck in a creative rut? Having troubles with organization whenever you want to turn a big idea intoa big project?

The Creative Habit” may just be the book for you.

And in that case – this summary is certainly a must read.

Who Should Read “The Creative Habit”? And Why?

Whether you’re a genius or merely a creative trainee, we’re pretty sure that you are anxious whenever you’re starting a new project. In “The Creative Habit,” Twyla Tharp has few advices which you will certainly find both interesting and practical.

If you’re an artist, you’ll find both the analogies and the people mentioned in this book inspiring. And we guarantee you that you’ll want to try at least one or two of the organizational techniques.

At least – we’re planning to!

About Twyla Tharp

Twyla TharpTwyla Tharp is a New York-based dancer, one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century. She has created more than one hundred dances for the most prestigious ballet houses in the US, and the world.

She has won two Emmy awards and a Tony award. In 1997, she was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Read more at: https://www.twylatharp.org/

“The Creative Habit Summary”

It’s the good old nature vs. nurture showdown once again!

For all intents and purposes, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is the archetypal child prodigy. In other words, people think that he was born with much more talent than they are ever going to acquire.

Their argument: Mozart was composing and playing keyboard and violin at an age when you were barely able to tell your left from your right hand. Now, clearly, they are on to something!

Round 1: Nature beats Nurture to the first punch!

But, did you also know that Mozart practiced and wrote so regularly and so prolifically that by the time he died – and he died at 35 – his fingers were deformed?

Round 2: Nurture strikes back!

So, unsurprisingly – once again it’s a draw.

Understandably, Twyla Tharp is in Nature’s corner: you can’t really do anything about your genes, but you can do a lot about how you use their potential!

That’s lesson number 1: you can be born a genius, but just like a natural-born boxer, you’ll get nowhere if you don’t flex your creativity muscle from time to time!

But, before you start exercising it, you need to discover it! Because even if you have the knack for dancing like Twyla Tharp, you may never find this out if your father sends you to learn boxing!

Hey, wait a minute! That’s the plot of Billy Elliot!

Let’s work together toward the happily-ever-after ending, shall we?

As we said above, the first step is to learn who you are and what you really like in life. The Ancient Greeks pinned it in a much more direct and concise manner: know thyself! For example, ask yourself what would you want to be, if there were no financial or logistical limitations. Or, even more creatively, ask yourself which name would you choose if you want to reinvent yourself at this moment.

Twyla Tharp retells a story about one interesting moment of enlightenment an art student experienced during a similar exercise. She asked the student to assign colors to a dance and music improvisation. Instead of a list of colors, he gave a 500-word exposé where the only color he mentioned was “limpid blue.”

The art student went on to become a writer. Up to this moment, he was in a state of DNA denial. Nurture works wonders – but it’s better if it has a foundation!

And nurture sets off when work becomes a routine!

True, it may be boring from time to time, but bear in mind that Stravinsky played a Bach fugue each and every day of his life. And he became a Stravinsky!

Practice makes perfect because that’s how your brain knows what you want to remember. And because that’s how your brain is fed with relevant information in order to build upon them for an idea of your own.

In fact, that’s originality! It’s not something mythical and unattainable. It’s something everybody can reach through hard work. When done elegantly and creatively, in art – stealing is legal. As a matter of fact, all but one of Shakespeare’s plots are not lifted from someone else’s books.

And what we just said – well, it’s not an original idea as well!

So, if you want to be original, learn how to steal. It sounds a lot worse than it actually is. Maybe that’s why Twyla Tharp uses the phrase “scratching for ideas.” In essence, it means finding anything which may sound interesting and relevant and save it, record it, or store it.

Make it much more literal!

Take a box and put these things inside. Open the box and look at them from time to time, trying to find some connection. When that clicks – take out the things which connected and put them in another box.

This box now represents your main idea. Tharp calls it your spine.

Develop it. See which skills are necessary to support the spine. For example, the spine of Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” is a simple idea: “get the whale.” However, supporting it, means finding out everything you can about writing novels, whales, sea life, obsessions, etc.

Just look at the amount of investigation that went into the Extracts section of “Moby-Dick”! These are thousands and thousands of hours research!

Which brings us to the final point:

Persevere! There will be ruts and there will be failures. But if you are as obsessed as Ahab with your project, sooner or later, you’ll get your eureka moment!

Key Lessons from “The Creative Habit”

1.      Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Learn from the Past Masters
2.      Sometimes Necessity Can Be the Mother of Invention
3.      Now and Then – Do Leave for Tomorrow That Which You Can Do Today

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Learn from the Past Masters

Now, don’t get us wrong – even the Mesopotamians and the Ancient Hebrews thought that there’s nothing new under the sun. And yet – how much the world has evolved in the meantime!

However, every single step forward you can think of was made through recombination! And each of the skills which allowed this to happen was developed through repetition.

So, do it!

Copy the past masters if you’re a painter, rewrite the old poems if you’re a poet. Because you’ll be able to move forward only if you get to the bottom of them!

Sometimes Necessity Can Be the Mother of Invention

Too little organization will get you nowhere! But, too much organization doesn’t work either! Sometimes, you may have to find a way to enjoy in the discomfort of deadlines and lack of resources! Just take Steven Spielberg for example: he got his best “Jaws” idea because he didn’t have the money to build an artificial shark!

Now and Then – Do Leave for Tomorrow That Which You Can Do Today

Benjamin Franklin left to the world many good advises. Not leaving anything you can do today for tomorrow wasn’t his best one – at least in terms of creativity.

Because, it’s good to have a bridge – and know your next step from the moment you wake up. Hemingway, for example, purposefully stopped at the most interesting part each day – so as to get the necessary fuel for the next morning!

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“The Creative Habit” Quotes

I read for growth, firmly believing that what you are today and what you will be in five years depends on two things: the people you meet and the books you read. Click To Tweet When I walk into the studio I am alone, but I am alone with my body, ambition, ideas, passions, needs, memories, goals, prejudices, distractions, fears. Click To Tweet Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box. Click To Tweet When you're in a rut, you have to question everything except your ability to get out of it. Click To Tweet You may wonder which came first: the skill or the hard work. But that's a moot point. The Zen master cleans his own studio. So should you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The Creative Habit” is written by a person with admirable creative habits: even in her seventies, Twyla Tharp still goes to the gym after drinking her morning coffee. If that’s not a good blurb for a book with this kind of title – we don’t know what is!

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The Third Wave Summary

The Third Wave Summary

An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future

Unless you’re a teenager, you probably remember how the world looked like without the Internet and smartphones.

Yes, that all happened during the past two decades.

Have you ever wondered what will happen during the next two?

Steve Case, the man responsible for your first dial-up connection, has. “The Third Wave” is his book-length answer to this question.

And, it’s fascinating!

Who Should Read “The Third Wave”? And Why?

As much as it is an elaborate vision of an Internet-of-Things-based future, “The Third Wave” is also a call to the Government, the companies, and the entrepreneurs to fashion it as soon as possible. Consequently, they should enjoy it the most, finding its suggestions and ideas most stimulating and inspiring.

Which doesn’t mean that all those day-to-day futurists and SF-loving freaks out there shouldn’t take a peek. There’s plenty for them here as well!

About Steve Case

Steve CaseSteve Case (or, officially, Stephen McConnell Case) is an American entrepreneur, the co-founder and former CEO of AOL. A long-time investor, he has backed numerous start-ups via his Washington-based investment firm Revolution LLC.

The Third Wave” is Case’s only book so far.

“The Third Wave Summary”

In 1980, prominent futurist Alvin Toffler suggested that a new civilization is emerging.

Namely, that after the first wave of the agricultural, and the second wave of the industrial revolution, we had started witnessing “the third wave,” the largest one yet.

The computer-based, internet revolution.

Originally inspired to go into business because of Toffler, AOL co-founder Steve Case, claims that this third wave, just like everything else, has evolved in the meantime.

And that, by now, it comprises of three waves itself.

The first wave, Case explains, was the wave of the infrastructure and the pioneers. It was the wave of the innovators, the ones that made the Internet possible in the first place. IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Cisco Systems built the structure. Case’s company, AOL, used it to offer millions of Americans, for the first time in history, the privilege to use the Internet.

Soon, there proved to be a better alternative to AOL’s dial-up service.

And, around 2000, this triggered the second wave of the technological revolution. Fronted by Google and Amazon, this second wave led to previously unimaginable things made possible by the Internet.

On top of the internet infrastructure created by the first-wavers, the second-wavers developed a system with capabilities previously unforeseen and hardly conceivable. AOL may have been Google, Facebook, and Amazon combined, but it also was all of them in embryonal phase.

And, boy, things escalated quickly!

Google made searching the web easier than searching for an eraser in a pencil case. Facebook created a social network capable of connecting almost anyone on the planet. Amazon recognized the future of the eBook and the unlimited power of e-commerce! And Twitter offered people a new way to share and read the news in real-time.

Finally, Microsoft and Apple became software giants, with the latter one, steered by Steve Jobs, initiating a mobile revolution.

Which, according to Case, is merely the beginning of the third wave.

The Internet of Things.

It means exactly what you think it means: the best possible SF-scenario of your future. With the Internet of Things you’ll be able to have everything – from your reregister to your washing machine – connected to a network which will make it possible for you to turn on, control, and turn off everything from everywhere.

So, just like in the movies.

But it’s even larger than that. Entrepreneurs around the world (hey, that can be you too!) are already thinking how to disrupt almost any area of business you can think of.

So, say farewell to a technologically challenged and error-lade healthcare system! And, while you’re there, don’t forget to say a ta-ta to the obsolete education system of today! A food crisis? Not with the Internet of Things, not with the Third Wave!

You can catch it too!

You just need to focus on the three Ps! (Man, smart people are good with mnemonics!)

Partnership, policy, and perseverance.

Because, the world out there, just like Toffler predicted, has grown to become a global village. And, consequently, it’s not a world of independence, but a small arena of interdependence. With that being said, without the help of your government and some grit, your company will, nevertheless, fail.

Don’t allow that to happen.

The future of the world might depend on it.

Key Lessons from “The Third Wave”

1.      The Three Waves of the Internet Revolution
2.      Hey Government – Bring in the Immigrants and Work with Us…
3.      …Because We All Want to Ride the Third Wave

The Three Waves of the Internet Revolution

To think that we were privileged to witness the third – and greatest – human technological revolution! It’s really more than a pleasure!

Steve Case is here to remind us how fast things went! It was only a couple of decades ago when IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Cisco Systems built the internet infrastructure, which AOL was the first to use extensively.

Then came the beginning of the 2000s and suddenly everything was diversified! Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook built on the previous structure and became tech giants.

And recently, we entered the SF realm!

Very soon, the “Internet of Things” will be just as common phrase as “Internet” is now.

Hey Government – Bring in the Immigrants and Work with Us…

Unlike many of the tech innovators, Steve Case has nothing against the government helping start-ups. In fact, he claims that its role will be vital in the third wave revolution.

And to prove this, he reminds us that even the previous two waves of the Internet revolution wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the government. It was exactly because of its investments during the Cold War that the Silicon Valley became what it currently is.

And he asks the Government – because, you know, Trump and stuff – to allow immigrants to come freely to open start-ups inside the US.

He has another interesting fact to support his case: almost half of the Fortune 500 companies were built by either immigrants or their children!

…Because We All Want to Ride the Third Wave

It’s kind of strange – when you think about it – that Israel is better suited for start-up businesses than the US. This must change as soon as possible.

And it must come from everyone: corporate America, entrepreneurs, the Government. “Profit + purpose strategies,” radical flexibility, big ideas – all these will be essential for any company wanting to ride the third wave.

They will be the pioneers. Twenty years from now, future generations will talk about them the way we talk about Google or Amazon.

You’ll see.

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“The Third Wave” Quotes

The Third Wave of the Internet is coming, the moment where the Internet transforms from something we interact with to something that interacts with everything around us. Click To Tweet In the Third Wave, disruption cannot be a mantra; it has to be a strategy. And while your product has to be great, your partnership skills may end up determining your success or failure. Click To Tweet The Third Wave of the Internet…will be defined by the Internet of Everything. Click To Tweet We would not have had the Internet itself if not for government. Click To Tweet Our future is going to rise and fall with the dreamers and doers, the builders of new technologies and the breakers of old orthodoxies. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

When someone who once saw the future talks about your future – you sit down take note! Steve Case was one of the reasons you had Internet when you were a little boy or girl. So, undoubtedly, he knows a thing or two you don’t.

He may not be that great a writer, and he may not be able to tell his story vividly and appealingly, but he’s still someone who really does matter.

In other words, read “The Third Wave” for the substance; not for the flash.

| NEW / Extended | The Third Wave Summary

You should have already received an AOL CD ROM to access the Internet at your home, right? If so, you’ll enjoy knowing that this microbook is based on a book by Steve Case, the founder of America Online.

In “The Third Wave,” he explains that we are entering the third wave of the internet, a time when entrepreneurs will transform sectors such as health, education, transportation and energy, and with it, our lives.

To succeed in this new era of the internet, you need to develop some unusual skills.

This microbook explains what these skills are and helps you understand what you need to do to be a pioneer in this third Internet era. If you want to succeed in an entirely connected world, come read that microbook with 12min!

Have An Open Mind For New Ideas

Every time a significant change occurs in the way the world works, the people who get along are those who can see the new possibilities brought about by a change. To increase your chances of doing well in the technological future, you need to be open-minded about what is possible in this new world.

At the beginning of the internet, the focus was on building the necessary infrastructure needed to get people online. Through pioneering companies like AOL and Microsoft, the Internet has gone from being a niche to becoming something massive and popular, in which the whole world connects.

Then came a second wave, in which other companies got involved, building in that framework new applications and services that radically altered how we relate to each other and digital environments.

Now, at the beginning of a new era of the internet, which will bring even more radical changes, every industry and institution is steeped in unprecedented online interactions and connections. The pioneering entrepreneurs and startups of this process will soon revolutionize every aspect of our lives.

To be one of these pioneers, you need to be open to this new world: open to experiences, innovations, and new ideas, no matter how weird or extreme they may seem at first.

After all, the idea of managing a hotel business without having any property or being a transportation company without having any vehicles seems ridiculous at first – though Airbnb and Uber, two of the great forerunners of this change in interconnectivity, are now large enterprises in their industries.

As companies like these are starting to emerge, the technological future will not just level the market – it will fundamentally change it. If you want to be a part of this, it is vital that you do not ignore ideas that are considered ‘impossible.’

As online and offline worlds blend, countless new possibilities open up, and all you need to help lead change is to be open to innovation.

In front of us, there is a future enhanced by technology, full of new opportunities.

To take advantage, you need to embrace this new world with an open mind, accepting that what may seem like a ridiculous idea may be the next innovation of the internet.

Break Paradigms And Change The Status Quo

While the technological future brings enormous changes, it will not be enough to accept this radical remodeling of our lives and works.

To stay ahead, you will need to break your established standards and practices and open yourself to new possibilities.

Those who will thrive in this new age of the internet will be the ones who accept the change it brings. But this is not a passive exercise in letting change affect you: it is an active process. It is not enough just to accept that the usual deals will be stopped.

You need to be constantly ready to adapt, evolve and be able to see beyond and move beyond your status quo.

It’s like going on vacation: the best experiences happen when you break free of your habits and go somewhere you never thought you would go – off the usual trail, to see what you can discover away from the safety and comfort of the day-to-day.

And that’s what you should do with your startup as well. Instead of keeping your standard practices just because they are “working well,” you need to challenge your ideas, routines, and systems, and push the boundaries of what you believe you can do.

The giants of the second wave of the internet have had great success with this approach. For example, the iPod was popular with customers and gave a lot of money.

But Apple did not want to stand still on its status quo: it broke its standard by launching the iPhone and iPad to achieve even more success.

Likewise, Google has strayed from its original search tool, also offering software, phones, and computers – and they are now pioneers in other areas, including augmented reality and cars that do not need a driver.

The lesson here is never to be satisfied and accommodated, but continue to be encouraged to stay and innovate. After all, it’s not just the change around you that matters, but also the internal changes.

Even when things are stable and smooth, you should not be afraid to throw yourself into something new. Breaking your standards and straying from your status quo allows you to keep growing, evolving and challenging.

Being stuck in patterns can severely limit your business.

In a future characterized by constant change, the ability to rearrange your ideas and practices will be crucial for anyone who wants to be ahead in the marketplace.

Strike Partnerships And Collaborate With Other Companies

As the new internet age destabilizes industries, and entrepreneurs disrupt their status quo, continuous innovation will require collaboration – often with rivals or other well-established businesses.

Bringing pioneering change is never easy, especially when ideas about how an industry should work are rooted in people’s consciousness, being particularly careful in industries that are already dominated by large, well-established companies.

Faced with this, many entrepreneurs may be intimidated or even spend a lot of time and money trying to beat their rivals. But instead of trying to overcome them, it can be much more efficient to approach them as collaborators.

Surprisingly, many companies are more than happy to partner with potentially disruptive new startups.

A study by KPMG found that the vast majority of 80 well-established companies preferred to collaborate rather than compete, recognizing the opportunity as a chance to reach new markets or utilize the innovative technologies and approaches of a startup.

That is a great way for entrepreneurs to bypass the “old guard” industry.

For example, it is hard to think outside the box in the healthcare sector because people have an established idea that health should be the responsibility of hospitals and doctors’ offices.

However, “telemedicine” companies have challenged this by providing online and telephone medical advice. It would have been difficult to establish the legitimacy of this approach had they simply faced the old guard and the traditional views of health care.

On the contrary, the most successful telemedicine companies, such as Carena Inc., collaborated with health systems across the United States, which allowed them to establish this innovative approach legitimately.

So when facing rival companies with more established positions and more traditional approaches, you need not be intimidated: approach these companies as potential allies rather than as enemies.

Demonstrate that change is already happening in the industry and how it can disrupt the dominance of these companies, and show them how their innovative approach can help them stay in a constantly evolving sector.

They are likely to see this as an opportunity they can not afford to lose, and in return, you will be able to use the reputation, contacts, resources, and networks of these companies to establish their place in the industry.

Many entrepreneurs do not consider partnership as an option because they believe that established companies will see little value in a startup.

in reality, these companies often see collaboration as the best way to stay relevant in industries with constant change – they’ll be happy to support your business, so take advantage of that.

Study And Get To Know Government Regulations

New startups need to learn not only to collaborate with other companies but also to work with governments. In the future, exploring government laws and regulations will be very important, and the experienced entrepreneur will have benefits in finding that governments can be profitable clients.

Free market ideology asserts that the market works best with minimal interference, and many business leaders advocate reducing or even eliminating government involvement. However, governments can be very useful to companies.

One of its most important roles is cybernetic regulation, which involves much more than preventing identity theft or corporate data leaks.

As the Internet becomes more and more a part of our lives, governments will have even more crucial tasks, from preventing hackers from interfering with vehicles without drivers, to preventing the misuse of medical equipment with internet access.

Governments are also great customers, with considerable budgets to spend on innovative technologies and applications, and they have many incentives to do so.

For example, think about how the state would benefit from real-time traffic applications to help regulate transportation, or from advanced technologies for food production and storage to help reduce spending on agricultural subsidies. In areas like these, innovative entrepreneurs could secure lucrative contracts.

Of course, having government as a customer comes with a price. To interact effectively with the state, startups will need to learn to navigate complex rules and regulations.

Companies that are not experienced in public policy will soon have problems, such as Uber, when they discovered that they could not deal properly with trade union regulations and city-specific laws.

It is therefore important to ensure that you are always aware of the appropriate regulations in your industry and to be aware of all significant developments, after all, the changing scenario indicates that regulations will often have to adapt to a constantly changing digital world evolution.

Instead of bemoaning government interference, recognize the crucial roles of the state and make knowledge of your rules and regulations a key part of your business strategy.

Governments take on many crucial business roles, including the prevention of cyber crimes and the purchase of innovative products and services.

Given this importance and the relevance of maintaining a good relationship with government, entrepreneurs should make knowledge of policies and legislation an important part of their business strategy.

the third wave pdfFight For Softer Immigration Policies

While governments have important roles, that does not mean that everything they do is beneficial to startups. Hardline immigration laws are especially damaging because they prevent foreign innovators from sharing their talents. Entrepreneurs should try to influence governments to slow down this approach.

Numerous pioneering internet companies, including Yahoo !, Google and eBay, have at least one founding member immigrant and this is no exception: a Kaufman Foundation report states that of all technology companies in Silicon Valley between 2006 and 2012, half had at least one founder who was not born in the United States.

Similarly, according to the Entrepreneurs Center, one in seven companies in the UK was founded by an immigrant entrepreneur.

There is no denying that immigration plays a vital role in entrepreneurship and innovation in the United States and the United Kingdom.

But with growing anti-immigration policies, the crucial role of foreign innovators in founding startups – developing technologies, generating change and creating jobs – is being forgotten and it is increasingly difficult for experts and innovators to obtain entry visas for countries.

In the United States, the number of H-1B visas available to skilled workers is limited to 140,000 per year since 1990. Regulations such as these restrict the flow of knowledge, experience, and innovation within the United States, and make it questionable whether that a country will maintain its reputation as a pioneer in the technology and internet industries.

That is particularly the case when we compare US numbers with countries like Chile, Canada, and New Zealand, which have developed “startups visas” to attract foreign talent.

Faced with this growing competition, the United States, in particular, must seek to welcome immigrant entrepreneurs. It means that native entrepreneurs have a responsibility to engage politically in encouraging such changes.

Innovation is not an individual project: it is taken by numerous teams, creating and building new technologies and approaches, collectively taking things forward.

Startups and established companies can help with this, but only if they continue to press their governments to reshape or lower their immigration regulations.

Foreign talent is an important part of the force behind entrepreneurship in the US and UK, responsible for many famous innovations.

That should be maintained and encouraged, and entrepreneurs can contribute by pushing governments to take a more friendly approach to immigration startups.

Social Responsibility In Your Company

As consumers increasingly consider the moral aspects of their purchases, focusing on developing responsible and ethical startups not only helps them keep investments and customers, but also allows you to have real opportunities to change the world.

Corporations are sometimes seen as selfish, places where everyone is trying to make money without any concern for the well-being of others. In reality, however, the connections between commerce and charity are considerable.

For example, many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, have signed The Giving Pledge, marking their commitment to philanthropy. To date, $ 365 billion has been donated to various causes by 154 signatories.

Not only do the super-rich share their fortunes: increasingly, the line between business and charity or ethical causes is undefined. Increasingly, companies are aiming not only to make money but also to make a difference.

This genuine intent to bring positive social change also helps businesses and startups win customers, especially among millennials.

A recent study by The Intelligence Group urged millennials to name the most important characteristics of a brand from which they would consider buying products: 61% answered ‘alignment with a social cause’; 71% answered ‘alignment to environmental causes’; and 71% answered ‘ethical practices.’

You do not just gain customers by adopting this approach. There is now a variety of investment groups, including Steve Case’s own Revolution LLC, which is dedicated to supporting businesses that contribute to social change.

To take advantage of this growing wave of customers and investors, make sure your startup is concerned about social causes.

For some, this will be a fundamental aspect of their business, such as companies that promote healthy food or provide emergency shelters in areas devastated by disasters.

However, you do not need to work directly in these areas to make a difference. For example, every time a customer buys a pair of TOMS shoes, the company donates a pair to a needy child.

So no matter what industry your startup is part of, there are opportunities for you to generate improvements in the world and this will help you gain the support of investors and conscious customers.

With growing interest in ethical shopping, demonstrating your social responsibility will surely bring more customers, and more than that, you will know that you are working not only to make a profit but to something you can be proud of, which for many people are priceless.

Final Notes:

Significant technological advances are on the way and will destabilize and break much of what we think we know about business.

However, the major changes also bring new possibilities, and many startups will thrive if they can adapt efficiently to this new era of the internet.

Adapting to change is not always easy, but by being prepared and adopting the techniques and approaches outlined here, you will discover that there are plenty of opportunities to thrive in the changing environment of our technological future.

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The Evolution of Everything Summary

The Evolution of Everything Summary

How New Ideas Emerge, aka How Small Things Transform the World

By now, you already know that evolution is how all life came to be on this planet. What you don’t know is that evolution may be responsible for everything else, whether it’s language or government.

Don’t believe us?

Why don’t we just let Matt Ridley tell you a thing or two.

Who Should Read “The Evolution of Everything”? And Why?

Good ideas don’t just happen in isolation. There are so many things which contribute to their formulation and even more which turn them into theories and trends. Matt Ridley claims that this happens haphazardly, in an unplanned manner.

And you should give heed to his words if you want to know more about how the present world was shaped. It would make an even better read if you like to read about evolution and similar concepts. But, be warned: don’t come unprepared for this trip.

About Matt Ridley

Matt RidleyMatt Ridley is a British biologist and writer, a peer in the House of Lords since 2013. He obtained his Ph.D. in zoology in 1983, before becoming a science editor for “The Economist” and a regular columnist for “The Telegraph.”

He has written several well-received scientific books, including “The Red Queen,” and “The Rational Optimist.”

“The Evolution of Everything Summary”

For the most part of human history, the majority of people genuinely believed that a supreme being created the universe. After all, everything looked so orderly and beautiful that this seemed like a no-brainer.!

In fact, when Isaac Newton formulated the laws of motion and gravitation, he was convinced that he had uncovered the ultimate evidence of intelligent design. If the universe worked like a clockwork mechanism, then it’s only natural that we supposed that someone had built this machine.

His name: God. The Ultimate Watchmaker.

But, about two centuries ago, an unexpected thing happened. Namely, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace uncovered something even more fascinating than God. They found evidence that the natural world, with all its beauty and complexity, created itself, through an ages-long process of “trial and error.”

Its name: Natural Selection. The Blind Watchmaker.

And this changed everything.

Suddenly, we started seeing patterns and realized that the theory of evolution can be applied to many fields of human knowledge.

And Matt Ridley isn’t a kind of person who would argue this. After all, just look at the title of his book! He can’t get enough of evolution. His argument: because that’s the way everything works. Yes, that includes society as well!

We think we have some control over the processes which govern progress – but, no, we don’t! Just like each and every species, everything we see around us evolves in an incremental, unplanned manner.

Everything? Really?

It can’t be!

Yes, it can. A quick glance at the contents of Ridley’s book shows that he intends to stop at nothing! “The Evolution of Everything” comprises of a prologue and an epilogue and sixteen standalone chapters, which cover the evolution of… well, everything.

The universe, the life, genes – OK, that’s physics and biology and pretty much expected! The economy, the education, the government – I see your point, and you can make a case of it. But, leadership, culture, religion – even these?

And what about personality, morality, the mind? Now, you’ve got to be kidding me!

And yes, even technology and the Internet.

Wait a minute, you say?

But, you just mentioned Darwin, Wallace, Newton! You want me to believe that they didn’t do nothing special. You can’t possibly be saying that! After all, they were great men, and, if nothing else, they are responsible for some giant evolutionary leaps!

You’ve got to give me that, at least.

But, Matt Ridley is merciless. As exceptional as they may seem to you – he says triumphantly – they were nothing more but a case of the right person at the right time. In other words, the theories of gravity and evolution would have been formulated by someone else if not by one of these three.

But, how do we know it?

Well, consider something historians of science refer to as “simultaneous invention.” It happens so often that hardly any Nobel Prize (other than the one in literature) is awarded to a single person. Some scientists, however, have gone a step further. They hypothesize that “multiple discoveries” happen not only often, but every time.

Here are some examples for you that are sure to make you wonder!

Have you ever wondered, say, how is it possible that the blast furnace or the crossbow were developed independently in China, Africa, and Europe? Or how did all of Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley, and Antoine Lavoisier discovered oxygen at around the same time in three different countries? What about evolution, and Darwin and Wallace?

And Ridley has one even better: in the 1870s, no less than 23 people around the globe worked on inventing the light bulb!

You know why?

Because all of the basic elements (glass, electricity, vacuum, and filaments) were there, and because, in Ridley’s opinion, an invention is not exactly a leap, but a recombination. Albert Einstein was the first one to conceptualize the theory of relativity, but had he didn’t, Hendrik Lorentz would have been a name you’d hear much more often.

Because the world was prepared for such a theory.

Now, don’t get us – and Ridley – wrong!

The powerful will always be able to influence the weak. In many cases, they can do just about enough to hurdle things past the tipping point and cause an avalanche of extraordinary events.

However, this doesn’t happen as often as history books – and Malcolm Gladwell – would have us believe.

Quite the opposite: just like God did once, great men receive too much credit. Moreover, we would have been better off without them: just as Lord Acton once wrote, “great men are almost always bad men.”

In other words: they are just interfering with an evolution of everything which tends to make things better.

They are not great suns who lighten up the world. They are much more akin to earthquakes or avalanches.

We’ll adapt either way.

Nobody, but the blind watchmaker knows how.

Key Lessons from “The Evolution of Everything”

1.      Positive Trends Are Products of Evolution
2.      All Inventions Were Inevitable
3.      Enough with the Great Men

Positive Trends Are Products of Evolution

You can plan a thing as much as you like to – it won’t happen unless it was meant to be. Or you can just leave evolution do its work – and hope for the best.

Because, in the long run, the best will come. Step-by-step bottom-up progress is Matt Ridley’s vision of the history of everything, whether it’s the Industrial Revolution or the reduction of science and poverty.

It will happen ­– when the time comes.

All Inventions Were Inevitable

You may think of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin as scientists who knew so much more than the rest of the world in their heyday, but – news flash – it isn’t so! Did you know, for example, that Gottfried Leibnitz developed the calculus simultaneously with (or even before) Newton?

And that Darwin received a letter from Alfred Russel Wallace explicating the whole theory of evolution while he was working on the publication of “The Origin of Species”?

These are not isolated cases. Inventions because the time was right. And because of the Zeitgeist. Not because of the great people who we celebrate.

That’s why…

Enough with the Great Men

Just like God did for most of human history, the great men we learn about receive just too much credit.

If anything, most of them were a nuisance, impeding the gradual process of bottom-up evolution which got us to where we are. Our world wouldn’t have been that much different even without Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. Sooner or later, someone else would have discovered what they did.

But, how much more beautiful it would have been without Alexander the Great or Hitler?

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“The Evolution of Everything” Quotes

Change in human institutions, artefacts and habits is incremental, inexorable and inevitable. Click To Tweet If there is one dominant myth about the world, one huge mistake we all make, one blind spot, it is that we all go around assuming the world is much more of a planned place than it is. Click To Tweet We describe the world as if people and institutions were always in charge, when often they are not. Click To Tweet Today we are still in thrall to Great Man history, if only because we like reading biography. Click To Tweet For far too long we have underestimated the power of spontaneous, organic and constructive change driven from below, in our obsession with designing change from above. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Evolution of Everything” is a modern, more nuanced and better researched version of Herbert Spencer’s theory of social Darwinism. It’s an ambitious undertaking, since it covers everything from the universe to the Internet, from language and the mind to morality and personality.

To say that, even so, it doesn’t disappoint would be an understatement. It’s nothing short of brilliant. It’s, however, intended for analytical, well-read readers with a wide-ranging knowledge and a deep focus, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. After all, each chapter of the book begins with a quote by Lucretius.

If you don’t know him – don’t bother. Because he may be the least of your problems.

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