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Borrowing Brilliance: The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others

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In a book poised to become the bible of innovation, a renowned creativity expert reveals the key to the creative process borrowing.? As a former aerospace scientist, Fortune 500 executive, chief innovation officer of two major companies, inventor and software entrepreneur, David Murray has made a living by coming up with new and innovative ideas. In "Borrowing Brilliance" In a book poised to become the bible of innovation, a renowned creativity expert reveals the key to the creative process borrowing.? As a former aerospace scientist, Fortune 500 executive, chief innovation officer of two major companies, inventor and software entrepreneur, David Murray has made a living by coming up with new and innovative ideas. In "Borrowing Brilliance" he explains the origins and evolution of a business idea by showing readers how new ideas are merely the combinations of existing ideas. Since brilliance is actually borrowed, it's easily within reach. It's really a matter of knowing where to borrow the materials and how to put them together that determines creative ability. Murray presents a simple Six-Step process that anyone can use to build business innovation: Step One: "Defining"?Define the problem you?re trying to solve. Step Two: "Borrowing"?Borrow ideas from places with a similar problem. Step Three: "Combining"?Connect and combine these borrowed ideas. Step Four: "Incubating"?Allow the combinations to incubate into a solution. Step Five: "Judging"?Identify the strength and weakness of the solution. Step Six: "Enhancing"?Eliminate the weak points while enhancing the strong ones. Each chapter features real-life examples of brilliant borrowers, including profiles of Larry Page and Sergey Brin (the Google guys), Bill Gates, George Lucas, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and other creative thinkers. Murray used these methods to re-create his own career and he shows how you can harness them to find your own creative solutions. First you copy, then you create. And the further from your own company you look, the more creative the solution. In the new bible of business innovation, renowned creativity expert David Kord Murray reveals the key to the creative process: borrowing. There is no such thing as a truly original idea. Great thinkers throughout history have understood this and used it to their advantage. Bill Gates ?borrowed brilliance? to create Microsoft, Steve Jobs ?borrowed? to create the Mac, and long before that Sir Isaac Newton used similar thinking techniques to arrive at his theory of gravity. "Borrowing Brilliance" is challenges our notions of intellectual property and authorship, explores the evolution of a creative idea, and takes us step-by-step through Murray's own unique thought process, which combines analytical and non-traditional thinking techniques. Murray's six step ?borrowing? process is one that anyone can master to build business innovation. Murray combines practical lessons with stories from his own career, as well as the careers of brilliant borrowers past and present. Most people believe creativity is a gift, that it can?t be taught, that it's innate in your thinking process and either you have it or you don?t. But Murray lifts the veil off the creative process, bringing it from the shadows of the subconscious mind into the conscious world. Creativity is not the result of divine intervention; it is something that can be learned and it is easily within reach.


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In a book poised to become the bible of innovation, a renowned creativity expert reveals the key to the creative process borrowing.? As a former aerospace scientist, Fortune 500 executive, chief innovation officer of two major companies, inventor and software entrepreneur, David Murray has made a living by coming up with new and innovative ideas. In "Borrowing Brilliance" In a book poised to become the bible of innovation, a renowned creativity expert reveals the key to the creative process borrowing.? As a former aerospace scientist, Fortune 500 executive, chief innovation officer of two major companies, inventor and software entrepreneur, David Murray has made a living by coming up with new and innovative ideas. In "Borrowing Brilliance" he explains the origins and evolution of a business idea by showing readers how new ideas are merely the combinations of existing ideas. Since brilliance is actually borrowed, it's easily within reach. It's really a matter of knowing where to borrow the materials and how to put them together that determines creative ability. Murray presents a simple Six-Step process that anyone can use to build business innovation: Step One: "Defining"?Define the problem you?re trying to solve. Step Two: "Borrowing"?Borrow ideas from places with a similar problem. Step Three: "Combining"?Connect and combine these borrowed ideas. Step Four: "Incubating"?Allow the combinations to incubate into a solution. Step Five: "Judging"?Identify the strength and weakness of the solution. Step Six: "Enhancing"?Eliminate the weak points while enhancing the strong ones. Each chapter features real-life examples of brilliant borrowers, including profiles of Larry Page and Sergey Brin (the Google guys), Bill Gates, George Lucas, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and other creative thinkers. Murray used these methods to re-create his own career and he shows how you can harness them to find your own creative solutions. First you copy, then you create. And the further from your own company you look, the more creative the solution. In the new bible of business innovation, renowned creativity expert David Kord Murray reveals the key to the creative process: borrowing. There is no such thing as a truly original idea. Great thinkers throughout history have understood this and used it to their advantage. Bill Gates ?borrowed brilliance? to create Microsoft, Steve Jobs ?borrowed? to create the Mac, and long before that Sir Isaac Newton used similar thinking techniques to arrive at his theory of gravity. "Borrowing Brilliance" is challenges our notions of intellectual property and authorship, explores the evolution of a creative idea, and takes us step-by-step through Murray's own unique thought process, which combines analytical and non-traditional thinking techniques. Murray's six step ?borrowing? process is one that anyone can master to build business innovation. Murray combines practical lessons with stories from his own career, as well as the careers of brilliant borrowers past and present. Most people believe creativity is a gift, that it can?t be taught, that it's innate in your thinking process and either you have it or you don?t. But Murray lifts the veil off the creative process, bringing it from the shadows of the subconscious mind into the conscious world. Creativity is not the result of divine intervention; it is something that can be learned and it is easily within reach.

30 review for Borrowing Brilliance: The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    A nice book describing the creative process as an enlightened copying process. The book struck me as very real. The author wrote this in a very conversational way, which I found in turns engaging and off-putting. There are quite a few good examples included, though many are familiar to people that have read popular business books and magazines. There were times when the facts as presented didn’t quite seem true. Good for putting the reader in the mindset of being creative and using a creative pr A nice book describing the creative process as an enlightened copying process. The book struck me as very real. The author wrote this in a very conversational way, which I found in turns engaging and off-putting. There are quite a few good examples included, though many are familiar to people that have read popular business books and magazines. There were times when the facts as presented didn’t quite seem true. Good for putting the reader in the mindset of being creative and using a creative process that includes starting from existing material from others.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diana Shaffner

    Finally! A useful book on the elusive topic of creativity with thoughts shared one can actually use. In addition, the author's personal stories of successes and failures in business and personal life are very enlightening and at times amusing. Whether a reader struggles with creativity or is a highly creative person, everyone can take useful ideas out of this read and apply them to their craft. A core topic Mr. Murray talks about is how taking ideas from others within your industry or closely re Finally! A useful book on the elusive topic of creativity with thoughts shared one can actually use. In addition, the author's personal stories of successes and failures in business and personal life are very enlightening and at times amusing. Whether a reader struggles with creativity or is a highly creative person, everyone can take useful ideas out of this read and apply them to their craft. A core topic Mr. Murray talks about is how taking ideas from others within your industry or closely related area is perceived as thievery aka plagiarism while taking ideas from more unrelated industries is called creative genius. This fact in and of itself is nonsensical and comical as the action is the exact same thing. The other core message relates to something also Albert Einstein has talked about when he said that creativity is essentially 'combinatory play'. Something new always has to come from something else. So, in essence, most if not all 'new' ideas are really just new combinations of already existing ones. The author puts some method to the madness by providing a step by step process for finding and then (re)combining materials to help the reader produce a problem-solving idea.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    The first book I have read about creativity that wasn't total crap. Let's face it, creativity is a hard thing to write about. Most books are either so general that you don't know how to apply them, or they are full of the same trite instructions (like not being judgmental when brainstorming) which, even if they are good advice, are unlikely to actually lead to creative breakthroughs. This book is from someone who has really thought deeply about creativity, and has applied his insights in building The first book I have read about creativity that wasn't total crap. Let's face it, creativity is a hard thing to write about. Most books are either so general that you don't know how to apply them, or they are full of the same trite instructions (like not being judgmental when brainstorming) which, even if they are good advice, are unlikely to actually lead to creative breakthroughs. This book is from someone who has really thought deeply about creativity, and has applied his insights in building a concrete system which will lead you off the beaten path. The best of the book is in the first half when the author talks about problem definition and borrowing solutions. The second half of the book veers closer to the usual fare (i.e. listen to your subconscious) but this book is still a great read and a real set of instructions for being creative. His approach is not easy, and takes a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul,

    solid book on thinking about thinking and creativity defends plagiarism that results in improvements to the original idea

  5. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Schmelzle

    Is it OK to take someone else’s idea and use it to solve your own problem? David Kord Murray says it’s not only OK, he says it’s critical to any achievement. The main point of his book is that it is quite natural to borrow inspiration from others. As a matter of fact, if you look closely, you can see that borrowing happens all the time. If you think Murray is nothing but someone who’s just skilled at copy-and-paste type jobs, think again. He’s quite accomplished in his own right. He: Built a compa Is it OK to take someone else’s idea and use it to solve your own problem? David Kord Murray says it’s not only OK, he says it’s critical to any achievement. The main point of his book is that it is quite natural to borrow inspiration from others. As a matter of fact, if you look closely, you can see that borrowing happens all the time. If you think Murray is nothing but someone who’s just skilled at copy-and-paste type jobs, think again. He’s quite accomplished in his own right. He: Built a company that became worth $50M Worked on some early engineering specifications for the International Space Station Spearheaded Intuit’s first TV and Internet marketing campaigns Launched an internet startup that H&R Block bought. One great innovator Murray cites is Isaac Newton, who said, “if I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” Another scientist he draws from is Einstein, who said, “the secret to good creativity is hiding your sources.” This kind of borrowing is so common in science, people like James Burke have made a career of tracing the Connections. George Lucas, James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino are the best examples of directors whose movies borrow from other people’s movies. Solution Depends on How the Problem is Framed He stresses how the way we solve a problem has a lot to do with how we frame the problem. he gave the example of automotive engineers tasked with developing a solution to the problem of lost keys. The engineer who frames the problem narrowly will think of ways to put a fob on a key ring that chirps when needed, using solutions that weigh down the keys or make them obtrusive so they’re not lost. All of these, of course, are solutions that presume that a physical key needs to go in a physical door lock on the car. The engineer who frames the problem as securing a vehicle while allowing its owner to get in, will ask why keys are needed at all. This engineer is able to come up with a keyless entry locks that rely only on the owner remembering a code. This is truly an innovative solution, yet it’s easy to come up with this solution once you frame the problem properly. The central thrust of the book is his six step process for how you can come up with creative solutions, by borrowing from the creativity of others. Here is a quick summary of his six steps for borrowing brilliance: 1 Defining – How you define a problem will determine how you solve it. 2 Borrowing – Look close, then far away from your field to see how others solve similar problems 3 Combining – Connect borrowed ideas in different ways to see how they can fit your situation. 4 Incubating – Give your ‘gut’ time to think about creative ways to use the solution. 5 Judging – Turn a spotlight on the idea, looking positively at it as well as negative criticism. 6 Redo – Go through this process over again to germinate or further refine an idea. An Ironically Original Book The main distinction this book makes is between borrowing and outright plagiarism. You don’t have to feel guilty for gleaning ideas and perspectives from other places. Murray reinforced my belief that there are many ways that disciplines are connected to each other. I refer you to the novelist Tom Robbins, who’s quoted as saying,”Everything in the universe is connected, of course. It’s a matter of using imagination to discover the links, and language to expand and enliven them.” Murray’s own up and down in the business world are woven into the book. In between his business successes, he dealt with alcoholism, divorce as well as the ego-bruising experience of pushing a company into bankruptcy. This injects some humanity and realism, as personal crises predicated some of Murray’s best ‘borrowings’ – necessity is the mother of invention. What did this book do for me? It cemented my belief that ideas cross-pollinate. That has long been my justification for trying to be as well-rounded as possible, since the thinking that I do in one area can my thinking in all other areas of my life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wes Harris

    Valuable read. For the overall process I liked the Creative Thinker's toolkit better for a more structured approach and is much more research based but this was a great read immediately following that and delved much deeper into the concept of borrowing brilliance, a ticklish issue that he handled, well, brilliantly. I also thought the bits on clarifying the process and the other stuff if the first half was really good. Second half had valuable pieces in it as well but not quite as involving as Valuable read. For the overall process I liked the Creative Thinker's toolkit better for a more structured approach and is much more research based but this was a great read immediately following that and delved much deeper into the concept of borrowing brilliance, a ticklish issue that he handled, well, brilliantly. I also thought the bits on clarifying the process and the other stuff if the first half was really good. Second half had valuable pieces in it as well but not quite as involving as the first.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Arno Mosikyan

    If you steal from one author it's plagiarism, if you steal from many, it's research. #WilsonMizner Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal #TSEliot #Einstein The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution. Einstein said, the secret to creativity is to hide your sources.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lyle

    An impactful book elaborating on six sequential steps that enable you to structure a creative and innovative solution through the use of ‘borrowed brilliance’. With examples drawn on from history it becomes evident that success doesn’t only originate from pure innovation but can be the fusion of two contradicting ideas. Overall a great read that is enlightening and highly motivating.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    A bit polarising - terrific descriptions of geniuses throughout history but then David continuously gives relatively mundane examples of why he is comparable to the likes of Einstein, Darwin and Newton. Still, lots to love in this book especially for one who has a mild amount of skepticism for the 'keep the judgement at the door' approach with a lot of innovation.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Auson

    Great book on creativity

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kinnera

    Good for selective reading. Can skip reading thru the elaborate explanations and go to next idea.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kayode Oladoye

    David is brilliant. Read this book once, and have never forgotten the lessons taught. Read this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dana Kraft

    Nice structure on an inherently messy and seemingly unstructured thing called "creativity". Made me think about times that I've been successful and unsuccessful at finding creative solutions - and why. Also has a nice recommended reading list at the end. Tough to read cover to cover, though. Most of his examples are from Google, Apple or Star Wars. It gets tiresome reading about what a creative genius Steve Jobs is. Second, there will be a few things that he argues that you either already agree w Nice structure on an inherently messy and seemingly unstructured thing called "creativity". Made me think about times that I've been successful and unsuccessful at finding creative solutions - and why. Also has a nice recommended reading list at the end. Tough to read cover to cover, though. Most of his examples are from Google, Apple or Star Wars. It gets tiresome reading about what a creative genius Steve Jobs is. Second, there will be a few things that he argues that you either already agree with or already do. (ie. It's good to have someone serve as a 'devil's advocate' when judging an idea.) Unfortunately, he'll go on for several pages trying to convince you that he's right. I did a lot of skipping ahead.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex Bulankou

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Captivating narration and the author really gets the message across, perhaps too much so, as at some points the main message (ideas are born from other ideas) grows somewhat repetitive. I liked how the book interweaves author's personal story into this book, but I wish he devoted more to specific examples of how ideas were born, perhaps from his personal business experience and not so much to step by step instruction.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dave Applegate

    -One of the most impactful books I've ever read. A must read for any entrepreneur and individual developing products. -Murray teaches an easy to understand framework for being highly creative. A concept many people view as more of an "art" than a science. -If you are a fan of companies like Ideo, this is the book that breaks down how they think in a much more practical manner.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    This is a great book on Innovation and creativity. It offers sequential steps to creativity.It is also an entertaining book with examples as to how others have done it. You willll want too read it and go back and take notes. This is a must have for creativity and one you will find useful if you want to create and innovate.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Max Hobbs

    Had a love/hate relationship with this one. If you can get over the guy's ego and constant self-aggrandizement, mingled with attempts at mitigating arrogance through the occasional self deprecating admission, I really liked and buy into the premise.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Williams

    Borrow from a competitor and you're a pirate, borrow from someone of a different market but similar industry and your innovative and borrow from somewhere or someone unrelated and you're a creative genius! Also, good ideas on the brainstorming process

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danny Houghton

    Book had some excellent concrete steps for non-creatives to take to get in the creative groove. Got a little weary of the evolution metaphor, but other than that, the book was a decent read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Justice Mandhla

    What I learnt from tis book is that there are no original ideas. All ideas are based on ideas that already exist. A well thought out book.Really enjoyed reading it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    simple, ok, not earth shattering yet but a good guide to creative principles.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Enoch Chhabra

    recommended read by hbr.org

  23. 5 out of 5

    James

    Interesting read - applies a principle I learned in the arts to business - great artists steal. :)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Raden

    Am learning how to be successful by looking at others' blue prints. Worth every seconds of your day to read this book till the end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gustavo Lopez

    Love it. Sets a framework for creativity.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ariadana G

    This book has helped me during my years as an Engineer for IBM. Borrowing Brilliance taught me to think outside the box and to solve critical issues in Production environment.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Puput Hardianto

    We have enter the age of information. after this, is the age of creativity. the age where creativity become a commodity. read this book, and you will know how to win in the age of creativity.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yk

    It teaches step by step on how to recreate the Aha moment in your life.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bassam AlKharashi

    Best book in creativity and innovation I enjoyed reading the book and listening to the audio version 5 times so far. This is a must to have for business creators

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    Really boring and not very helpful. I'll save you the read.... "innovate for success".

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