We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation | [Steven Johnson]

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.
Regular Price:$23.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

One of our most innovative, popular thinkers takes on - in exhilarating style - one of our key questions: "Where do good ideas come from?"

With Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson pairs the insight of his best-selling Everything Bad Is Good for You and the dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map and The Invention of Air to address an urgent and universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen?

Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.

©2010 Steven Johnson (P)2010 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (344 )
5 star
 (148)
4 star
 (116)
3 star
 (57)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.2 (161 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (48)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.2 (168 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (56)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bill United States 04-16-12
    Bill United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Steven Johnson feast"
    Would you listen to Where Good Ideas Come From again? Why?

    I might listen again but more importantly I take away ideas that change my habits and get me excited.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Locke - He really is but I haven't finished. The book is a review of aspects of creativity not a story. I listen in short bursts and it is a good thing since every two minutes, I hear another idea that keeps me occupied for a day.


    What about Eric Singer’s performance did you like?

    I can't decide if I like his using different accents for historical figures or not. He is very good at it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, too rich, too powerful


    Any additional comments?

    Johnson's The Invention of Air is another gold mine

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-29-11
    11-29-11 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Evolution and problem-solving"

    Lots of good anecdotes fleshing out an extended metaphor about the genesis of ideas as an evolutionary process.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Al San Francisco, CA 11-26-11
    Al San Francisco, CA 11-26-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    79
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book on how to generate good ideas"

    This is an excellent book with concrete evidence how good ideas are generated. Taking examples from multiple fields Steven Johnson shows a very convincing picture of what one needs to do in order to generate good ideas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harvey Trabuco Canyon, CA, United States 05-12-11
    Harvey Trabuco Canyon, CA, United States 05-12-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Very Interesting"

    By just the title, I had envisioned a business book. However, this was more pop science and history. This is great if you are interested in learning about Darwin's exploits, but probably less so if you want a self help book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Everling Palo Alto, California 04-09-11
    David Everling Palo Alto, California 04-09-11 Member Since 2010

    Skipper

    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "Good stories about good ideas"

    Good stories about good ideas. Johnson devotes a chapter each of a set of seven qualities of innovation, and for the most part it all makes a lot of sense and is well said. People have already said a lot of it before, though, and sometimes Johnson's new terminology is rebranding an old idea. When Johnson coins a new idiom I think he's well-intentioned and trying to update a previous idea with a modern conception, so it's not negligent per se, but perhaps unnecessary.

    The book goes into the inception and adoption of good ideas as told through a slew of Johnson's science history anecdotes (this reminded me of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything) and the reader gets a sense of the slow rise of an idea, in a mind or a larger network of minds, from unseen depths before the "Eureka!" when it splashes through the surface into the public spotlight. Johnson explains this as "The Slow Hunch" to contradict a widespread misconception that solo genius drives the bulk of progress (not unlike the thrust of Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers). A particularly interesting bit addresses a topic that's getting more attention lately, power laws for cities, which display better-than-expected innovation (as measured by patent density, e.g.) among other peculiarly powerful trends.

    I was hoping that Johnson would build his seven broad patterns into a platform for a compelling conclusion, but instead Johnson is content to leave it as a platform and concludes with a summary of how to think about the individual struts of the framework rather than explicit theorizing on what his framework might support. I can't say I wouldn't have hesitated too were I in Johnson's journalistic shoes, but I can't help but think it a bit sheepish given the provocative nature of the build-up. He doesn't go far enough to succinctly answer the question behind the book's title.

    A worthwhile listen despite its faults! I do think it could be better read by the author, but that's only a hypothetical.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    remco Carbajosa de la Sagrada, Spain 02-06-11
    remco Carbajosa de la Sagrada, Spain 02-06-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Very interesting"

    This book was very interesting for me and opened a complete new world for me on how innovation comes about. I recommend this book to anyone interested in creating a more innovating environment at work, or how to become more innovative him/herself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wyatt king -- normal Guyancourt Cedex, France 01-20-11
    wyatt king -- normal Guyancourt Cedex, France 01-20-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "wonderful book, terrible reading"

    The book is a marvelous exploration of how ideas are formed, inspired and cultivated, and the writing is lucid and compelling.

    Such a pity that the reader insists on attempting a foreign accent for every citation, an exercise that is pointless and distracting. The reader's attempt at a German accent early in the book when citing Goethe was so painful that I had to stop mid-stride and hold my gut.

    Please read the book but avoid this audio version.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Watertown, NY, United States 12-25-10
    Daniel Watertown, NY, United States 12-25-10 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Tapers off"

    This book was fascinating at first but that tapers off and eventually gets really boring. The reading was great though!

    Good book all around.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Kirkland, WA, United States 11-21-10
    Mark Kirkland, WA, United States 11-21-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "The good idea would be not to purchase this book."

    This book is verbose without a sense direction; which lost my interest in listening after an hour or two. It was factually repetitive to what is commonly known which contributed to it being boring. And that narration. Poor at best. Trying to come from the "over the top" verbal inflections and those impressions, just bad...bad.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Casey Solana Beach, CA 03-04-13
    Joy Casey Solana Beach, CA 03-04-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love Steven Johnson's writings!"
    What did you love best about Where Good Ideas Come From?

    There were many parts, but here are two. I loved the story of the two "showman" doctors who developed baby incubators and then found a way to pay for them by putting them on exhibit (with live babies inside)...in the shops of Paris...and then, the second doctor put them on exhibit in Berlin, London, and the U.S., with the longest standing exhibit at Coney Island, NY. I also liked the story of the young man who rather accidentally became the "father" of air conditioning... Great story!


    Have you listened to any of Eric Singer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. Fine...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I love books that arouse and then satisfy my curiosity.


    Any additional comments?

    Steven Johnson is a wonderful writer!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 25 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.