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Loonshots

How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries
Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
5 out of 5 stars (133 ratings)

Regular price: $25.51

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Publisher's Summary

This program includes a prologue and introduction read by the author.

Washington Post's "10 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2019", Adam Grant's "19 New Leadership Books to Read in 2019", Inc.com's "10 Business Books You Need to Read in 2019", Business Insider's "14 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2019"

“This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history, and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world.” (Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow)

What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water? 

In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs. 

Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall reveals why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice. 

Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall reveals how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere. 

Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If 20th-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the 21st will be shaped by this new kind of science. Loonshots is the first to apply these tools to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Safi Bahcall (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for leaders

This book has so many insights on why leaders and organizations fail or are successful. Understand why innovation dies in organizations and much more....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring storytelling for wide audiences

Captivating, rich story-telling with practical takeaways in essentially every paragraph. Whether you’re an innovator, businessman, scientist, thinker or simply just someone who enjoys inspiring stories with twists and underdogs hitting it out of the ballpark, this book is for you. The audiobook is easy to listen to - good selection of a voice actor for those of you that are picky about that.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent and brilliant

Gain the tools to bring great ideas to their full fruition by listening to this incredible book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unique perspective and thoughtful

Unique perspective on the interconnectedness of systems and illustrated through well known (or so I thought) stories and parts of history. Also a very unique history lesson. Highly recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars

The first practical innovation book

The book that moved the academic innovation conversation from theory to practice. I admit I loved Clay Christensen's work on "disruptive innovation" as it was the best that was out there before, but this book absolutely crushes previous analysis of innovation.

I love the understanding of problems across domains, particularly phase transitions - water shifts from ice to liquid at a threshold of 0 degrees, similarly companies shift from fostering loonshots to politicking at an organizational size of roughly 150. However, there are levers or "control parameters" that can be used to change when phases transition, similarly to how we put salt on ice which reduces the temperature required for it to melt. Safi proposes a beautiful and actionable formula that captures these control parameters for organizations.

I love the definition of management which is so true: management is about facilitating the harmony between the creatives (one's involved in loonshots) and the soldiers (one's involved in franchise projects) which he calls being a gardener, versus being the individual that chooses which loonshots should be pursued or not (he identifies as the Moses trap). Safi also proposes a useful dichotomy of innovations, p-type which are technologically related, and s-type which are strategy and business model related. While both should be garnered, companies can develop a tendancy to only focus on p-types which have resulted in their demise. Finally, there are fantastic cases to explain all this including Pan Am airways, Bell labs, world war 2, steve jobs and Pixar, and many more.

Don't miss out on this one and refer it to a friend.

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Physics, power law math and breathtaking history

As one who grew up professionally in the Bell Labs scientific culture, I thoroughly enjoyed and without reservation highly recommend Loonshots.

Although it's title and central thesis focuses on the dynamic structural patterns found in the physics of state phase transitions and power law mathematics responsible for powering humanity's really big bold projects and ideas, the historical tour Safi Bahcall takes us on is by itself breathtaking and IMHO worth your time.

https://www.amazon.com/Loonshots-Nurture-Diseases-Transform-Industries/dp/1250185963

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  • MD
  • 03-31-19

A different perspective

I'm giving this book 5 starts because of the different perspectives the stories bring. However, some of the duties after too long and could have been shortened especially in the earlier parts of the book.

Over, it's a good read I'd say.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

Reveals some secrets that have transformed business and nations that can be applied to any enterprise. Excellent for startups.