Section A.1. Annotated bibliography

Section A.1. Annotated bibliography

A. Research and recommendations

This is fuel for the curious: I've provided copious notes for anyone seeking more knowledge about the preceding topics. There are two bibliographies—one annotated, the other ranked—and a summary of other research used to support the writing of this book. Good luck; let me know what gems you find.

A.1. Annotated bibliography

A.1.1. Myths and mythology


Campbell, Joseph and Bill Moyers. The Power of Myth. Anchor, 1991.

The most accessible book in the Joseph Campbell cannon. It's a set of interviews conducted by Bill Moyers and covers many of the major themes in Campbell's other works. Of prime importance is that this text explains why myths matter, how they function, and their relevance to today's challenges. If you like this one, follow up with Campbell's Myths to Live By (Souvenir Press Ltd, 1995).


Armstrong, Karen. A Short History of Myths. Canongate, 2005.

This short book follows the history of myths from the beginnings of creation myths to the modern age. Armstrong is a master at approaching the subject of belief in an informal yet scholarly way, and she provides an excellent counterpoint to The Power of Myth. Both books avoid getting into pantheons or comparative mythology, but plant seeds for why you'd want to go there.

A.1.2. Businness innovation


Drucker, Peter. Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Collins, 1993.

A star in my research. His approach is wise and concise, he writes well, and he uses stories more than statistics to support claims. If you want to understand the business of innovation or are interested in start-up ventures, this is a must-read.


Hargadon, Andrew. How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate. Harvard Business School Press, 2003.

Hargadon touches on many themes found in my research, and he emphasizes interesting stories from history over charts and statistics. My only regret is that I didn't find this book earlier.


Foster, Richard. Innovation: The Attacker's Advantage. Simon & Schuster, 1988.

As best I can tell, this is the first book that uses the S curve of innovation, a model reused in many modern business books. There's often value in returning to the source of ideas, and Foster does not disappoint. Unlike the two books listed previously, this book is largely about strategy and tactics, but it also provides the reasons, based on history, that those tactics work.


Kawasaki, Guy. The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything. Portfolio, 2004.

With this title, you know the author knows marketing. This short book is thin on history or theory, but is full of action, motivation, and guts. It's the antidote to the ever-present innovation killer of too much thinking and not enough doing.

A.1.3. Creative thinking and problem solving


Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. HarperPerennial, 1997.

He's a master of creativity research, and this book is my favorite of his works. It's based on a long-term study of many creative minds, examining their points of view on how creativity happens. His research provided the clearest description of the processes described in Chapter 1.


From the Earth to the Moon, Episode 5: Spider, HBO, 1998.

This is part five of an excellent dramatization of the NASA race to the moon. This episode focuses on the design of the lunar lander: a fantastic story of politics, ignored ideas, creative problem solving, collaboration, and dozens of other topics. Highly recommended: watch it with your coworkers and compare and contrast. This is an excellent companion to the film Apollo 13.


Brown, Kenneth A. Inventors at Work: Interviews with 16 Notable American Inventors. Microsoft Press, 1988.

This is a series of interviews with great inventors of the 20th century and is a companion to Programmers at Work, from the same publisher. If you want to innovate, the best bet is to listen to those who do it, talking about how it's done; this collection hits on many great themes and stories. Forget "how to be creative" books—read these guys and then get to work. (Also see Jessica Livingston's Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days, Apress, 2007.)


Stone, Irving. The Agony and the Ecstasy. NAL Trade, 2004.

Historic fiction can be tough, but this one gets it right. It's the life of Michelangelo written as a novel, but based on extensive research. This book is highly recommended for highminded innovators. Michelangelo was one of the greats, and the details of his life—especially his resistance to the powers of the day—will put fire in your heart. There is a 1965 film of the same name, but read the book first. The film stars Charlton Heston and doesn't have the same insights for would-be innovators as the book (but it is a fun watch over beers with sarcastic artists and creatives).


Flatow, Ira. They All Laughed. HarperCollins, 1992.

This book is a series of short pieces about how many great inventions came to be, including television, Teflon, copy machines, Vaseline, and Silly Putty. Flatow's angle is drama and suffering, as all of these stories are unexpectedly complicated, difficult, and frustrating (for the inventors, not the readers). It's not deep history, and there are some shortcuts of accuracy, but it's highly accessible, thought provoking, and humbling.

A.1.4. History and culture


Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me. Touchstone, 1996. Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States. Harper-Collins, 1980.

It takes courage to surface truths that have been paved over for decades, and both of these books take that challenge head on. Loewen's book, focused on an analysis of American school textbooks, is worth the price for its retelling of Thanksgiving alone; Zinn's work, more politically minded, will close the distance between how Americans see themselves compared to how the world sees them. Both are worldview-shifting books.


Carr, Edward Hallett. What Is History? Vintage, 1967.

Books that blow your mind in 200 pages deserve special praise: this is one of them. Some others in the field of historiography find this book too dramatic and provocative, but it worked for me, showing me the big questions that historians are supposed to ask and making me interested in the answers.


Pacey, Arnold. The Maze of Ingenuity. MIT Press, 1992.

Pacey's aim is to show the parallels between innovation today and Western innovations over the centuries, including an emphasis on how cultures at different times perceived the value of their works. It's a short, dense book, but if you like surprises about how old technologies were made, you'll enjoy and remember it.


Rogers, Everett M. Diffusion of Innovations. Free Press, 1995.

As mentioned earlier, this anthropological approach to understanding innovation was compelling and influential. The book is long and academic in style, but the stories are so good that you won't mind. Skipping around is OK because the main points are established early and referenced throughout.



Sections