Innovation Books | My Library of Inspiration

Building a library of inspiration in your innovation studio is what ensures you have a ready source of ideas. This inspiration library can come in the form of a collection of innovation books. I am a visual learner, so reading books is where I often find my inspiration. I am going to walk you through some essential books I have and explain why I value them.

Innovation Books

My Design Innovation Books

The first book is “Frank Lloyd Wright: A Visual Encyclopedia.” I grew up in Chicago, where the author started and became popular. Personally, this book reminds me to create my style. Frank Lloyd Wright separated himself from others. He created his own style and put a different spin on the design of his buildings.

The next book is called “A Pattern Language” by a professor at UC Berkeley, Christopher Alexander. Used by the original Sims game developers, the author breaks down patterns found through building houses, cities, and various other buildings. While you can’t take what is in this book and apply it directly to a product or service, the book does teach an important idea. You can generate a certain feeling or experience through the patterns and designs that you use.

Designing Interactions” by Bill Moggridge is the third innovation book in my library of inspiration. The author focuses on designing experiences and offers important insights into the origins of Google and others.

The fourth book on my list touches on what to do with design, where problems can occur, and how to avoid them. It is “The Universal Principles of Design” by William Lidwell.

My Creative Innovation Books

The fifth book is “Thinker Toys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques” by Michael Michalko. In my opinion, this is a book that every innovator should have. The book brings together all of the tools, approaches, ways to brainstorm, uses of SCAMPER, etc., that are very useful for innovators. Pretty much anything that Michael puts out, I buy.

Another book is “Six Thinking Hats” by Dr. Edward de Bono.” I got introduced to the innovation and creativity space by watching his TV show on PBS back when I was a kid. Over six or seven shows, Dr. de Bono taught viewers about unleashing their creativity, which sparked something inside me. The book is a great reminder to change your perspective and keep a fresh mind and is a great piece to have in your library of inspiration.

Fun Books I Keep

Now I’m going to share with you some fun books I keep that make me laugh. The first one is “The World’s Worst Inventions: The Craziest Gadgets and Machines Ever Made” by Jack Watkins. This book discusses some inventions that have been deemed stupid by many. Ironically, some of these inventions have gone on to be successful after this book was published.

The next book is “Fail Harder: Ridiculous Illustrations of Epic Fails” by Community. This book humorously discusses human failings and reminds us of our human nature.

To know more about creating your own library of inspiration, listen to this week's show: Innovation Books | My Library of Inspiration.

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