Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group’s updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.



The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World

The science behind the traits and quirks that drive creative geniuses to make spectacular breakthroughs

What really distinguishes the people who literally change the world–those creative geniuses who give us one breakthrough after another? What differentiates Marie Curie or Elon Musk from the merely creative, the many one-hit wonders among us?
Melissa Schilling, one of the world’s leading experts on innovation, invites us into the lives of eight people–Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Elon Musk, Dean Kamen, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs–to identify the traits and experiences that drove them to make spectacular breakthroughs, over and over again. While all innovators possess incredible intellect, intellect alone, she shows, does not create a breakthrough innovator. It was their personal, social, and emotional quirkiness that enabled true genius to break through–not just once but again and again.
Nearly all of the innovators, for example, exhibited high levels of social detachment that enabled them to break with norms, an almost maniacal faith in their ability to overcome obstacles, and a passionate idealism that pushed them to work with intensity even in the face of criticism or failure. While these individual traits would be unlikely to work in isolation–being unconventional without having high levels of confidence, effort, and goal directedness might, for example, result in rebellious behavior that does not lead to meaningful outcomes–together they can fuel both the ability and drive to pursue what others deem impossible.
Schilling shares the science behind the convergence of traits that increases the likelihood of success. And, as Schilling also reveals, there is much to learn about nurturing breakthrough innovation in our own lives–in, for example, the way we run organizations, manage people, and even how we raise our children.
Read More

Genre: Nonfiction / Business & Economics / Leadership

On Sale: February 13th 2018

Price: $18.99 / $23.99 (CDN)

Page Count: 336

ISBN-13: 9781610397933

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


"I love this book
because it makes me think about thinking. Schilling very strongly makes the
point that in a society where broad statistical approaches in education and
science seem to point us toward some mediocre median, that the big
innovations-the industry and civilization-changing innovations-still generally
come from cranky individuals who are determined that their way is the better
way. How do you make another Tesla, Curie, Jobs, or Musk? Schilling tells us
how."—Robert Cringely,
author of Accidental Empires, Triumph of the Nerds, and Nerds 2.0.1.

"An interesting and well-crafted journey through the lives of those
'quirky' women and men who transformed the world through innovation."—David Brin, NASA advisor, astrophysicist, and award-winning author of The
, The Transparent Society, and Existence

"A real page-turner ...
a fascinating mixture of the life stories of radical innovators, such as Elon
Musk and Marie Curie, expertly deconstructing them to reveal their underlying
commonalities. What transpires is both wonderfully insightful and inspiring."—Freek Vermeulen,
London Business School

"A captivating read
with inspirational biographies and valuable lessons to help light that
innovative flame."—Daniel Levinthal, The
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

inspiring journey of discovery. You'll finish the book understanding something
of true genius."—Rita
, Columbia University

"An exceptionally
rewarding marriage of biography and social science that will change the way you
think about winners and winning."—Ron Adner, Tuck
School of Business, Dartmouth College, author of The Wide Lens