Friday, November 25, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Art Of Invention by Steven J. Paley

The Art of Invention:  The Creative Process of Discovery and Design is a Technical Engineering Creativity book.

What makes one invention stand out from another?  What makes one great and leaves others behind?  What process do you need to follow when you invent something?  How does one invent? Is it even possible to succeed?  All of these questions and others are answered within these pages.

If you have an idea for a great invention but have no clue how to incorporate the plan, then this book will help you with the correct stepping stones in which to follow through. 

With discussion on such topics as the paper clip, the history, the process and the uses of such a mundane looking contraption.  The paper clip patent, its inventors and the aspirations are shared.

You will learn how to deal with problems in design, marketing and finances.  With chapters on Design and Invention, Making It Happen, The Business of Invention and Creativity and the Brain just to name a few, this book shows you the exact process from the moment the idea is born until its final product.

Sigmund Freud once stated that the mind is an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water and this is true when you look at it from a creative process.  We are not educated, for the most part, to be creative.  From birth we are trained to use our brains in an analytical, problem-solving capacity; some people have ideas and no way to breach the creative process, this book shall help you overcome such obstacles.

I would give The Art of Invention a three out of five stars.  I found the book to be dry in its approach and it lacked creativity in its explanation.  I would've liked to have seen more pictorial examples of the methods the author was discussing as well as a few more examples of successful and unsuccessful inventions.  However, I am not a engineer nor an inventor and I shall leave the guidance of this book up to the reader.

The lowly paperclip attracts little attention in our world of advanced gadgets and increasingly sophisticated technology. But to veteran inventor and design engineer Steven J. Paley, it is a prime example of the qualities that often characterize a great invention--simplicity, elegance, and robustness--and it provided a lasting solution to a common problem.

In this entertaining and insightful exploration of the process of invention, Paley shows why these same three qualities are essential not only to the success of simple devices, but equally to complex inventions from computer chips to nuclear power plants. Whether you're an aspiring inventor or an experienced designer, Paley's expertise, personal examples, and case studies offer detailed guidance on conceptualizing your ideas and turning them into reality.

Paley begins by exploring the essential aspects of creative thinking, from identifying a problem or need, which is often hidden in plain sight, to finding an inspired solution. He shows how ideas can come from a variety of sources such as the natural world, basic physical principles, life experience, or even chance observations. He examines how intuition and the harnessing of subconscious information are key ingredients for the inventive process.

Next, Paley focuses on the three fundamental themes of simplicity, elegance, and robustness. He vividly and persuasively illustrates through many examples how great inventions embody these crucial characteristics.

The author concludes with an in-depth look at the business of invention and the typical inventor's toolkit. He addresses the real-world challenges of turning a good idea into a practical, marketable application, including patents, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He is candid about the realities of hard work and the need to learn from the inevitable mistakes along the way.

Full of insights and practical guidance from a successful inventor and entrepreneur, The Art of Invention will open new avenues of creativity for budding and accomplished inventors alike.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **