The Myths of Creativity Book Summary - The Myths of Creativity Book explained in key points

The Myths of Creativity summary

David Burkus

The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas

Listen to the first key idea

Key idea 1 of 6
4.4 (65 ratings)
14 mins
6 key ideas
Audio & text

What is The Myths of Creativity about?

The Myths of Creativity debunks our common misconceptions of how creativity works. It provides practical insight and valuable advice on how to generate new ideas and let them flourish, and it gives real-world examples from history and recent well-known creatives.

About the Author

David Burkus is assistant professor of management at the College of Business at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He specializes in the fields of creativity and innovation as well as in entrepreneurship and organizational behavior. He has written for Fast Company and Bloomberg Businessweek and given keynotes for Microsoft and Stryker.


© David Burkus: The Myths of Creativity copyright 2013, John Wiley & Sons Inc.  Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

Table of Contents
    Key idea 1 of 6

    In order to reach our creative potential, we need to change our perception of creativity.

    We’re all familiar with how Isaac Newton discovered gravity. One day, whilst sitting under a tree, an apple fell on him, which sparked his realization of the phenomenon.

    Yet, this tale is a great example of a common myth that creativity comes from out-of-the-blue divine inspiration. Although most of us accept this myth, it’s wrong. Creativity doesn’t just fall to us from thin air.

    For example, Newton’s discovery of gravity isn’t exactly accurate. He, in fact, observed the apple fall whilst he was with someone else, which sparked a scientific discussion between them.

    Their discussion involved reviewing what they already understood in terms of the phenomenon of gravity. Therefore, rather than Newton being the sole receiver of a sudden revelation; the idea surfaced from the interaction between two intelligent minds. It was only after years of intensive research that Newton could then finally put forward his mathematical formula on gravity.

    So even though we love stories of lightning-bolt revelations, we can see that creativity often requires time and effort.

    Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi actually found that insight is only a central step out of a number of steps that successful creatives move through before their idea has come to fruition.

    Ideas can only emerge after a foundation has been prepared and left to germinate for a while.

    In order to get the best out of the process, many highly creative people such as da Vinci and Edison had a number of projects on the go simultaneously. This allowed all their ideas to have the necessary amount of time to develop whilst their creators worked on others.

    However, as we will see, creativity is not just limited to these famous ‘geniuses.’

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Myths of Creativity?

    Key ideas in The Myths of Creativity

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    Who should read The Myths of Creativity

    • Anyone who would like to increase his or her creativity
    • Anyone running a business or organization

    Categories with The Myths of Creativity

    What our members say

    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    25 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial