How to Fly a Horse

The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery

Kevin Ashton

Publisher: Penguin, 2015, 314 pages

ISBN: 978-0-8041-7006-2

Keywords: Creativity

Last modified: April 2, 2016, 10:53 p.m.

To create is human. Technology pioneer Kevin Ashton has experienced firsthand the all-consuming challenge of creating something new. Now Ashton demystifies the sacred act, leading us on a journey through humanity's greatest creations to uncover the surprising truth behind who creates and how they do it.

From the crystallographer's laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long-forgotten woman, to the Ohio bicycle shop where the Wright brothers set out to "fly a horse", Ashton showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs. Drawing on examples from Mozart to the Muppets, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, How to Fly a Horses essential reading for would-be creators and innovators, and also a passionate and immensely rewarding exploration of how "new" comes to be.

  • Preface: The Myth
  1. Creating Is ordinary
  2. Thinking is like walking
  3. Expect adversity
  4. How we see
  5. Where credit is due
  6. Chains of consequence
  7. The gas in your tank
  8. Creating organizations
  9. Good-bye, genius.