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DBC - "Originals" by Adam Grant

Druid’s Book Club

Quick Take: Interesting but heavy read on some less than obvious contributors to originality and innovation.

Longer Take:

I just finished reading “Originals” by Adam Grant, and let me tell you, this book is intense. It took me several months to read for a couple of reasons: (1) I underlined and took notes all over the place, and (2) There was so much good stuff to process that I had to digest it in small chunks (Although, you’re probably smarter than me so you wouldn’t have to go so slow).

In “Originals”, Grant seeks to debunk common myths about the nature of originality, creativity, and innovation – originality is a fixed trait, innovators love risk, early success leads to later success, procrastination is bad, etc. He uses a variety of social science research to show that creative people are often not what we think and that any of us can be original. Grant also makes connections to some less obvious contributors to creativity. Most of the time I enjoyed “Originals”, but there were parts of the book where the connections seemed tenuous.

This book is a lot and will not be for everyone but I quite enjoyed it (I think Malcolm Gladwell fans will agree).

Some of My Favourite Quotes:

“The hallmark of originality is rejecting the default and exploring whether a better option exists.”
“When we marvel at the original individuals who fuel creativity and drive change in the world, we tend to assume they’re cut from a different cloth.”
“I want to debunk the myth that originality requires extreme risk taking and persuade you that originals are actually far more ordinary than we realize.”
“The best entrepreneurs … take the risk out of risk-taking.”
“Ultimately, the people who choose to champion originality are the ones who propel us forward. After spending years studying them and interacting with them, I am struck that their inner experiences are not any different from our own. They feel the same fear, the same doubt, as the rest of us. What sets them apart is that they take action anyway. They know in their hearts that failing would yield less regret than failing to try.”

Druid’s Top Entrepreneurship Lesson: Originals are not just the freaky .001% with extraordinary gifts. You can be original. Your business can be original.



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