Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

*Wall Street Journal bestseller
*Next Big Idea Club selection--chosen by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant as one of the "two most groundbreaking new nonfiction reads of the season"
*Washington Post's "10 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2019"
*Inc.com's "10 Business Books You Need to Read in 2019"
*Business Insider's "14 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2019"
*Management Today's "Top Business Books to Read in 2019"

"This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world." --Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water?

In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice.

Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere.

Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If twentieth-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the twenty-first will be shaped by this new kind of science. Loonshots is the first to apply these tools to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.

Title:Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries
ISBN:9781250185969
Format Type:

    Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries Reviews

  • Heidi The Reader

    "New frontiers of the mind are before us, and if they are pioneered with the same vision, boldness, and drive with which we have waged this war we can create fuller and more fruitful employment and a ...

  • Mehrsa

    I guess this is the new "disruption" book (even though he articulates the differences quite convincingly). Bahcall posits a theory of loonshots using a few emblamatic examples (actually the same ones ...

  • Dolly

    Loonshots is a thought-provoking blend of history, physics, and business which seeks to explain group decision-making about "loonshots". I am a social scientist so the idea of thinking about group beh...

  • Peter Tillman

    A cool and very readable account of technical history, innovation, and project management. I liked the author’s breezy, conversational style. He opens with Vannevar Bush just before WW2, starting a ...

  • Ali

    You would imagine that the first time someone presented the idea of using a beam to detect ships and airplanes, or a drug to reduce cholesterol, or a drug to kill tumors by choking their blood supply,...

  • Howard

    a dynamite book. brilliantly written. good ideas. safi bahcall is a great story teller, and these tales are well worth telling....

  • Daniel

    1. New ideas are fragile and require tremendous amount of protection all the way from the top. 2. World War 2: The German U-boats were sinking Allies ships. Radar saved the day, letting pilots find th...

  • Ethan

    Was skeptical with the bombastic title at first, but this book shines as it recounts many notable inventions across industries and the multiple failures that preceded their eventual success....

  • Venky

    One might be forgiven for nursing a genuine assumption that the most famous “Bush” surname belongs to one of two men, both of whom happened to be the Presidents of the United States of America at ...

  • Dan Connors

    A very fascinating read. The opening story about the invention of radar and how it won World War 2, one which I had not heard before, was worth the read alone.The author goes into detail about how gre...