Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Success

Ron Friedman. Simon & Schuster, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-1-9821-3579-9
To replicate a successful formula one needs to take it apart, see how it works, and improve upon it, psychologist Friedman (The Best Place to Work) advises in this empowering guide. Engineers, he writes, have long known that “systematically taking things apart to explore their inner workings and extract new insights” is an excellent way to create new products. Expanding on this idea, Friedman discusses how artists, chefs, athletes, and other professionals can use the process of reverse engineering to acquire new skills and spark creativity. He walks readers through examples of using data mining and analysis to spot patterns in such areas as a good TED talk, blockbuster superhero movies, and record-breaking sports performances. An appendix with 10 strategies for readers to apply to their work contains such practical tips as “become a collector” of inspiration, “think in blueprints” to identify patterns, and “don’t mimic, evolve.” While the central concept isn’t particularly innovative, Friedman’s tips will nonetheless inspire readers to learn from what they admire. Those in need of a refresh of their problem-solving skills should give this a look. Agent: Lucinda Blumenfeld, Lucinda Literary. (June)
Reviewed on : 05/25/2021
Release date: 06/15/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-2512-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-3985-0397-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-2510-7
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