Having read Johnson's previous book "The Ghost Map" about Dr John Snow and the Broad Street Pump cholera map I was interested to read this book about innovation.
Johnson presents the argument that innovation is not a 'Eureka moment' but instead occurs from liquid networks of people and ideas. He also talks about 'The Slow Hunch' where an idea is mulled over for years or decades…like Darwin…and Newton..who are generally described as having sudden blinding flashes of insight where in fact we have fooled ourselves with a cosy story after the event.
Innovation can come from accidental inputs (like penicillin), but you have to have an environment where something might happen before it can.
Here he is talking at TED in Oxford