Quirky by Melissa A. Schilling


The science behind the traits and quirks that drive creative geniuses to make spectacular breakthroughsWhat really distinguishes the people who literally change the world--those creative geniuses who give us one breakthrough after another? What differentiates Marie Curie or Elon Musk from the merely creative, the many one-hit wonders among us?Melissa Schilling, one of the world's leading experts on innovation, invites us into the lives of eight p...

Details Quirky

Release DateFeb 13th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Business, History, Biography, Science

Reviews Quirky

  • Charlie Miksicek
    Heard about this book on CSPAN's Book TV and immediately wanted to read it. Illustrates the fascinating parallels among serial innovators like Ben Franklin, Einstein, Nikolai Tesla, Edison, Marie Curie, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk. Very well written although parts seem a bit redundant leaving you with the thought, "Didn't I just read this chapter." The author also has the habit, which becomes a bit annoying, of using only female personal pronouns throu...
  • Lecy
    Chock full of research about some of the world's greatest creative geniuses like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Marie Curie, this book is like a mini-biography of the idiosyncrasies of these brilliant people, and what made them different from any other person. Although I found the stories shared to be quite interesting, it was quite redundant in places. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
  • Janet
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.From the publisher --- From historical figures such as Marie Curie to contemporaries such as Steve Jobs, a handful of innovators have changed the world. What made them so spectacularly inventive? Melissa A. Schilling, one of the world's leading experts on innovation, looks at the lives of seven creative geniuses--Albert Einstein, Benjamin Frankl...
  • The
    Every now and then I come across a book that seems to be written just for me. Mellissa Schilling’s book Quirky was one of those books. I first came across her when listening to Book TV. As she described her interest in what she calls quirky people it became clear that she has opened up a new and very productive vein of riches in studying these people down through recent history. I especially valued her insights about the common traits that iden...
  • VW
    3.5 STARSIf you've read biographies of the individuals she profiles, you won't learn much new about them here. However, the framework of the discussion--examining the sense of separateness, self-efficacy, creativity, high idealism, drive, opportunities, and resources--is useful and and thought-provoking for those who possess one or more of these characteristics. I appreciated her acknowledgement of the differing roles of nature, nurture, and luck...
  • Mariana
    Wonderful book, exploring common traits of serial breakthrough innovators such as Curie, Einstein, Tesla and Musk. The book explores the convergence of personal and external factors that lead to their great discoveries and achievements and the effort it took to persist in the face of adversity. It also gives us hints on how to foster weird or unconventional thinking and personalities in order to unlock an individual's full capacities. The well su...
  • Meg Berg
    This book turned out to be quite different than the one I thought I would be reading. I was expecting an exploration of neurodiversity, but this turned out to be an exploration of traits shared by 5 famous innovators. There were some interesting bits. I realized that there were quite a number of biological details about each of the subjects that I'd never learned, or had forgotten. It was enlightening to see the ways in which some personality tra...
  • Kyle
    I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I found this book to have an interesting concept. On the surface, placing each of these innovators into the same strata would be a bit of a stretch, but the author does this grouping masterfully. There is enough information on each individual to gain a true sense of who they are without becoming a full-length biography on each. The reader easily flows from Musk to Jobs...
  • Lucas Weidner
    It’s a pretty good read, basically a collection of short biographical stories of breakthrough innovators, their lives, childhoods, traits, etc. It also touches on why and how they are the geniuses they are/were, what variables influenced that, and how we can foster that in our own selves.Overall I definitely recommend!
  • Jen Juenke
    A great and fascinating read on what sets serial innovators apart. The book looks at Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Edison, Curie, and Tesla about what set them apart to create great and wonderful things. The book was wonderfully laid out and was an easy read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot of useful information!
  • Marks54
    Melissa Schilling has written a collective biography (multiple case study?) of a group of serial “breakthrough” innovators who have changed the world. The subjects include: Thomas Edison, Elon Musk, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Dean Kamen, Steve Jobs, and Nikola Tesla. The intent is to focus on innovators with large numbers of successes, not just on innovators with only a few successes. The life details of these people are...
  • Daiya Hashimoto
    Melissa Schilling, Professor of NYU Stern School of Business, thoroughly review the five key factors below which were shared by the eight serial breakthrough innovators who changed the world, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Elon Musk, Dean Kamen, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs.These are the five factors, five quirks of the geniuses.1 A Sense of Separateness2 Extreme Confidence3 The Creative Mind4 A Higher Purpose5 Dr...
  • David Gaddis Ross
    Inspiring and Thought ProvokingThis book is a comparative case study of several of the most famous and impactful innovators in recent human history (e.g., Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs). Synthesizing original source material, academic research on creativity and innovation, and the many in-depth biographies that exist of these famous innovators in science and commerce, Schilling isolates the commonalities in personality and circumstance that lead ...
  • Bulent Atalay
    Melissa Schilling’s new book, Quirky, examines the lives of a finite number of individuals whose legacies have dramatically shaped the way we live and the way we see the world. Her subjects are eight innovators whose lifetimes span two-and-a-half centuries, from Benjamin Franklin the earliest to Elon Musk the latest. We have come to regard their inventions as necessities we could not possibly live without. As a physicist, I have long known the ...
  • Artemis
    Insightful!! I admit that I picked it up mostly due to Nikola Tesla (whom I will always have a soft spot for), but I think I got more than what I wanted. I learnt so much more about Marie Curie and Elon Musk (which I didn't think I needed but I was more than happy to have had).Besides giving us biographies of the 8 great innovators shortlisted, she examines the confluence of factors that lead to these successful innovators (for instance, intellig...
  • Gregg Rozeboom
    Distinctive Similarities of Eight Quirky Innovators: I’ve previously read biographies of Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Elon Musk, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein, so I was fascinated to read about the distinctive similarities between each of their bios as well as those of Marie Curie, Dean Kamen, and Nikola Tesla. Further, I appreciated that the author didn’t just look back at history; she also gave clues for discovering and developing fu...
  • Marc
    Four stars because I really liked it. So often we only hear the "glory" stories of our famous innovators. Ms Shilling certainly includes those, but she also describes the sacrifices, mental health issues, and demons that our extreme outliers can have. She lets us marvel at the sheer brilliance of Einstein/Tesla/Musk/Curie, etc and their ability to hold thoughts, memory, and patterns and manipulate them. But then she shows their struggles with iso...
  • Mercy [Bookworm | Future Engg]
    Ideas come from times when you were being alone.Don't let the world corrupt your mind, stain your opinions, and erase your views. You are your own, and you can change the world.Be proud if you can't relate to others, be happy if you can't speak long enough with people.Be in love with knowledge, be in love with your passion. Let it burn you, and may it burn the world.I hate small talks. I find them as a waste of time. I hate efforts in conversatio...
  • Christie Bane
    This was an inspiring and very readable book that summarized what we know about innovation by referring to the lives of eight people who are best-known for being innovative. I liked the book not only because it was well-written, but also because it made me believe that some of my own personality traits that annoy other people, match some of these very famous people's personality traits! The fact that I don't need a lot of sleep, don't really care...
  • Trung Nguyen Dang
    A nice book that studies the commonality of some of the greatest innovators in history: Albert Einstein, Elon Musk, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Dean Kamen, Benjamin Franklin. A lot of the materials seem to come from standalone biographies. So what make them great innovators, a summary: - a sense of separateness, give your children alone time- self-education but typically don't do well in school, except for Marie Curie. -...
  • Sid
    As others have said, this book reads more like a biography than a self-help. I actually found that refreshing, to hear the stories of Einstein, Edison, Tesla, Curie, Franklin, Jobs and Musk. Serial innovators have unrelenting beliefs in whatever they stand for. This often comes at the cost of spending time with family, pursuing other varied interests etc. While hard to capture the recipe of a genius, the author concludes that family background an...
  • Stanley Trice
    The author makes an attempt to explain the successes of Einstein, Franklin, Musk, Kamen, Tesla, Curie, Edison, and Jobs. She tries to find a common link that they all have to make them inventive.As an example, they all have some type of “social detachment” that makes them think differently. They have a “sense of separateness”, “extreme confidence”, “driven to work”, and others. She believes “it is the convergence of such traits ...
  • Vinayak Joshi
    Interesting book. One learns a lot about how luck and chance led to innovation, as well as about the specific habits of serial innovators like Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla, Elon Musk, Einstein, Marie Curie etc. which helped them be so good.The author has a 'quirky' habit of always using the feminine form (she/her) of the personal pronoun when talking about general things. This is perfectly fine by me - except for the fact that at one place (and I bel...
  • Lacer
    Quirky looks at a number of ‘serial innovators’, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Marie Curie, Benjamin Franklin, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, to try and work out what things enabled them to invent / discover so many things and whether these things were common across the group. So, part biographies, part social study. I enjoyed the biographies (although having already read a biography of Steve Jobs, I didn’t learn anything new there)...
  • Ron
    What makes a few people different from everyone else? Why were those few like Edison, Curie, Musk, Einstein, and Jobs driven to devote their lives to innovation? Are they super smart, did they desire to be rich and famous, were they introverts. Schilling explores these special people and some others to try to answer that question. She also draws some conclusions about how kids can be recognized for their interests instead of forced rote learning....
  • Atal Agarwal
    The book shares the common traits of 8 successful innovators in the world. Some of those traits include the importance of solitude, early small wins in life, extreme confidence, living life for a higher purpose, driven to work and unstoppable due to failures. The book helped me in knowing more about the lives of these individuals and how one can realize the potential that lies within an organization or an individual by nurturing some of these tra...
  • Khanh Do
    An interesting book, giving brief and concise biography of breakthrough innovators, Schilling has succesfully demonstrated their unique traits that help them to gain significant innovation. What I found most captivating is the final part where Schilling proposes how to nuture innovative spirits although the life of extraordinary innovators is so special that most of us are unable to pursuit.
  • Asa Swain
    A history of various modern tech/science inventors and what made them special. An analysis of the prerequisites for innovation. Interesting In parts, but not groundbreaking. I also got a bit annoyed by the authors tendency to keep referring to the contents of other chapters in her book.
  • John Beckham
    A page turnerThe biggest surprise was that its a what/who next page turner. Journeys into great lives and minds. Great (and useful) observations. Not heavy theory, just observation and analysis. Fun to read.
  • Shatha A Abduh
    Felt stupid afterward