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Publishers Weekly"The goal of any design is to be simple, elegant and robust," Paley states early in his passionate first book, and this guiding principle runs throughout his examination of the process of invention. Paley knows his subject matter well. He includes anecdotes about his own inventions and those of his father, such as the MicroDuster, "a can of compressed gas used for cleaning in critical environments." The author also focuses on the work of others, exploring inventions from the paper clip to the personal computer in an attempt to demonstrate the creative mental processes that drive innovation. According to Paley, defining the need comes first: "The more specific and well-defined the problem; the clearer the solution," he writes. After the need is defined, a good invention requires a research phase, brainstorming, and a period of time where the subconscious mind works on the problem until it arrives at a clear solution. Then begin refining and testing. Clearly, Paley's system has application to any creative undertaking, and readers across a wide spectrum of occupations and interests will find inspiration. Illus.
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