How to Fly a Horse

  • by Kevin Ashton
  • Narrated by Kevin Ashton
  • 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As a technology pioneer at MIT and as the leader of three successful start-ups, Kevin Ashton experienced firsthand the all-consuming challenge of creating something new. Now, in a tour-de-force narrative 20 years in the making, Ashton leads us on a journey through humanity's greatest creations to uncover the surprising truth behind who creates and how they do it. From the crystallographer's laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long forgotten woman, to the electromagnetic chamber where the stealth bomber was born on a twenty-five-cent bet, to the Ohio bicycle shop where the Wright brothers set out to "fly a horse"; Ashton showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary and usually uncredited acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs.
Creators, he shows, apply in particular ways the everyday, ordinary thinking of which we are all capable, taking thousands of small steps and working in an endless loop of problem and solution. He examines why innovators meet resistance and how they overcome it, why most organizations stifle creative people, and how the most creative organizations work. Drawing on examples from art, science, business, and invention, from Mozart to the Muppets, Archimedes to Apple, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, How to Fly a Horse is a passionate and immensely rewarding exploration of how "new" comes to be.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A refreshing take on creation and innovation

As a creative professional and president of a game development company I often read new books on innovation only to find that they are rehashing old ideas or quoting each other. This book, however, was the first to challenge some outdated beliefs and provide me a new perspective.

From an audiobook perspective the author did a wonderful job as narrator. It added to the sincerity of the message for me.

I plan to pick up a printed version of this book as it has a permanent place in my library and I certainly will recommend it to employees and colleagues alike.

Well done.
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- Alfred

Creation is Ordinary! This book is not.

If you could sum up How to Fly a Horse in three words, what would they be?

This book is engaging, helpful, and inspiring. One of the most interesting books I've listened to. I can't stop talking about it with others. Not only did I learn more about the creative process from a different point of view, I learned so much more along the journey.


What other book might you compare How to Fly a Horse to and why?

Because of it's heavy use of stories from many difference fields, it kept me hooked from the start. In some ways, it reminded me of the Freakonomics books and books from Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell.


Have you listened to any of Kevin Ashton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first book to listen to from Kevin Ashton and I thought he did a great job narrating his book.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Creation is Ordinary. This Film Is Not!


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- Cole Phillips "Making the Connection"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-20-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio