How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

Ranked #65 in How Things Work

What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water?

In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will...

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Loonshots from the world's leading experts.

Timothy Ferriss Author & EntrepreneurIt really is [a damn good book]. So I encourage people, loonshots.com, take a look at the book. And if you’re like, “I still need to be sold,” okay. Go read up on Safi and you’ll be like, “Okay, there are probably additional things that I could learn from Safi and from the historical examples that you weave together, right?” It’s really the way that I like to learn personally and I think it’s the way a lot of humans learn as you pointed out, is through stories that illustrate points. And it’s tempting I think, and this is another thing that impresses me about you, is to, from the influence... (Source)

Daniel Kahneman Nobel Prize Winner, AuthorThis book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world. (Source)

Siddhartha Mukherjee AuthorA wonderful book that explores the beauty, quirkiness and complexity of ideas, Loonshots will both educate and entertain you. If you care about ideas—especially new and out-of-the-box ones—you need to read this book. (Source)

Vikrant Batra CMO/HP Inc.In this age of noise, constant disturbances and lack of deep thinking, Loonshots is a breath of fresh air. If you want to find and nurture radical ideas that can transform your business, read this incredible book. (Source)

Samir Arora What a great book. Loonshots by @SafiBahcall is really well written and a delight to read. One of the contenders for Financial Times business book of the year, it is highly recommended. @safiranand has made up for his previous gift. (Source)

Robert Sutton One of the most intriguing and imaginative books about creativity I’ve ever read … physics meets history meets innovation meets management and organizational design. (Source)

Edward Sullivan Some books challenge what you think―Loonshots will challenge how you think. Never before have we been given such a clear and compelling roadmap to questioning norms, embracing the impossible, and shooting for the stars. Loonshots is a must read for anyone passionate or crazy enough to take on today’s biggest challenges. (Source)

Adam Grant A physicist and award-winning biotechnology entrepreneur specializing in cancer drugs reveals how creativity is not just about culture—it’s heavily driven by structure. Applying the physics of phase transitions to a stunning array of entertaining examples, Safi Bahcall shows how entrepreneurs and innovators can set the stage for ideas to flow and breakthroughs to emerge. (Source)

Robert B. Laughlin Safi Bahcall extends the principles of emergence to the behavior of groups, creating an entirely new way of thinking about why some succeed and others fail. Safi hits all the right notes: the rhythm is right, the humor is right, the scope is right … everything is right. Loonshots should be required reading for anyone serious about changing the world for the better. (Source)

Victor Asemota @joe_darko Also, responses are faster as Twitter is optimized for it too as well. Conversation brings more conversation. Interesting that going to 280 actually helped Twitter. A lesson in "phase transitions" and phase optimization according to the book Loonshots - https://t.co/qt3ct5j3s7 (Source)

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