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Innovation Myths and the Unsexy Truths About Breakthroughs

By Mark Milian - 2014-04-01T16:15:07Z

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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The Overnight Success

Sebastian Thrun knows a thing or three about innovation: He helped create driverless cars, Street View mapping at Google and the online-education startup Udacity. So he knows first-hand that success doesn't happen overnight, even though sensations such as the hit mobile game "Flappy Bird" seem to swoop in out of nowhere. In fact, the game's developer has been programming for a decade and created countless flops before hatching that golden egg.

The biggest myth about innovation is "that it happens overnight,"says Thrun. "Innovation is riddled with failure and requires a strong vision and perseverance."

Related: Atop the Electronics World, Samsung Now Chasing Innovation