Book Club: “Inside The Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results”

Xavier «X» Santolaria
3 min readFeb 12

Like many, for years, I thought that inventing or innovating was reserved to only a few, elite thinkers, or gifted people.

In 2022, I was awarded my first “Patent Application Invention Achievement Award” at IBM for an invention I was part of. Needless to say that this got me fired up to do more of these ;)

While I had bought the “Inside The Box” book back in 2017 (I think), I never got to read it. Now, was probably a good moment to get to it and I embark in a new and long journey of inventions, hopefully.

Front Cover of the “Inside The Box” book

About The Authors

Drew Boyd is assistant professor of marketing and innovation at the University of Cincinnati. He trains and consults in the fields of innovation, marketing, persuasion, and social media. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Jacob Goldenberg is a marketing professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He studies creativity, new product development, innovation, market dynamics, and the effects of social networks. He lives in Jerusalem, Israel.


The Book

The book will embark you in a journey explaining the Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) technique in details and illustrating them using stories where companies executives, engineers, researchers, or kids will work on innovating existing products or services, by following the “Closed World” principle, or template, that dictates that when innovating and solving a problem, we should strive to use only elements that exist in the system or its environment.

That template: use objects close by to solve problems.


Surprisingly, the majority of new, inventive, and successful products result from only five templates: subtraction, division, multiplication, task unification, and attribute dependency. These templates form the basis of the innovation method called Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT).

What you will also learn in the book is that Systematic Inventive Thinking is learnt and thought. Creativity is not something you’re born with.

Creativity is really about an intelligent search among…