Since most of you come here for the stock ideas, I should preface this post by saying this is not about producing stock ideas (enough of those are available here). Rather, it's about the book by James Young about producing ideas in general. He aims it at marketing people, but it is so general that I think it is useful for anyone that innovates, including people in product development, engineering, software etc.
I've read a number of books, and from most of these I have taken one or two inspiring bits of knowledge that help me better understand the world. But often, I find much of a book is wasted on repetition, topics tangential but not as inspiring as the central theme (or as a corporate cost-cutter would say: "non-core" ideas), or information that serves to make the author sound good but does nothing for the reader.
This book is the opposite of that. Young manages to say everything that needs to be said about this topic in 20 pages, making it pound for pound one of the most informative books of all time. Little is wasted on repetition, no time is spent on extraneous topics, and having read the book I still know very little about the author.
Unfortunately, this is a topic from which it would be very difficult to derive empirical results. As such, we just have to trust the author that this technique produces ideas. But if you've ever had an idea, you may find that you followed this method, even if unknowingly. If you follow this method, you may find yourself with more ideas. If not, well at least you didn't have to spend much time or money on it.