The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation Audiobook, by William Patrick Play Audiobook Sample

The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation Audiobook

The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation Audiobook, by William Patrick Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Christopher Grove Publisher: Penguin Random House Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 4.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.63 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: January 2016 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780698411753

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

08:55 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

19 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

05:51 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by William Patrick: > View All...

Publisher Description

From Adam Steltzner, who led the Entry, Descent, and Landing team in landing the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars, comes a profound book about breakthrough innovation in the face of the impossible


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is home to some of history’s most jaw-dropping feats of engineering. When NASA needed to land Curiosity—a 2,000-pound, $2.5 billion rover—on the surface of Mars, 140 million miles away, they turned to JPL. Steltzner’s team couldn’t test their kooky solution, the Sky Crane. They were on an unmissable deadline, and the world would be watching when they succeeded—or failed.


At the helm of this effort was an unlikely rocket scientist and accidental leader, Adam Steltzner. After barely graduating from high school, he followed his curiosity to the local community college to find out why the stars moved. Soon he discovered an astonishing gift for math and physics. After getting his Ph.D. he ensconced himself within JPL, NASA’s decidedly unbureaucratic cousin, where success in a mission is the only metric that matters.


The Right Kind of Crazy is a first-person account of innovation that is relevant to any­one working in science, art, or technology. For instance, Steltzner describes:


·How his team learned to switch from fear-based to curiosity-based decision making

·How to escape “The Dark Room”—the creative block caused by fear, uncertainty, and the lack of a clear path forward

·How to tell when we’re too in love with our own ideas to be objective about them—and, conversely, when to fight for them

·How to foster mutual respect within teams while still bashing bad ideas


The Right Kind of Crazy is a book for anyone who wants to channel their craziness into creativity, balance discord and harmony, and find a signal in a flood of noise.

From the Hardcover edition.

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“With his likable vocal personality adding to the appeal of the story, narrator Christopher Grove sounds tuned in to the ebb and flow of the narrative’s drama. The performance is a totally believable blend of his precise enunciation and conversational phrasing. Author Adam Steltzner is a hippie-musician turned scientist who makes his 10 years working on this project sound more like a personal journey than an engineering saga…The vibrancy in his perspective and in Grove’s performance makes this an inspiring lesson on how organizations of all types can achieve amazing things.”

— AudioFile 


  • “Offers a gripping account of the Curiosity mission and some fascinating insights into the engineering principles and analytics involved in pulling off the project…[Steltzner] often talks less like a science geek than like the rocker he wanted to be as a teenager, and he displays a gift here for capturing the high-stakes, adrenaline-laced atmosphere of the Mars Science Laboratory.

    — New York Times
  • “Steltzner’s enthusiastic, passionately written memoir is an insider’s guide to engineering wizardry and a testament to the effectiveness of team-minded engagement, rational problem solving, and the concept of ‘making ideas reality.’ A motivational journey for armchair astronauts and readers fascinated by the unlimited wingspan of human potential.”

    — Kirkus Reviews

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About the Authors

William Patrick, a former editor for science and medicine at Harvard University Press, is the editor in chief of the Journal of Life Sciences. He lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Adam Steltzner is an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He worked on several flight missions, including Galileo, Cassini, and Mars Pathfinder, as well as the Mars Exploration Rover project. He was the phase lead and development manager for the Mars Science Laboratory and the Curiosity rover’s entry, descent, and landing phase; he also helped design, build, and test the Sky Crane landing system.

About Christopher Grove

Christopher Grove is an actor, writer, and audiobook narrator. His narrations include Eye of the Storm, The Quantum Enigma, and the Right Kind of Crazy.