What do Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk have in common? Quite a lot, according to New York University professor Melissa Schilling's analysis in her new book "Quirky."
"These innovators worked in different fields and at different times, yet have some remarkable commonalities," Schilling tells CNBC Make It. "Though they have some traits that we cannot imitate — like Musk's photographic memory — there are other characteristics we can take advantage of, such as cultivating an ambitious goal, building our self-efficacy and spending time alone to exercise our independent thinking."
In "Quirky," Schilling analyzes the lives of Einstein, Musk and Jobs, among others, to determine how they each made history-altering discoveries.
"Studying these profoundly important people shows us that there are ways we can nurture the breakthrough innovation potential in us all," says Schilling, whose research focuses on innovation and strategy in high tech industries.
As some of the world's greatest inventors, here are the three traits Einstein, Jobs and Musk have in common, according to Schilling's analysis.