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Big Deal: On Being Famous to Almost No One [Kindle Edition]

Robert Hoekman Jr
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $8.99

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Book Description

For the past six years, I have been flown all over the world, put up in great hotels, fed great dinners, introduced to amazing people, offered a microphone, and paid for taking it. And this has been great; I won’t lie. But this microcosmic form of fame comes with baggage just like that other, much bigger kind, and I have learned just how bad things can get when you claim a spot at the cool kids’ table for all the wrong reasons.

This book is not about how to develop your professional career, nor about the low art of self-promotion. It’s the story of my experience with nano-celebrity, and a reflection on what I learned in the process. It’s a story of professional success, personal failure, and soul-searching redemption. While teaching a man to fish is certainly more valuable than giving him one, the real value is in the story of how you learned not to jab yourself with the hook.

This is the story of my jabbing myself with the hook.

I wrote it in 30 days, between April 1 and April 30, 2011.

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"Candid, real and touching."
~~Alla Zollers, via email

"If you are working in the web industry, you should take a break and read this book."
~~Betrand Dufresne

"Wonder what it's like to be Internet famous? #BIGDEALBOOK (for Kindle) by @rhjr is a great read."
~~Josh Crain

Product Details

  • File Size: 153 KB
  • Print Length: 111 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,162 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Lessons Anyone can Benefit From August 23, 2011
I find anything written by Robert entertaining--he has a great style. That said, some of this book is so honest, it's almost painful to read--but in a good way since the final points are made by the lessons learned. Those points are valid for anyone--in any field--whether micro-famous or not. They're points that relate to living a more fulfilling life. Whether the reader can learn from those mistakes and steer clear of pain themselves is something one can only hope. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read about a niche question June 1, 2012
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What does it mean to be famous in your own field but a nobody in every other way?

Roberts book explains this through a hastily written biography covering the key periods where he went from being a newbie all the way through to a 1200 sell out talk at SXSW. It helped me realise the pointlessness of chasing fame over happiness, and for that I thank Robert.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Micro-Fame & the Web September 20, 2011
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be Internet famous? In his book, Big Deal: On Being Famous to Almost No One, Robert Hoekman Jr. writes about his experience with micro-fame in the web industry. If you work as a web designer or developer, you know what it means to have work garner praise from your peers. We often look to others in the industry for approval, consumed with "likes," page views and other measurements of micro-success.

The book begins with Hoekman's life as a drummer and a fledgling web designer; and follows his dizzying ascent to respected designer, author and speaker. The book, written in only 30 days, reads with the same speed and intensity as his own rise to industry fame. It is an interesting and often dark look at the web industry through the eyes of someone who made it to the top, and then questioned why he was there.

I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of the book, which admittedly, I don't remember signing up for; but immediately found myself unable to put it down. Big Deal looks back with a perspective we all wish we had--an honest look at the mistakes of the past. It was a book Hoekman needed to write, and for this reader, a book I needed to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Une leçon d'humilité pour tous August 31, 2011
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[My review will be in french because I really hope that some frenchies will have the opportunity to discover that book.]

Robert Hoekman Jr a probablement écrit les meilleurs livres sur le sujet du Design d'interaction et ses conférences sur le sujet sont parmi les plus prisées et les plus appréciées. @rhjr est une sommité dans son domaine d'activité...

Dans cette biographie, Robert Hoekman Jr nous raconte comment cette célébrité acquise dans le (petit) monde du développement web et mobile lui est monté à la tête, à l'instar d'une rock star, et comment il a su finalement la relativiser.

Formidablement bien écrit, je n'ai pas pu décrocher et l'ai lu d'une traite.

Je n'imaginais pas qu'un auteur de livres traitant d'informatique puisse un jour écrire (en 30 jours) un roman avec autant de talent. Mais après tout, John Grisham était bien avocat et Michael Crichton médecin...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough, raw, emotional, and life-affirming August 28, 2011
As others have said, this book reveals raw self-criticism in the wake of some major life events. As it's about my field as well, I found it quite engaging, and sometimes a bit cringe-inducing--while reading it, I cringe while seeing stuff I've done that mirrors some of his gaffes. Too, I cringe at some descriptions of his interactions with people I've also met (and some of whom I count as friends). Some I agree with, some I don't, but all had me sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to see if things would turn out well...or not.

Agreeing with vermette about the quickness of the book doesn't downgrade my appreciation for it. Yes, it could have benefitted from some editing, both substantive and (minor) copyediting. Yet I found "Big Deal" gripping and thrilling, almost as if it were a first-person psychological thriller set in Silicon Valley. It would just need a dead body or two. ;)

Sometimes I think Hoekman could have benefitted from listening to Neil Peart's song "Limelight"--"I can't pretend a stranger is/A long-awaited friend." Being starstruck initially and starshot ultimately don't make for lasting realities. Happily, it does seem he's learned through the tribulating fire he's passing through.

Who should read this book: If you are involved in writing, speaking, networking with peers in your field, then you should by all means read this book. Too, if you're interested in the rise of the DotCom boom and its fall, and ever wondered what it is LIKE inside the life of Yahoo! and Google and Apple and design consultancies, then Robert Hoekman, Jr.'s book "Big Deal" is for you.
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