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IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea [Paperback]

Sam Harrison
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)


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Book Description

April 12, 2006
THE NEXT BIG IDEA IS OUT THERE—YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO SPOT IT Creativity is crucial to business and design success. How do you unleash bursts of creativity, increase occurrences of spontaneity and ultimately find great ideas? Through anecdotes, interviews, quotes, tips, creative exercises and success stories from the biggest corporations in the country, author Sam Harrison shows you how to think outside the box—then throw away the box for good. You’ll be encouraged to: *Listen and observe *Step outside your daily routine *Explore through travel *Find ideas in nature *Break out of ruts *Learn from mistakes *Get past the surface *Connect existing ideas Busy professionals CAN learn how to peek under the mundane to find the magical, to find insights rather than information, and to learn what makes their clients laugh, cry, scream—and ultimately buy.

"One good idea is all you need to change your life; this book shows you how to find it." —Brian Tracy, author of Getting Rich Your Own Way "

If the best way to find a good idea is to find lots of ideas, then here’s the best guidebook I know for your hunt."
—Brian Collins, Collins Design

"Exercise for the brain is just as important as exercise for the body. In Ideaspotting, Sam Harrison stretches your mental muscles in a way you’ll never forget."
—Al Ries, author of The Origin of Brands


Editorial Reviews

Review

One good idea is all you need to change your life; this book shows you how to find it. -- Brian Tracy, author of Getting Rich Your Own Way

Exercise for the brain is just as important as exercise for the body. In Ideaspotting, Sam Harrison stretches your mental muscles in a way you'll never forget. -- Al Ries, author of The Origin of Brands

If the best way to find a good idea is to find lots of ideas, then here's the best guidebook I know for your hunt. -- Brian Collins, Ogilvy & Mather Brand Integration Group

About the Author

Sam Harrison has more than 20 years of diverse, successful experience in creative roles, including product innovation, branding, advertising, public relations, direct marketing and event planning. He is also a former senior vice president with an S&P 500 firm and has worked with clients and affiliates including Major League Baseball, NFL, Hasbro, American Express and more. He is currently a professional speaker and workshop leader for firms, associations and conferences throughout North America and beyond. He is also an instructor at Portfolio Center, a graduate-studies program focusing on brand communications. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HOW (April 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581808003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581808001
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sam Harrison speaks and writes about creativity in the business world - and he speaks from experience. Throughout his career, Sam has banked on his creativity for success, whether developing new products and promotional events or devising marketing plans and brand partnerships.

He has more than 20 years of diverse, successful experience in creative communications, including product innovation, advertising, PR, direct marketing, special events, affinity marketing, brand licensing and consumer catalogs.

His energetic, real-world talks and seminars on creativity, brainstorming, finding inspiration, pitching ideas and other topics receive rave reviews from audiences everywhere. He is a recommended, all-star speaker for the International Association of Business Communicators and a frequent, popular speaker for the annual HOW Design Conference.

Sam is the author of "IdeaSpotting: How to find your next great idea," "Zing! Five Steps and 101 tips for creativity on command" and "IdeaSelling: How to pitch your ideas to bosses, clients and other decision makers."

He is also an instructor of creative process, creative writing and presentation skills at Portfolio Center, a graduate-studies program focused on creative brand communications.

Previously a senior vice president with an S&P 500 firm, Sam has worked with a variety of clients and affiliates, including the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Hallmark Cards, U.S. Humane Society and John Denver Environmental Groups.

His articles on creativity and related topics have appeared in a variety of trade and professional publications, and his feature articles and fiction pieces have appeared in regional and national publications.

He is a member of the National Speakers Association, American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, Association of Professional Communications Consultants and was a founding board member of the Atlanta Chapter of the International Special Events Society.

>>> Hire Sam to provide an energetic, inspiring and info-packed talk or workshop to your organization or conference!
_________________________________________________________________________________

"Sam is a natural in front of an audience. He is warm, friendly, humorous and most importantly, informative. He knows his topic and delivers it in such a way that is both understandable and enjoyable. And his southern charm doesn't hurt!
I would recommend Sam as a speaker any day." - Heather Griffin, Conference Manager, HOW Design Conference
_________________________________________________________________________________

Visit his website: www.zingzone.com

Follow Sam on Twitter: @zingzone


(author's photo by Greg Newington www.newingtonphotography.com)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get those creative juices flowing March 27, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very quick read (could easily be knocked out in a weekend), this book is a good mixture of actionable items and creative stimulation. Get out of your comfort zone and pay attention to everything around you is one of the themes of this book along with taking good notes in some fashion because your creative thoughts and ideas may not be as easy to remember as you believe they will be at a later time. Anyone can be creative if they put themselves in a postion to encourage it.

Overall, I really liked the book and appreciate the advice and action items contained within. If you're looking to stimulate your creative juices, get and read Idea Spotting. I also read Zing, and Idea Spotting contains similar material so if you're wondering which book to choose--go with this one.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As a writer I'm constantly in search of ideas: how to structure a story, which fact-finding methods to use, what sources to interview, and, most importantly, where to look for new topics to write about. As a freelancer I have to keep myself motivated enough to continue hacking away at the iBook even when all inspiration has fled. And as a creative person, I've got the "Negative News Network" constantly broadcasting in my head, worrying my next idea will never be as good as my last.

Ideaspotting is three books in one: a handy collection of advice from all the greats to console me in troubled times, a set of exercises sure to dump all the excess slush from my brain, and honest-to-god new ways to think about my work, my passions and my life. Ideaspotting is a philosophy about how to open yourself up to all the world has to offer. And it works.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny - but... December 11, 2006
Format:Paperback
Here's the skinny...
This book is by far the easiest of all idea books to read, most relevant, most thorough, but potentially most dangerous. Before I make a couple critiques, don't let what I'm about to say dissuade you from buying this gem, these are just caveats and the book is still a deal!
Page 25 - Alcan/CocaCola and Ethnography: When I read this I though, "Great, I'll use ethnography to solve my innovation problems." Being the information pig that I am I checked this "idea" out with a professional, a doctor of Anthropology at the local university. We had a 30 minute chat and I came away with the thought "Alcan doesn't have a clue what they are talking about." What was described on page 25 was single variable observation, not ethnography. In fact, single variable observation has lead to problem after problem for marketers, Dr. "C" gave me these examples, 1) `Got Milk?' when marketed towards the Hispanic population translated into "Are you Lactating?" 2) McDonald's in parts of China had Ronald McDonald march in a parade, this was analogous to having the grim reaper march in the Santa Clause parade. 3) Chevy Nova in Mexico - we all know that one. And he gave me many other examples of major blunders that were directly attributed to single variable observation.
Page 47 - Hasbro and the "Alpha Pups": This is an excellent example of a major short coming with this book - there is no depth. The book summed up a major research and development initiative in a hundred or so words.

I chose the two examples because they are familiar ground for me. If you want to know how well a book is written analyze what was said against what you know. If there are faults then there are probably faults with the other sections.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I just finished teaching a class on creativity, and this could be the text book for my future classes. Harrison has brought together things that some do naturally without thinking, and puts it before those of us that forget we should be living creatively every day. A gem of a book that will be dog-eared in no time!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing September 25, 2006
Format:Paperback
This is one of the best books I've read on generating creative ideas, and I've read many of them. It is clear, simple and to the point, and gives plenty of examples of creative techniques and applications. The book has many references to a wide variety of creatives, from the most well known (Da Vinci, etc) to those lesser known to the common man yet creating effectively in their own spheres. It also provides useful note-taking areas for specific creative tasks, which are wonderfully effective for following up on the suggested activities.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Excellent Read February 17, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this as soon as it arrived in the mail, and was done with the book several hours later. I'm a graphic designer and was in a bit of a creative drought, and reading this book really helped lift my creative spirits and got those creative juices flowing. There's lots of inspirational stories about Fortune 500 companies and their design teams, and what they do to get their staff motivated and creative. I've already started implementing several of the ideas into my own staff at work. This is a must read for anyone looking to get that creative spark going.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick morning reading August 4, 2008
Format:Paperback
It is a fun, well executed little book full of quotations what other people did or do and ordinary things most of us know, but tend to forget. Do not expect any miraculous formulas how to come up with the most amazing creative ideas easy and quickly. It is not there. It is good to flip through over your every day morning coffe or tea and suck out one or two ideas for the day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The creative in each of us
This is my second reading of this book. Sam Harrison encourages each of us to slow down and train ourselves to be more attentive to our surroundings.. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Burton R Perdue
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have book for creatives
A must, must have for creative inspiration. Reveals how others go about coming up with awesome creative ideas. Gets your mind flowing.
Published 10 months ago by adman1
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
A lot of good tips for keep your mind open and creativity flowing. The tips in this book are useful not only to learn how to open your mind and turn into a more creative person, I... Read more
Published 18 months ago by AndreS
5.0 out of 5 stars Great everyday resource
I've used a nugget from the book at least once a week since purchase.

If a book makes it into my travel messenger bag.

I love it.
Published 21 months ago by Oscar E Church Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Its Information & Ideas, There's the Book Itself!
I bought this book for its information & and ideas.
For all the positive reasons already noted by other reviewers, I was not disappointed. Read more
Published on June 29, 2010 by Dr. Mark L. Joyce
4.0 out of 5 stars Good little book to keep around to jump start your brain
This book is like an "affirmation a day" for anyone wanting to exercise their creative muscle. It can be read a page at a time, in any order, to inspire and energize. Read more
Published on June 1, 2010 by I. J. Marcus
3.0 out of 5 stars ideaspotting - Sam Harrison
Here is what happened over the July 4th weekend. I first read the book listed below, Zing by Sam Harrison. Read more
Published on June 16, 2009 by Joel Warady
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
I purchased this book based on a recommendation of a few work colleagues, and have been quite happy with it. Read more
Published on October 21, 2008 by George Z. Marootian
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and inspiring
Lately I've been trying to find new ways to push my mind into generating lots of creative content. Tried and true ways of brainstorming seem old and stale to me now. Read more
Published on April 17, 2008 by Jaymi Elford
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
This book was pretty dissapointing. The format is annoying and difficult to read and most suggestions offered in the book are very cliché. Read more
Published on March 3, 2008 by Dmitriy Babichenko
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