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Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity Hardcover – June 11, 2009

4 out of 5 stars 172 customer reviews

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Book Description
When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog – gapingvoid.com – and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures.

MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person?

Now his first book, Ignore Everyone, expands on his sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice. A sample:

* Selling out is harder than it looks. Diluting your product to make it more commercial will just make people like it less.
* If your plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.
* Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There’s no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.
* The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours. The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.

After learning MacLeod’s 40 keys to creativity, you will be ready to unlock your own brilliance and unleash it on the world.

Amazon Exclusive: Author Hugh MacLeod on Having a Life


"William Dufris reads with humor and liveliness as he shares the author's argument for creativity in a complicated world and steps for personal creativity." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; First Edition edition (June 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159184259X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842590
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hugh MacLeod worked as an advertising copywriter for more than a decade, while developing his skills as a cartoonist and pundit. His blog is Gaping Void, and more than a million people have downloaded the original post that inspired this book, "How to be Creative." He also lectures and consults on Web 2.0 and its impact on business.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains some valuable universal truths presented in an interesting way. I would classify it at as a "Leadership Lite" book worthy of downloading to your Kindle or stashed in your briefcase to be read on an airplane.

I love "fun to read" leadership books versus the "utilitarian", "old fogy" "Harvard Business Review" style and this book is fun to read. I still read the utilitarian books...I just suffer through them. What makes this book good is the stories to illustrate points are the author's own.

Here are my top eight takeaways from Ignore Everybody.

1. The more original your idea is, the less good advice people will be able to give you.

2. Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships that is why good ideas are always initially resisted.

3. Your idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing.

4. The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.

5. Being good at anything is like figure skating - the definition of being good at it is being able to make it look easy. But it never is easy. Ever. That is what the stupidly wrong people conveniently forget.

6. Your job is probably worth 50 percent of what it was in real terms ten years ago. And who knows? It may very well not exist in five to ten years...Stop worrying about technology. Start worrying about people who trust you.

7. Part of being a master is learning to sing in nobody else's voice but your own...Put your whole self into it, and you will find your true voice. Hold back and you won't. Its that simple.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ignore Everybody is two things in one. First, it's a series of tips designed to turn creatives into artists. Second, it's a collection of Hugh's best cartoons. While some of the cartoons do support the text, I'm going to review the cartoons and the text separately because they really do stand on their own.

===THE BOOK===

What separates a writer from an author? A rower from an oarsman? A comedian from a humorist?

Greatness in any field comes from taking a novel idea and pushing it to its logical conclusion, redefining the medium in the process.

Hugh doesn't teach you how to come up with your big idea, nor is the book a collection of theories on what makes something innovative. Rather, Hugh's rules teach a mindset conducive to pushing great ideas to their logical conclusions.

This book won't teach you how to paint, but if you're lucky you'll come away with the mental frame you need to avoid having the outside world crush your creativity. And if you really take its lessons to heart then hopefully, in the words of Steve Jobs, you'll ship.

Over the years I've sent the blog post that inspired this book to countless friends, and now that I've read the book itself I can't recommend it enough. I'd consider it a must-read for any creative who aspires to be an artist, not just some guy who lives in a loft and calls himself a writer.

But even if you don't aspire to become an artist, the book still has much to offer. In Hugh's own words, "This book is about becoming more 'creative' in one's work, whoever you may be. Or just useful advice for any one who aspires to undertake some creative or artistic journey.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Creativity is not a genetic trait, nor is it reserved for professionals.

Everyone is creative sooner or later, but unfortunately, most people have it drilled out of them when they're kids.

This little book undrills it.

Hugh harangues and encourages and pushes and won't sit still until you, like him, are unwilling to settle.

Go ahead. You deserve it. And we need your contributions. We can't wait!
1 Comment 87 of 102 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book compelled me to find out it was possible to return a Kindle book. It's a short read, but I still couldn't even get through half of it...

The writing is poor. What is supposed to be straight to the point and efficient only manages to be shallow and unsophisticated. For your $18 (most expensive Kindle book I've seen by the way), you get recycled points from other better books on the subject. For some of the paragraphs, you can actually tell which book the original idea came from. It's not in itself a problem. Seth Godin's "Linchpin" for instance relies heavily on outside material... BUT that material is clearly referenced and expended upon to serve the authors' purpose. On the other hand, in "Ignore Everybody" the original ideas are stripped out of any of the depth and subtleties that made them so valuable, sometimes to the point of contraction. There's so little value left amidst the same 3 or 4 cheap sensationalistic rhetorical devices unadroitly hammered throughout that you can't even accuse the author of plagiarism. I guess that's a good thing...

And even if the ideas were original and the writing excellent, I would still not like this book. The author has a very high opinion of himself and does not mind letting you know repeatedly... When I read "Van Gogh rarely painted with more than six colors on his palette. I draw on the back of small business cards." I had to stop a minute and wonder if the author really just compared himself and his scribbles to Van Gogh and his paintings... Wow... OK, fine, maybe it was an unfortunate wording... Keep on reading... until... "Henry Miller was a widely uneven writer. Bob Dylan can't sing or play guitar." That's when I stopped reading and returned the book.
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5 Comments 91 of 108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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