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Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality Paperback – March 27, 2012

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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Exclusive: Seth Godin Reviews Making Ideas Happen

Seth Godin is the author of Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, and Permission Marketing, as well as other international bestsellers. He is consistently one of the 25 most widely read bloggers in the English language. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of Making Ideas Happen:

Should you buy a book that will make you uncomfortable?

More questions: Why is it so difficult to ship good ideas out the door? Why do committees show up and wreck the purity of your idea? Why do people avoid doing the hard work of actually bringing their work to the market?

I'll tell you why: Because it's safe. Ideas that never ship are never criticized. Faceless committees accept the blame for tepid products that were probably better off in the warehouse. And managers in search of a place to hide can best hide behind the unshipped product, the unrealized idea and the system gone wrong.

Scott Belsky has your number. He's seen it all before. He knows your excuses, he's seen your shtick and he knows all the ways to avoid doing the work. In this book, Scott's not giving you any place to hide.

There. Do you still want to read his book?

If you care about your art, your job or your market, you really have no choice. This is strategy and tactics, concepts and how-to, all in one on a topic that's often overlooked.

--Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Though creation always begins with an idea, ideas don't always lead to creation; examining why that's so, online entrepreneur Belsky finds that, no matter how unique or radically different ideas may be, the individuals and teams who carry those ideas to fruition share a number of common traits, such as engaging peers and leveraging communal forces. In this guide to realizing ideas, Belsky examines those traits in detail. Chapters like "The Chemistry of the Creative Team" set forth an action-based plan that forgoes time-wasting meetings and other corporate culture standbys, citing studies, progressive thinkers and case studies of companies like Best Buy, IBM and Sun Microsystems. Modern-day successes, Belsky contends, have traded "the traditional butts-in-chairs mindset" for a "Results Only Work Environment," where employees are compensated based on achievement of specified goals, rather than work hours. Ultimately, Belsky insists, creative success is a matter of rethinking methods and increasing focus, while emphasizing and rewarding old-fashioned passion and perspiration.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844112
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott Belsky is a speaker, writer, and entrepreneur with a focus on the creative industries. As the founder and CEO of Behance, he oversees the Behance Network, the world's leading platform for creative professionals with millions of visitors every month; The 99%, a think tank and annual conference devoted to execution in creative teams; and Action Method, a popular online/mobile productivity application and line of organizational paper products. He lives in New York City. Learn more at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

435 of 444 people found the following review helpful By B Shimp on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When I started reading Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky, I had grand hopes. I wanted this book to single-handedly pick my ideas off the dusty shelf in my brain and turn them into million-dollar businesses (or something like that). Maybe that is a little extreme, but I was instantly drawn to this book because I have a hard time making my ideas happen. I suppose I was looking for inspiration and a hidden secret on how to turn any old idea into something of functioning brilliance.

Of course, no book can accomplish that. But Making Ideas Happen is probably going to change my life. Here's the thing. This book is not filled with flowery prose or motivational stories meant to get you off your butt. Instead, this is a college course in taking your idea somewhere. Belsky mines the experiences of a lot of visionary people who all have one thing in common, they were able to make their ideas happen.

If you are still in love with the idea of your idea, you are going to want to get over that pretty quickly. The idea is not the thing, Belsky argues, the execution is the thing. Ideas flow freely, while doing something about them takes a lot of hard work and focus. Making Ideas Happens spends most of its time talking about the nuts and bolts on exactly how you can bring your idea to reality. Warning, it is not easy. Things will stand in your way. Heck, you will get in your own way. You will need great passion and determination. If you can muster those things, then the tips in this book will serve you well. If you just want to be creative all day, well Belsky has advice for that to, get a partner who is a doer.

Scott Belsky argues that you need three things to make any idea happen.
Read more ›
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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Roizen on April 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The buzz was high on Making Ideas Happen in the past month, but despite the hype, the book is not disappointing, It's very well structured, easy to read while addressing complex issues. As expected, it's very action oriented and full of tips and best practiced based on tried and true cases. Finished the book in a day, it's a must read both to help understand how to address the challenges of making your ideas become reality, but also as a study of how others in sometime different context apply essentially a similar approach to not let ideas remain just that.
I had been hearing about this book everywhere from different sources, now I understand why. The chapter on The Force of Community is fascinating and captures so many tools that so many chose to ignore in trying to bring their projects to life.
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71 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Nancy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Scott Belsky attempts to explain how to translate ideas into action. It is a nice try, but doesn't quite make it.

What I liked about this book:

**the simple, yet powerful breakdown of tasks into: action, reference and backburner. Scott tells us to focus on the action steps.

**explanation of creative types: dreamers, doers and incrementalists. By understanding what drives these folks, you can better communicate with them.

**concrete examples of creative companies that have successfully followed this plan. IDEO is one great example.

What missed the mark with this book:

**it's very repetitive. Scott could have made his points in half the pages. Perhaps he should look for a better editor next time.

**not enough detail about how companies have successfully moved from creative ideas into concrete actions. I believe that success stories will help convince those creative types that process can be a good thing.

**too much mention of Scott's company, Behance. At times, the book seemed like a thinly disguised plug for his company.

**the suggestions are pretty basic Project Management 101. Anyone who's ever had to manage a project knows these steps. Perhaps the creative folks need to hear this though.

In spite of the negatives, I thought this book was an interesting read for anyone, creative type or not. It will help you organize your ideas and also help you deal with other creative types.
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67 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
According to the author, Scott Belsky, the ability to execute ideas can be developed by anyone willing to build their organizational habits and harness the forces of community. That's why he founded his company, which helps creative people and teams develop these skills.

He spent six years studying the habits of highly productive creative people --- people who work with ideas, come up with them and execute them.

After he interviewed hundreds of successful creative people he put together their best and worst practices. Here are a few . . .

- Generate ideas in moderation and act without conviction
- Reduce all projects to just three primary components
- Encourage fighting within your team
- Seek competition and share ideas liberally

In my profession, advertising copywriter, I find that in my own case, coming up with the ideas is the hard part. Executing them is easy. But many in my profession have the opposite problem. They quickly come up with great ideas but fail to execute them so they are useful.

I heard of someone who had great ideas. Trouble was, she never did a thing with those ideas. Someone else often took her ideas and actually executed them. The person with the great ideas remained poor. The person who executed the ideas made money. Another man took the great ideas of others and made millions. Having brilliant ideas is a wonderful thing. But it's the person who executes the idea, brings it to life, gives it birth, who becomes successful. So the key is to come up with ideas but then take it to the next level and execute those ideas.

That's what this book is all about.

Highly recommended.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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