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Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Berkun Media (October 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983873100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983873105
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"You are smart enough to buy books for better reasons than a famous person you don't know saying you should. And if you're not, you will be after you read this" - Scott Berkun

About the Author

Scott Berkun is the bestselling author of Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation and Confessions of a Public Speaker. His work has appeared on CNBC, MSNBC, NPR and in The New York Times, Forbes, The Economist, The Washington Post, Wired, and other media. His famous lectures and popular blog can be found for free online at scottberkun.com. 

More About the Author

Scott Berkun (@berkun) is the best selling author of four books, Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker and Mindfire Big Ideas for Curious Minds. His work has appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Fast Company, The Economist, Forbes Magazine, and other media. He has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington and has been a regular commentator on CNBC, MSNBC and National Public Radio. His many popular essays and entertaining lectures can be found for free on his blog at http://www.scottberkun.com.

Customer Reviews

That said, I really enjoyed the essays he included in this book.
J. Young
One of the most thought provoking books I've read in a long time, Scott Berkun's Mindfire is well worth an investment of your time.
Jayne P. Bowers
I need to thank people more for what they do, whether it's writing books I enjoy or doing things that make me feel good.
Thomas Duff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Wanderer on September 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Scott Berkun self-published this work rather than going through a publisher, claiming in his forward that he did this not out of dislike of his regular publishers, but rather because he planned to publish later works that "no sane publisher would touch." Unfortunately, Berkun failed to note that Mind Fire was in fact one of those books that no sane publisher would support.

I'll be upfront and state that I am a part-time fan of some of Scott's other works. I took a few gems from his disjoint and highly unorganized first edition of his project management book and I generally liked his second offering, his probably best recognized book on the Myths of Innovation. That said, not everything he writes is good, and some of it genuinely has the feel that it was written for the sake of writing something about a subject, rather to express truly new ideas or inspiring thought. You can find many of examples of this in Mind Fire, even though it is purportedly plucked from some of his best blog postings of recent years.

If you read his blog and check his site, you will see that he offers himself up with a paragraph stating, essentially, "You pick the topic and I give a high energy talk about it..." or some such. This is exactly the kind of thing I'm calling him out for in his writing, because I believe that's exactly what's going on, writing for the sake of it, not because of a passionate interest in the topic or having a genuinely new contribution to existing knowledge or understanding of it. This kind of writing looks and feels like what you expect when you assign an essay topic to students, rather than letting them write about what they wish, namely that you get people running up the page and word count, but not really saying anything new or meaningful.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the most provocative book I've read in months. The ideas contained in the essays are persuasive and it's a fun, well focused read. Ideally, I'd like the book to be longer than 30 relatively short essays (hence 4 stars, not 5) but the quality bar is super-high and everything is well written in Scott's energetic and personal style, and a does a great job of making you take a step back and think/reflect. The essays are short enough that even if one of them isn't your thing, you're pretty quickly on to the next one.

To give examples of essays they include topics like "How to give and receive criticism", which describes how criticism isn't just about your own views and a perspective and a single correct answer, but also about thinking how different people will interpret the thing that's being criticized. Many of the essays tend to be motivational such as "The surprise inspiration of death" or "How to be passionate".

As the author discloses, the essays in this book can also be found on his blog, but either because of the editorial work that's gone into the book or because of simply reading it on my Kindle rather than a webpage I found it a much more engaging experience than hunting around on the web.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it. If you're into the writing style of Malcom Gladwell or Michael Lewis then it's a reasonable bet that you'll enjoy this, and it's sufficiently short and focused that it's a very easy book to get through.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sujit Pal on November 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Just finished reading the free ebook (the author offered a free download from his site for a limited period). I haven't read any of his other titles, nor his blogs. But this book was so interesting that I read it in a single sitting. Many times during the book I found myself mentally agreeing with him, specifically when he talks about the role of effort in innovation, or the fact that innovation is really a combination of other innovations that preceded it, or the distinction between "work creative" and "personal creative". It also contains very useful gems such as how to offer criticism and how to take it, and many other things to improve the quality of one's life at both work and personal life. The writing is fast-paced, witty and from the heart. If you are in a field that requires innovation, this book has many useful insights that you can use right now.

Thank you, Scott Berkun, for compiling your essays into this great book, and offering it free (otherwise I would never have read it and never known what I was missing). I plan on reading your other books as well now.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James Fruchterman on January 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
What's unusual about this book is the incredible directness of the author's ideas. Reading most books, you need to work to translate the author's text into your internal voice. Scott Berkun in this book manages the art of speaking directly into my brain: no need to work hard to translate what he means: it's crystal clear.

Example: the opening line of "How to Detect Bull****" is: "Everyone lies: it's just a question of how, when, and why."

That's not to say these essays don't make your brain work. The author is mostly tackling tough issues, and rips away the veneer and the nice stories we tell ourselves to rapidly get to the core of the issue. These are ideas you can use, if you're willing to go along and break your normal patterns. And, these essays are short enough that you can go back and reread them. Yes, he really did say that. Hmmm, interesting!
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