Top positive review
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Practical, Insightful, and Worth Each of the Six-Hundred Ninety Five Pennies that it Costs
on November 9, 2006
I am not an advertising professional but in the profession of scientific research. Yet this book (which was written in the 1940s for advertising people) is just as relevant to my work as it is to anyone else who is a knowledge worker. This little book is one of the simplest summaries of commonsense---and articulating common sense is this book's greatest virtue. The book lays out a five step process for generating novel and not-so-novel ideas, articulating them, and giving them a life of their own. There are no examples, no case studies, just crisply articulated common-sense that you can put to immediate use. Everything that he says is stuff that you likely already know, so this is not one of those books that talks the lofty talk about "retraining your mind" and such obscure, undoable things. The idea in this book that most resonated with me was his comment that novel ideas are simply unusual connections among things that already exist and you might already know. The book takes about an hour to read from cover to cover (and I'm not even a fast reader).
Although Mr. Bernbach probably never intended this book for consumers like me in the scientific research profession, I'd bet my money that this little gem might be just as "duh" or "aha"-evoking to people in any other knowledge-intensive line of white-collar work. The only note of caution: This book was originally written in the 1940s and the gender bias ("the creative man," "he") is pervasive throughout its 48 pages.
If you are in a profession where your "wealth" is measured in intellectual output, this is some of the best seven dollars you can invest in your education. Highly recommended for anyone whose profession requires novelty, new ideas, and creativity. Buy---don't borrow--read, reread, and dog ear this little gem!