Top critical review
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The manuscript needs much more editing before publication.
on December 30, 2013
This book is a mess. It fails both in content as well as in the way the content is presented.
Content: nothing new. You can find everything in your common sense or in other books already written. See for instance books by Seth Godin, Tim Ferris etc. But what is most amazing is that the content is so unclear and naively presented that it makes it doubtful to speak about `content'.
Concepts and ideas are introduced but never developed in a way you understand what the goal of the authors is and their relationship to the whole book.
Every small chapter (paragraph!) reads like a blog post: sufficient in itself but without much connection with the rest.
I do not know whether the authors are good bloggers but they need to seriously think about both their `book writing skills' as well as what they want to write (content) before embarking in a new adventure. This is not a book, it is a manuscript which needs many more editing rounds. I did not read previous books by these authors but I do not care: I am judging this product alone here.
p. 76 "Creating today's garbage is an important aspect of creating tomorrow's gold." It seems it is working for these authors...
Really poor editing. See example below with "Sofia"...
Positive: many short hints to (known) ideas. However, up to you to understand them correctly and develop them.
If the book really has some interesting ideas these should be presented in a much better way. Unless, of course, you leave to the reader to make the best out of them. But then there is no difference from reading the same ideas on a blog...
I read half the book and then I stopped.
I agree with other comments on this book:
- "The style of writing was geared very much towards, what I'm assuming is, the authors' usual reader-base of A.D.D. bloggers or tweeters who can't follow a train of thought past 140 characters."
- "Every section I read, I found myself saying, "Grr, enough already, will you get to the point?!?", and then at the end of the section, feeling that the authors never really did."
- "The whole book is common sense."
And all the positive reviews??? They are written by people who did not understand the content or by other bloggers or `writing guys' or in any case people who expect to get positive feedback in return. In fact, 99% of the reviews they have written have 5 stars. Really no balls :-( That's the way it works.
- The authors at page 20 state "The attributes themselves [whose initials form the acronym C-R-E-A-T-E] are also divided into four sections...: Goals, Ideas, Platform, Human Element". So these should be the subdivisions. However, the main chapters of the book are divided into the subdivisions of the attributes and not the attributes themselves (which become - in the `Contents' - subchapters). This is incoherence to begin with.
- P. 17 Rating each attribute for yourself: "No numbers necessarily, although you can use them if you like (...)". Really? Contradicted at page 38: "1. Pick a metric for everything you're doing that matters."
- The graphs presented on pages 18-19 are nonsense. First, even if you can give a subjective value for each attribute - which of course does not make sense without a reference point! (oh my God!) - at the end, the decision on whether to act or not depends on how high you score, which again is completely arbitrary. Utter nonsense.
- Page 23: "Why is this guy not world famous?" Perhaps because he does not give a damn to being famous?? Is `being famous' the ultimate goal of every human being? In other words: would he really care about being famous maybe he would have a thought about having a platform... Naïve reasoning.
- No sentence or explanation on how to `understand clearly your goals' p. 25.
- Again, page 36: `Two ways to Achieve Your Goals" are indicated but not developed.
- P. 38: `Action: Get Your Game Face On" does this have to do with "Goals"? Yes? Explain how!
- Part 2: the concept of "Idea" is never really nailed down so that you understand what it exactly is. Is that "content"? Is that what?
- P. 60: "This means we need a process. We need a methodology. We need a laboratory. Thankfully, the Web has evolved to give you exactly that." So is the process the same as a methodology and the same as a laboratory? No explanation. No development.
- P. 62-63: "(...), in both Contrast and Articulation, the two attributes by which we judge any idea.": The first time the authors connect attributes with their subdivisions...
- P. 63: "Everyone likes a success story, even when it really isn't a success story but a barrage of ideas, some successful and some not. The rest is done in the audience's head, constructing a narrative of success even when that isn't how it happened at all." Is that really so? Explain please. But no explanation is provided.
- P. 72: "Recognizing a Good Idea" What the authors actually want to say is "We really do not have a clue. Try it out and you will discover by yourself!".
- P. 74: "To this point, save the `storms' for when you've got a bit of a framework going, and then let them loose." What is in this context a `framework' and when is it `going'?
- P. 75: "A preexisting idea that feels developed enough to share." What is a `preexisting idea'? P. 76: "Once you see what emotion you are able to create and what emotion your audience tends to respond to, it's time to create smart content around those feelings and wrap smart ideas around them." Is this the way to create good ideas and content??? Too simplistic.
- P. 77: "Contrast: A Quick Definition". After 77 pages this is the first definition - even if a sloppy one - of one of the basic terms used in this book.
- P. 80: "Sofia Walker". Three lines below it is "Sophia" and on page 84 again "Sofia". Hey editor do you know what proofreading is!?!??!?!?
- P. 82: "The bravery was in bringing a new idea into play that ran counter to the obvious and the acceptable." What is the `obvious' and `acceptable'?
- P. 86: "Have you ever noticed how the most effective episodes of a television series are those where emotional things happen to the main characters?" How was it determined that those were the `most effective' episodes? Provide data, references please.
- P. 96: "Articulation". It is simple according to the authors: Use simple words. Use fewer words. Way too simple for these authors... But still, they need 35 pages to make the point. In fact the chapter is redundant. (Still contradiction at page 114: "Make what you do extremely concise and clear or extremely long and profoundly explained. Either method is a form of clarity if properly used." If properly used. Up to you to use it properly )
- P. 103: "Find unexpected patterns: There are patterns everywhere. If you look carefully you can see..." But HOW??? How to find unexpected patterns? By `looking carefully'? What is a `pattern'? And then: does this have to do with "Articulation" (the current chapter)? No. It has to do with `Contrast". Many things in this chapter have nothing to do with articulation... (e.g. p. 108: "Business Ideas").
- P. 107: Finally the definition of "Idea"?? "(...) you can look at `idea' as meaning `project' or `thought you want to communicate' or `mission' or many other things. It all works out the same." Thank you guys. Thank you!
- P. 123: "The triangle method" SO POOR!!!!!
- P. 125: "One example of this would be the way that Julien wrote The Flinch." Is that English??
- P. 127: "How clear is your idea? This is an important section of the equation because you only get one chance to leave a strong impression." This is in direct contradiction with what stated before in the book, e.g. "Creating today's garbage is an important aspect of creating tomorrow's gold." (p. 76). Not that I would agree but this (and many other similar statements) is what you wrote before...