Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Didn't find it very helpful
on October 2, 2013
I read through the book and tried to apply it's ideas to some projects I was working on, but didn't find it very useful - I found the humor style pretty corny, and the techniques it talks about seem mostly to be the author amusing himself with his personal fascination with metaphors. "How is your problem like an eggbeater" doesn't generate that many useful ideas for me, compared to many other possible, more focused techniques and thinking tools - I think our brains are naturally good at metaphors, but that doesn't mean we should sit down with a list of random things and try to connect them together by force of will - better to let the brain find connections naturally I think, from its years of experience and memories of the world.
It's core principle of "what's your 2nd and 3rd idea" (paraphrasing) is a useful one though - think of many possible solutions instead of just going with the first one.
The writing style was a bit tedious to me too - take one theory or statement, like "people use metaphors", and then fill pages upon pages of anecdotes that support that theory ("when people are tired they say *burning out*"). Plus some name-dropping of big corporations he's taught seminars too. Felt like the signal-to-noise ratio was low - the number of useful ideas & techniques was small compared to the amount of redundant pontification on each one.
I also read "Conceptual Blockbusting", and that book has been more helpful for me - covers a wide range of possible techiques and approaches, and creative blocks to watch out for, where this one seems to focus on just a tiny subset of that book's breadth, despite a similar number of pages.
A lot of people found the book entertaining and helpful obviously - maybe the style just didn't resonate with me personally, or covered stuff I already feel like I have a handle on.