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Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite Paperback – March 10, 2006


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Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite + It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be: The World's Best Selling Book + Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential by America's Master Communicator, George Lois
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade (March 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591841216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591841210
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Referring to his first book, It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be, Arden describes himself as "author of world's bestselling book," ably demonstrating one nugget of wisdom to be found in his latest: "Great people have great egos; maybe that's what makes them great." Otherwise, the book suggests that Arden is less a great person (or a great author) than a great former creative director at advertising powerhouse Saatchi and Saatchi. In the restrictive, often repetitive genre of management by aphorism, Arden is an original: master of the snappy maxim and eye-catching graphic, Arden advocates unconventional thinking, skipping college, taking risks, being outrageous and failing dramatically. Missing is a page in this book emblazoned "Take my advice with a grain of salt," or "Triumph for an advertising copywriter may be disaster for an accountant." Nevertheless, Mr. Arden's books are a pleasure to peruse. His writing is spare, clever, brisk and pointed. Illustrations are clean and witty. Think you whatever, this book is a natty little addition to the business bookshelf.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

'Brilliant, bad, charming, irascible and totally off the wall, Paul Arden is an original with extraordinary drive and energy, blessed with a creative genius allied to a kind of common sense that just isn't, well, common' Roger Kennedy, Saatchi & Saatchi Paul Arden spent 14 years as the Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi. He was responsible for some of the UK's most successful advertising campaigns - British Airways, Silk Cut, Anchor Butter, InterCity and Fuji. In 1993 he set up the film production company Arden Sutherland-Dodd. His first book sold over half a million copies. He has a weekly column in the Independent and recently opened a photographic gallery in his hometown, Petworth. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

They're fun, inspirational, and interesting.
Adam Kahtava
Especially, I like the sentence : It's the wrong way to think, but the right way to win.... Wish you all enjoy it!
Tan Tony
It took me about an hour of slow reading to devour the book.
Emre Sevinc

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pushing sixty and laid off from my last job of a decade made me put things into perspective. I started out at my last company (over a decade ago) able to be creative and resolve tense situations and technical snafus with total carte blanche. But due to several company merges, the last five years found my creativity shut down in lieu of taking direction (with no input allowed) for day to day operations. I turned my brain off and just waited as the layoffs got closer and closer to me. Now that I am free again, I found this book a great help in kick starting my brain. After reading it I decided I would take a "Roman Holiday" - just spend the summer doing what I want to do before I choose a "job" or "career" to go back to.

I am taking all sorts of classes - music, writing, painting, investing (so I do not waste any money and do not stress out about having the summer off), meditation, tai chi.

I read through this book once. Now I am taking a page a day, and journaling my own thoughts to what I have read. What I am finding out is that I am birthing a different person from a month ago, a year ago, a decade ago. And that new person will have something fun and wonderful to offer in the new work I choose that brings me joy.

I highly recommend this book if you feel your creativity has abandoned you. Your mojo has not left you - it is just waiting for you to awaken it from a long nap and for you to start playing together again.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Maslanka on July 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arden's second book, like his first, is a zen take on your life in business. He does not tell you what to think as much as he tells you want he thinks and then challenges you to react, to think, to imagine. Great story on steady eddie v. reckless erica and how playing it safe is the least safe thing to do. Forces you to wonder which you are. His advice is anything but typical. To creative types he says don't worry about the medium you want , focus on the money you'll make---"it's honest." The juxtaposing of ideas with art and photos is well done---I liked the ask for a slap in the face advice(ask others to tell you what you did wrong, not what you did right) with the photo of a woman wincing at the slap to come. Why not 5 stars? If I read him right, it'd be an insult.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ServantofGod on April 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a pro trader who read a lot of books on creativity, self improvement and contrarian thinking/trading, I found the author's ideas familiar, but not his interesting presentation through extensive and interesting use of graphs, pictures and page designs. I dare not recommend it to any serious self help book reader or creative professional. Nevertheless, it's a good choice for a 30 minute leisure reading. On the other hand, I read this right after the author's another book "It's not how good you are. It's...". The two books are very similar and so I had written two nearly identical reviews for each. Pardon me!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.

Salomon Brothers met with prospective clients not once a month or once a day, but three times a day. That is unreasonable. But it works. Most people are reasonable, that's why they only do reasonably well.pg 42

A young man worked as a runner in an advertising firm. One day he said to his manager, "I'm leaving. I'm going to be a drummer." The manager said, "I didnt know you played the drums." He replied, "I dont, but I'm going to." A few years later that young man played in a band with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce...He became what he wanted to become before he knew he could do it. He had a goal. pg 62

Rememberwhat Jean Luc Godard said: It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to. pg 92

An interviewer with a wooden leg said to Frank Zappa, "With your long hair, from where I am sitting you could be a woman." He replied, "From where I am sitting you could be a table." pg 126
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mvo on September 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because it was required reading for a class. It's pretty common sense stuff. It's alright, but if you can borrow it from a friend, go that route.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kashyap Deorah on January 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book caught my attention at SF-MOMA. Ever since I bought it, it has grabbed the attention of all friends who visit me. It's a quick read where each page you flip has a certain controversial wisdom. I guess everything about the book screams that Paul Arden is practicing what he is preaching. It is easy to disagree with every conclusion he draws, but that's the very point of the book that conventional wisdom must be questioned.

Paul Arden also fits the profile of successful ad gurus. These personalities would trade off controversy over correctness any day. Just by engaging you in an argument about a certain topic, they have achieved their purpose. That of making you have an opinion about that topic and not be indifferent.

I wouldn't live my life by this book. But certainly flip a page every once in a while to review my life.

Makes it a good coffee table book too. A person who spends 60 seconds would stand to gain something, as would a person who spends 60 minutes.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Deremiah *CPE on December 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dare to Think The Opposite is more than you Think...

This isn't the first Paul Arden book I've read through and examined for review. The good news hopefully is it won't be the last Paul writes.

This book cuts to the gut of considering doing things differently without being apprehensive. And in less time than you could read this whole review backwards you can get through his new book. I think that's also what makes the books written by Arden interesting. Their short on paper but long on ideas. Great for you if you're always complaining about not having enough time to get through a good book.

I think the only way to put mileage on an idle mind is to read books that make you say huh! "I never thought of it like that". This makes a book well worth the reading. Benjamin Franklin said in Poor Richard's Almanack..."Reading makes a full man--Meditation a profound man--Discourse a clear man."

So are you afraid of applying simple rules in the reverse? Do you often just go with the status quo or follow common patterns or guidelines for thinking? If you're not afraid to think in the opposite or if the following title with the words backwards doesn't bother you than you may be well on your way to something worth imagining differently. "WHATEVER YOU THINK Think the Opposite" is worth your time.

The book opens up on page 7 with a Flop...and are you willing to take one and try an idea that goes against reason?

In this day and age how willing are you to be unfashionable?
Read more ›
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