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How to Get Ideas Paperback – May 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

How to Get Ideas shows you - no matter your age or skill, your job or training - how to come up with more ideas, faster and easier. First, Jack Foster tells you how to condition your mind and become ""idea-prone; "" how to make the child within you and your sense of humor work for you; how to develop your curiosity, visualize your goals, rethink your thinking, combine different ideas, and overcome your fear of rejection. Then, Foster gives you a five-step procedure for solving problems and getting ideas, a proven procedure that takes the mystery and anxiety out of the idea-generating process, a procedure that works. Learn how easy it is to become more creative. Read the book you're holding.

About the Author

Jack Foster spent 35 years working in the creative departments of major advertising agencies; the first ten as a writer, the last 25 as a creative director. He won dozens of advertising awards, including being named ?Creative Person of the Year? by the Los Angeles Creative Club.

Corby was an apprentice at an advertising agency called Graham and Gilles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2 edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576754308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576754306
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Frank S. Joseph on May 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Albert Einstein said his best ideas came to him while he was shaving," Jack Foster writes in "How to Get Ideas" (2nd ed.). When I read that line, what could I do? I put the book down for a moment and went to shave.

That's about the only time I stopped reading though, and you won't be able to put it down either. For boosting creativity, this book is a lifesaver.

Foster's advice is simple -- have fun, think like a child again, open your mind to new possibilities -- but not necessarily obvious. Most of us do the same old things and think in the same old ways. Foster aims to help us spot these unhelpful patterns, then break out with easy-to-follow tips and stimulating exercises.

And anecdotes. Foster draws on decades of experience as a top creative hand in major advertising agencies, where he encountered guys and gals driven by curiosity -- people who found out how much a ten-gallon hat will hold (three-quarters of a gallon) and how many times per day an African elephant will defecate (16). Illustrating how to solve a problem by stepping around it, Foster tells the story of the woman who solved the slow-elevator problem in her building -- by mounting mirrors in the lobby. (How did she do it? See P. 134.)

You'll discover how to overcome the fears that keep you from thinking creatively ... easy ways to gather information ... combining unrelated facts for new ideas ... the five steps for getting great new ideas ... and how to put them to work for YOU.

You'll finish reading "How to Get Ideas" in an hour or two. But you'll benefit from its advice for the rest of your life.
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Format: Paperback
Now that Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, has shown us that success is as much a result of opportunity as natural ability, there is no reason not to embrace the notion that anyone can be more creative by simply learning how.

Sometimes you have to read something that makes you feel happy and optimistic. This book does that. It condenses great wisdom into nuggets using quotes and examples. Maybe it doesn't say anything radically new, but it says it in such a straight forward way that it is inspiring.

Foster was in the advertising business, but his techniques work across the board. This book was recommended to me by a freelance writer who told me that the secret to not getting hung up on each acceptance or rejection was to have a number of projects cooking at the same time. The way to do that is to have a growing collection of ideas.

Ideas are important, but action is more so. The greatest achievers didn't quit when faced with rejection (perseverance), or when they were faced with unexpected results (flexible), or then they were threatened with failure and ridicule (courage).

Foster encourages everyone to venture away from the familiar. Explore topics that you arbitrarily decided were uninteresting or difficult. Above all, take a chance.
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Format: Paperback
This is a really good book. It was entertaining to read while also educational. The first edition came out in 1996 I think, and this edition just came out earlier this month. The new edition has two new chapters, 5 and 8, which were added because readers thought the information they contain was missing from the first edition.

The book is split into two parts. The first part covers 10 ways you can "search for ideas." And it is by the far the longer of the two parts. The second part explains the five steps of how to get ideas:

1. Define the problem

2. Gather the information

3. Search for the idea

4. Forget about it

5. Put the idea into action

Theoretically, I suppose, the book could have been set up so the second part was actually the first. And the first part could have been relegated to the end. I say this because the first part is really just an expansion of the "third step" of the five steps.

I enjoyed the humor, the quotes, and the stories included in the author's discussion regarding 10 ways to search for ideas. And thus it made perfect sense to me why he put that material at the front of the book. I read the book to see if it would have some practical use to my SCORE clients who are wanta-be entrepreneurs and small business owners. I think there is a practical use, and I recommend that my clients and similarly situated people read this book. It will help them create their business plans and revamp those plans as time passes. 5 stars!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has two sections. The first is section is slow and doesn't have a lot of substance. The second section actually talks about how to get ideas. I'd recommend reading the second half of the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a really interesting book - if you've never read the literature on ideas then this is a great place to start. It's very well-researched and covers the topic thoroughly, while staying reasonably concise.

The author doesn't present any original research or theories but simply collects the relevant information and presents it clearly. I look forward to putting all the advice in this book into practice!
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This book is awesome. It goes through so many simple ways to get ideas, and by the end of the book, you already feel more creative. I was sad when it ended. This is a book I plan on keeping and reading again.
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