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The Idea Book Hardcover – October 10, 2006
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I usually don't write book reviews. They remind me too much of a school assignment that has to conform to rules. I'm going to make an exception as there is a book I ordered several months ago that continues to hold my interest. The book combines an artist s sketchbook or journal with 150 pages on ideas and creativity. If DaVinci had a business manager, we'd probably have seen this concept earlier. I've always liked books on creativity and ideas. When I saw a blog post by Seth Godin about The Idea Book, I was intrigued and sent an email as there wasn't an order form on the website. I didn't think too much about it until the book arrived with an invoice in Swedish. The company has since installed an easy online order form. The book is a product of Interesting.org and is written by Fredrik Härén. Fredrik is the founder of the company which is an idea brokerage firm. He s also a well known speaker on creativity. The book is nicely balanced between 150 pages about ideas and 150 blank pages for your notes or drawings. The stories or lessons are set apart in olive green so you can easily find them. Each follows the format of title, subtitle, background and activity. The activity might be one or more questions or a challenge such as see if you can manage to listen to 50 ideas without saying anything negative about them. Each story is about a page, but no more than two. Some of the stories I've seen before, but most were new. They all illustrated a point and helped rekindle ideas or make me think. Some stories even made me laugh in public such as Einstein s delivering the same exam twice. You can get a flavor for the book by downloading the free 30 page sample PDF file from the site. At first, I was hesitant about the size and binding. The book is hardbound and 8 x 6 and about an inch think. Previously, when I've recorded my ideas, I've used a spiral bound lined notebook. I preferred the spiral bound as it is easier for me to write and rip out pages. However, the solid construction of this binding makes me think in more permanent terms. In some ways, this format is making me more disciplined as I find myself setting aside time to read the book and capture ideas. When I fill up my 150 pages, I will undoubtedly hang onto the book. Hopefully, Fredrik will provide periodic updates or volumes so I continue my learning and idea capturing. Don't tell me you don't have any good ideas. Well, maybe it s because you don't have the Ideabook yet. Not easily available in the US. Worth the hassle: theideabook.org. (tip, press on the English button in the bottom right hand corner). --Seth Godin
About the Author
Fredrik Härén is an author and speaker on business creativity. He has delivered over fifteen hundred presentations, lectures, and workshops in over forty-five countries and has inspired hundreds of thousands of business people to become more creative and to look at the world in a new way. He is the author of nine books, including The Idea Book, which was included in the 100 Best Business Books of All Time.
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Our memory banks are built in a LIFO manner. i.e. We find it easy to remember or recall what went in last. Think about it : What did you have last wednesday for lunch? Now, what did you have yesterday for dinner? Which is easier to recall?
So here comes the purpose of having an idea book : I can retrieve my memories, my inspiration and my ideas in a giffy. But did I mention hefty? Yes, at $35 good ones it seems costly to pay for an idea book or a notebook to be frank. But then again, what about some stories to stir that inner magic of yours and take what really matters to the next level. Priceless.
It's meaty, it's heavy but it's going to feed thoes ideas you had long thought of but never exhalted. Here's your chance.
In essence, this book is not a miracle, nor is it magically. Rather, it's a catalyst for one to exploit and realise what this world now truly needs - a good idea.
In one word; Kickass!