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IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea Paperback – April 12, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

One good idea is all you need to change your life; this book shows you how to find it. -- Brian Tracy, author of Getting Rich Your Own Way

Exercise for the brain is just as important as exercise for the body. In Ideaspotting, Sam Harrison stretches your mental muscles in a way you'll never forget. -- Al Ries, author of The Origin of Brands

If the best way to find a good idea is to find lots of ideas, then here's the best guidebook I know for your hunt. -- Brian Collins, Ogilvy & Mather Brand Integration Group

About the Author

Sam Harrison has more than 20 years of diverse, successful experience in creative roles, including product innovation, branding, advertising, public relations, direct marketing and event planning. He is also a former senior vice president with an S&P 500 firm and has worked with clients and affiliates including Major League Baseball, NFL, Hasbro, American Express and more. He is currently a professional speaker and workshop leader for firms, associations and conferences throughout North America and beyond. He is also an instructor at Portfolio Center, a graduate-studies program focusing on brand communications. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HOW (April 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581808003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581808001
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,252,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger Bauer on March 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very quick read (could easily be knocked out in a weekend), this book is a good mixture of actionable items and creative stimulation. Get out of your comfort zone and pay attention to everything around you is one of the themes of this book along with taking good notes in some fashion because your creative thoughts and ideas may not be as easy to remember as you believe they will be at a later time. Anyone can be creative if they put themselves in a postion to encourage it.

Overall, I really liked the book and appreciate the advice and action items contained within. If you're looking to stimulate your creative juices, get and read Idea Spotting. I also read Zing, and Idea Spotting contains similar material so if you're wondering which book to choose--go with this one.
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Format: Paperback
As a writer I'm constantly in search of ideas: how to structure a story, which fact-finding methods to use, what sources to interview, and, most importantly, where to look for new topics to write about. As a freelancer I have to keep myself motivated enough to continue hacking away at the iBook even when all inspiration has fled. And as a creative person, I've got the "Negative News Network" constantly broadcasting in my head, worrying my next idea will never be as good as my last.

Ideaspotting is three books in one: a handy collection of advice from all the greats to console me in troubled times, a set of exercises sure to dump all the excess slush from my brain, and honest-to-god new ways to think about my work, my passions and my life. Ideaspotting is a philosophy about how to open yourself up to all the world has to offer. And it works.
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Format: Paperback
Here's the skinny...
This book is by far the easiest of all idea books to read, most relevant, most thorough, but potentially most dangerous. Before I make a couple critiques, don't let what I'm about to say dissuade you from buying this gem, these are just caveats and the book is still a deal!
Page 25 - Alcan/CocaCola and Ethnography: When I read this I though, "Great, I'll use ethnography to solve my innovation problems." Being the information pig that I am I checked this "idea" out with a professional, a doctor of Anthropology at the local university. We had a 30 minute chat and I came away with the thought "Alcan doesn't have a clue what they are talking about." What was described on page 25 was single variable observation, not ethnography. In fact, single variable observation has lead to problem after problem for marketers, Dr. "C" gave me these examples, 1) `Got Milk?' when marketed towards the Hispanic population translated into "Are you Lactating?" 2) McDonald's in parts of China had Ronald McDonald march in a parade, this was analogous to having the grim reaper march in the Santa Clause parade. 3) Chevy Nova in Mexico - we all know that one. And he gave me many other examples of major blunders that were directly attributed to single variable observation.
Page 47 - Hasbro and the "Alpha Pups": This is an excellent example of a major short coming with this book - there is no depth. The book summed up a major research and development initiative in a hundred or so words.

I chose the two examples because they are familiar ground for me. If you want to know how well a book is written analyze what was said against what you know. If there are faults then there are probably faults with the other sections.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished teaching a class on creativity, and this could be the text book for my future classes. Harrison has brought together things that some do naturally without thinking, and puts it before those of us that forget we should be living creatively every day. A gem of a book that will be dog-eared in no time!
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I've read on generating creative ideas, and I've read many of them. It is clear, simple and to the point, and gives plenty of examples of creative techniques and applications. The book has many references to a wide variety of creatives, from the most well known (Da Vinci, etc) to those lesser known to the common man yet creating effectively in their own spheres. It also provides useful note-taking areas for specific creative tasks, which are wonderfully effective for following up on the suggested activities.
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I read this as soon as it arrived in the mail, and was done with the book several hours later. I'm a graphic designer and was in a bit of a creative drought, and reading this book really helped lift my creative spirits and got those creative juices flowing. There's lots of inspirational stories about Fortune 500 companies and their design teams, and what they do to get their staff motivated and creative. I've already started implementing several of the ideas into my own staff at work. This is a must read for anyone looking to get that creative spark going.
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Format: Paperback
It is a fun, well executed little book full of quotations what other people did or do and ordinary things most of us know, but tend to forget. Do not expect any miraculous formulas how to come up with the most amazing creative ideas easy and quickly. It is not there. It is good to flip through over your every day morning coffe or tea and suck out one or two ideas for the day.
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