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Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity Hardcover – June 11, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews

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Book Description
When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog – gapingvoid.com – and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures.

MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person?

Now his first book, Ignore Everyone, expands on his sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice. A sample:

* Selling out is harder than it looks. Diluting your product to make it more commercial will just make people like it less.
* If your plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.
* Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There’s no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.
* The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours. The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.

After learning MacLeod’s 40 keys to creativity, you will be ready to unlock your own brilliance and unleash it on the world.

Amazon Exclusive: Author Hugh MacLeod on Having a Life


"William Dufris reads with humor and liveliness as he shares the author's argument for creativity in a complicated world and steps for personal creativity." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; First Edition edition (June 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159184259X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842590
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains some valuable universal truths presented in an interesting way. I would classify it at as a "Leadership Lite" book worthy of downloading to your Kindle or stashed in your briefcase to be read on an airplane.

I love "fun to read" leadership books versus the "utilitarian", "old fogy" "Harvard Business Review" style and this book is fun to read. I still read the utilitarian books...I just suffer through them. What makes this book good is the stories to illustrate points are the author's own.

Here are my top eight takeaways from Ignore Everybody.

1. The more original your idea is, the less good advice people will be able to give you.

2. Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships that is why good ideas are always initially resisted.

3. Your idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing.

4. The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.

5. Being good at anything is like figure skating - the definition of being good at it is being able to make it look easy. But it never is easy. Ever. That is what the stupidly wrong people conveniently forget.

6. Your job is probably worth 50 percent of what it was in real terms ten years ago. And who knows? It may very well not exist in five to ten years...Stop worrying about technology. Start worrying about people who trust you.

7. Part of being a master is learning to sing in nobody else's voice but your own...Put your whole self into it, and you will find your true voice. Hold back and you won't. Its that simple.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ignore Everybody is two things in one. First, it's a series of tips designed to turn creatives into artists. Second, it's a collection of Hugh's best cartoons. While some of the cartoons do support the text, I'm going to review the cartoons and the text separately because they really do stand on their own.

===THE BOOK===

What separates a writer from an author? A rower from an oarsman? A comedian from a humorist?

Greatness in any field comes from taking a novel idea and pushing it to its logical conclusion, redefining the medium in the process.

Hugh doesn't teach you how to come up with your big idea, nor is the book a collection of theories on what makes something innovative. Rather, Hugh's rules teach a mindset conducive to pushing great ideas to their logical conclusions.

This book won't teach you how to paint, but if you're lucky you'll come away with the mental frame you need to avoid having the outside world crush your creativity. And if you really take its lessons to heart then hopefully, in the words of Steve Jobs, you'll ship.

Over the years I've sent the blog post that inspired this book to countless friends, and now that I've read the book itself I can't recommend it enough. I'd consider it a must-read for any creative who aspires to be an artist, not just some guy who lives in a loft and calls himself a writer.

But even if you don't aspire to become an artist, the book still has much to offer. In Hugh's own words, "This book is about becoming more 'creative' in one's work, whoever you may be. Or just useful advice for any one who aspires to undertake some creative or artistic journey.
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Format: Hardcover
I have mixed opinions about the actual advice in this book- some of it seems sound ("ignore everyone and do your thing"), some of it more... ick ("Plan on having a crappy day job forever and just doing art on the side." "Don't make a job out of your hobby or passion, because you'll probably end up being a sad alcoholic." I wish I was making that up. As someone whose career was born out of a hobby and who shows no signs of becoming a sad alcoholic, I think maybe basing that chapter on a single anecdote was a little short-sighted.)

But what puts me off this book most of all is the weird, borderline sexist, embittered "nice guy" comics that litter the whole book. I get that those are his art form, but a lot of the times they don't actually fit with the content at all and are downright...uncomfortable. Little scribbles of women saying things like "how DARE you love me... i must punish you..." and guys saying things like "Why do they call it 'snatch'?" "'coz there ain't no honest way to get it" or "The worst thing about being a Beta Male is that all women secretly despise you."

.......yikes. If I met this dude and saw this stuff, it'd be a red flag telling me to run away as fast as I could. There's "kind of offensive but still hilarious" and then there's just... creepy and bitter. I don't know how much I want to take advice from a dude who insists that he still works in an office because he WANTS to and that's THE BEST WAY TO DO IT... and whose art feels like I'm reading the diary of a petulant and entitled 16 year old.
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