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Thinking for a Living: Creating Ideas That Revitalize Your Business, Career, and Life Hardcover – October 28, 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The "big idea" behind this book is that ideas are becoming more valuable. Reiman became wealthy in advertising, then founded BrightHouse, a company that sells ideas. He offers many anecdotes about how creative thinking has paid large rewards in his life but little advice for those who would emulate him. He insists throughout that ideas are the currency of the future, but he gives few clues as to who will buy these ideas and who will execute them. His material is scattered, with no clear idea of where it is going, ranging from anecdotes to a four-page "history of the world through advertising" to brief biographies of outstanding thinkers to models of how the mind generates ideas and even a few, very general management tips. Perhaps he intended this book to be read "experientially" rather than as a simple presentation of informationAa form he says is outdated-but such an interpretation is generous. Mildly entertaining and thought-provoking but with little of practical value.AA.J. Sobczak, formerly with California State Univ., Northridge
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; First Edition edition (October 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563524694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563524691
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,016,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most entertaining books I have read in recent years. Reiman is widely (and justly) renowned for his creative mind. Literally, he thinks for a living. And is paid handsomely for his creative talent. This is an immensely personal book. He reviews his career, a career during which he prospered as the head of his own advertising agency and then sold it to his associates inorder to "solo" (as Harriet Rubin would describe it), freeing himself from organizational limits to concentrate on what he does best. "My occupation is thinker and that's who I am, employed at that. Frankly, I can't wait until I get my new passport application. I'll get a kick out of writing `Thinker' in the occupation section. After all, if I'm right, thinkers will be going places in the next century."
If you think about it, think carefully about it, this is an intriguing idea: Come up with terrific ideas and sell them for enormous sums of money. (That in itself is a terrific idea.) In reality, obviously, there are very few people who have the talent to "think for a living" as Reiman does. However, and this is the single greatest value of the book, literally everyone CAN learn from Reiman how to think more creatively in his or her career situation...and to think more creatively about how to improve that situation. Moreover, Reiman has some excellent insights into how to improve one's mental and spiritual health. His values are unashamedly old-fashioned. He seems totally committed to his marriage and parenthood. He seems to have a deep and abiding faith in God. He clearly agrees with Joseph Campbell who once said that "The privilege of a lifetime is to be who you are.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Where's the editor when you need one?
This book could have been organized better. Like... major transitions buried deep in paragraphs. Were the sub-heads put there for decoration? The egotistical patty-pat-pat's could have been edited out more. And, where's the meat?
The concept of the book is great, the author is experienced, but the book falls somewhat flat.
This book is like Doug Hall's "Jump Start Your Brain" but minus a lot of its content.
Still, there are some great ideas here. You should buy this book for its references and a few of its ideas. It's an easy read -- and that reflects it's lightness on detail.
One thing I thought was important is the concept of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on the 3 areas of creativity: the expert, the domain, the judges.
Most books discuss how to improve the individual -- the expert. But there are 2 other important areas. The domain is the marketplace... with its competitors, etc. This would be the source of ideas and demand for ideas. The judges are the rewarders of new ideas. In some cases this might be the users who will purchase your product. In other cases it might be the companies that purchase your ideas. They provide value and rewards to the idea generator. We must evaluate and improve all three of these areas. Or, select those areas were there's a good match of all three.
Thankfully, Csikszentmihalyi's books are referenced and discussed. This book also discusses other references as well.
After reading the book I believe the author is a sincere and knowledgeable person. But I believe the purpose of this book was to sell his idea-generating company. Given that off-the-mark main direction, it is no wonder there were so many self-congradulatory anecdotes.
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By A Customer on June 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Those seeking initial inspiration may find this work satisfying and informative. Others, readily aware that knowledge=power, will find this book extremely disappointing. While I don't doubt the author's sincerety and beliefs, the book reads as a self-congraulatory dialogue of HIS realization that ideas are the currency of economic and social success - at a time when he wasn't in a business that compensated him for it. He could also include more examples of the true masters of innovation (inventors) receiving equal or greater credit than those who bring other peoples ideas to market (i.e. Jobs, Gates, etc.). Maybe he can write his next book on how idea people can successfully bring their products to market or how they can structure partnerships that compensate innovators fairly and continually, like great shows are syndicated.
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Format: Hardcover
What a surprise! I stumbled across this one and devoured it. Reiman closed his ad agency and opened the first ideation, where his only product his ideas---which he sells for $450,000 each! This is truly a mind expanding work. I particularly loved the concept of being sure I get paid--and paid well---for what I create. I've helped several people become millionaires, but lost money in the process because I didn't honor my own ideas. Reiman doesn't make that mistake. His excitement for living, his boldness for thinking out of the box, is contagious and refreshing. This is a guy who is truly a creative genius. Had I known about him when I wrote my book on P.T. Barnum, "There's a Customer Born Every Minute," I would have included Joey Reiman in it. That's a high compliment and this book is terrific. It's one of the few I'll re-read.
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