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Thinking for a Living: Creating Ideas That Revitalize Your Business, Career, and Life Hardcover – October 25, 2001
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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he intended this book to be read "experientially" rather than as a simple presentation of informationAa form he says is outdated-but such an interpretation is generous.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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I find it tough to believe that anyone could read "Thinking for a Living" and not walk away feeling energized and excited about the possibility of applying Reiman's ideologies to his or her daily life. The objective of the book is not to convince readers to mimic Reiman's path to success, but rather to assess available opportunities in one's own situation to fuse imagination with purpose in support of a more socially responsible, compassionate society.
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. The purpose of the book should be to explain his major techniques, and the by-product, or secondary objective, should be to sell his company.
Overall recommendation: buy it to fill out your creativity library. Otherwise, there are better books on this subject.
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