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Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality [Hardcover]

Scott Belsky
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 20 2010

How the world's leading innovators push their ideas to fruition again and again

Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration. Ideas for new businesses, solutions to the world's problems, and artistic breakthroughs are common, but great execution is rare.

According to Scott Belsky, the capacity to make ideas happen can be developed by anyone willing to develop their organizational habits and leadership capability. That's why he founded Behance, a company that helps creative people and teams across industries develop these skills.

Belsky has spent six years studying the habits of creative people and teams that are especially productive-the ones who make their ideas happen time and time again. After interviewing hundreds of successful creatives, he has compiled their most powerful-and often counterintuitive-practices, such as:

•Generate ideas in moderation and kill ideas liberally
•Prioritize through nagging
•Encourage fighting within your team

While many of us obsess about discovering great new ideas, Belsky shows why it's better to develop the capacity to make ideas happen-a capacity that endures over time.


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Review

"Should you buy a book that will make you uncomfortable?

More questions: Why is it so difficult to ship good ideas out the door? Why do committees show up and wreck the purity of your idea? Why do people avoid doing the hard work of actually bringing their work to the market?

I'll tell you why: Because it's safe. Ideas that never ship are never criticized. Faceless committees accept the blame for tepid products that were probably better off in the warehouse. And managers in search of a place to hide can best hide behind the unshipped product, the unrealized idea and the system gone wrong.

Scott Belsky has your number. He's seen it all before. He knows your excuses, he's seen your shtick and he knows all the ways to avoid doing the work. In this book, Scott's not giving you any place to hide.

There. Do you still want to read his book?

If you care about your art, your job, or your market, you really have no choice. This is strategy and tactics, concepts and how-to, all in one on a topic that's often overlooked."
-Seth Godin, Author, Linchpin

"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard. This book helps you with the hard part."
-Guy Kawasaki, Co-founder of Alltop and former chief evangelist of Apple

"Making Ideas Happen is timely and vital to a new generation of creative leaders. Ideas are important, but executing on those ideas is the crucial component that so many of us forget about. Great execution is rare, and Belsky lays out practical principles and a clear plan for getting things done. I highly recommend this book!"
-Brad Lomenick, Executive Director, Catalyst

"From his years spent understanding how the most productive entrepreneurs and creative minds operate, Scott Belsky provides a compendium of the knowledge one needs to turn a great idea into something tangible. This is a book about execution, and when it comes to going from idea to a real business, execution is everything."
-JOHN BATELLE, Co-founder of Wired and Boing Boing, founder of Federated Media

"If your creative team or organization struggles to implement their best ideas, or if you find that your own creative projects languish unfinished, you need Making Ideas Happen.
-TERESA AMABILE, Prof. of Business Administration, Dir. of Research, Harvard Business School

"In just one volume, Belsky shows how to execute simply, boldly, powerfully. He reveals the forces and methods that push projects to completion -and how they are accessible to all of us. Practical and perfect ways to implement your ideas with peace of mind."
-LEO BABAUTA, Author of ZenHabits.net and The Power of Less

"I hear people talking all the time about great ideas that never come to life. This book is like a Swiss Army knife for ideas. It offers step-by-step tools to turn ideas into action, and is full of wonderful and enlightening stories of those who have made their ideas happen."
-JI LEE, Creative Director at Google Creative Lab and Founder of the Bubble Project

"Scott Belsky has observed how designers think and has created a way to help them make the complex clear -and the actionable achievable- within the rush of creativity that defines their mind's workspace. His ideas provide an effective way to manage ideation, iteration, and execution."
-RICHARD GREF+, CEO of AIGA

"Belsky's approach has made my life even simpler. Making Ideas Happen demonstrates that ideas of any magnitude are achievable by simply taking one step at a time. Belsky offers an illustrated map to get to the destination of your great ideas."
-SCOTT THOMAS, Design Director, Obama Presidential Campaign

"There are techniques in this book that can turn disorganized creative prima donnas into organized creative prima donnas. It's full of terrific lessons in how to keep great ideas alive."
-CHUCK PORTER, Co-chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky

About the Author

Scott Belsky is a speaker, writer, and entrepreneur with a focus on the creative industries. As the founder and CEO of Behance, he oversees the Behance Network, the world's leading platform for creative professionals with millions of visitors every month; The 99%, a think tank and annual conference devoted to execution in creative teams; and Action Method, a popular online/mobile productivity application and line of organizational paper products. He lives in New York City. Learn more at ScottBelsky.com



Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:" -- Isaiah 14:24 (NKJV)

Psychologists estimate that the average person has over 10,000 thoughts a day. I believe that because I once met a consultant who would share almost that many thoughts with me every time we met. The only problem was that these weren't very useful thoughts . . . but he sure loved each and every one. I took to peeking around corners so I could avoid his latest informal briefing. That's one kind of problem that people have with their ideas . . . they don't attract any interest.

Mr. Belsky organizes the method of turning ideas into action according this formula:

"(The Idea) + Organization and Execution + Forces of Community + Leadership Capability"

The book digs into this formula by first proposing a way of organizing work on ideas (the Action Method). I found the proposal to be reasonably similar to the way I organize my work so I suggest you take it seriously if you have trouble keeping track of what's going on the moving things forward expeditiously. I agree with the key point that it takes a lot of effort to turn an idea into reality. Most of my books were conceived of in a few seconds or minutes, but the work involved to write and produce one takes months of dedicated, consistent effort. Implementations that build on the books take 100 times more effort.

I also agree with the point about concentrating your efforts. Otherwise you get 1 percent of a lot of things done, which amounts to nothing being accomplished.

I thought that Mr. Belsky also did a good job of pointing out how collaboration helps. Right on!

I personally found the section on leadership capability to be the most practical.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideas + Action Method = High-Impact April 26 2010
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Anyone with much experience with brainstorming sessions already knows that "making ideas" is quite easy. Making them HAPPEN is quite a different challenge and a much more formidable one. Again I am reminded of Thomas Edison's admonition, "Vision without execution is hallucination." What we have in this book is a remarkably comprehensive as well as lively informative discussion of how almost anyone can develop the capacity to master a process that Scott Belsky characterizes as a "primer":

1. You have ideas (yours or someone else's) that you want to make happen: "Most ideas get lost in what I call the `project plateau,' a period of intense execution where your natural creative tendencies turn against you." Belsky explains what these tendencies are as well as how to avoid of overcome them.

2. Making ideas happen == ideas + Organization = Communal forces = Leadership capability: "We will dive into ach of these forces and discuss how you should use them in your own creative pursuits." Belsky delivers in abundance on that promise.

3. Organization enables you to manage and ultimately execute your ideas...or someone else's: "The Action Method [that Belsky explains and discusses in detail] is a composite of the best practices for productivity shared by creative leaders." Belsky has picked the brains of hundreds of the most productive creative thinkers and shares their most valuable insights, as well as his own. Better yet, he organizes them in the aforementioned Action Method, a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective system to make ideas happen.

4. The forces of community are invaluable and readily available: "Ideas don't happen in isolation. You must embrace opportunities to broadcast and then refine your ideas through the energy of those around you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Jan. 15 2014
By Sean
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love Scott Belsky, a brilliant mind and brilliant book. This book was not only very inspiring but also a quick and easy read which is important for me since my english is not the best.
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