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on August 5, 2003
Okay- I realize that negative reviews tend to get "No, this review didn't help me" votes, but seriously - if I can stop ONE person from wasting their money & time, I've gotta brave it.
I'm a big fan of the ADWEEK books... but this one...
First- the author spends the first 40+ pages telling you about the "impressive" (his word) list of companies he's worked with and how brilliant and successful he is and the importance of this topic. He even says that the reason his techniques (and they are NOT his alone- but more on that in a second) are so successful is b/c of the names he's given them (he's even got little "TM"s next to some of them)- Anyway- did you get that- it's not the ideas! It's the NAMES! Now that is a creative argument.
He also wastes a PROFOUND amount of time telling you about the domain of creativity. I know that should be an important topic- but how many times and ways do I have to hear that talent (say, ability to draw) is not the same thing as creativity. He even puts in a picture his dad painted and bashes it as talented (accurate rendering) but not creative (painted from another painting). He also spends a frightening amount of time telling you how his ideas will help you. It should have taken maybe 5 pages- he took 69. You spend nearly 70 pages feeling like you are reading an infomercial for his seminars. A personal pet peeve of mine are these little Rolodex-looking cards he has printed throughout that are written by companies talking about how helpful his seminars and ideas were to developing ideas. If they were case studies, this might have been helpful- instead it's more "Gosh- his seminar/technique sure did help us, and we are selling more t-shirts than ever!" Again, I only learned how important and significant this Monahan guy is.
Now- the tools he uses... it's not that his tools are useless- it's that there are so FEW of them and there is not one single thing he discusses in his book that isn't covered in Thinkertoys (and some are even in Hey Whipple Squeeze This). Not only that, but they are covered in more depth in Thinkertoys, with better and more thorough examples, and there are more ideas overall in that book (there are only 7 here-there are TONS in Thinkertoys).
Honestly- I could bash this book all day- let me just PLEASE save you some time and energy- get Thinkertoys (and if you are really specifically interested in the creative process in advertising- Hey Whipple) and SAVE YOUR TIME. You will not miss SQUAT.
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on July 3, 2002
I too found that this book focuses way too much on how great Tom Monahan is, how to read the book and how proud he is of the names for his creativity excersises. It's distracting. He put the mashed potatoes all over the top of the meat.
After reading half of this book, out of order (which he encourages), I was disappointed. I didn't feel like I was learning anything new. But then I realized that I am not the target. This book is not for people who are already advertising creatives. This book would be great if you're someone who wants to get into the creative department, or if you are in a non-creative industry and you want to learn how to come up with innovative ideas. But for me, he's just telling me about what I do every day.
I don't know everything. I'm no Tom Monahan. But I was expecting "Hey Whipple" and I got "Hey Arnold" -- Good. Just not geared towards me.
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on April 27, 2002
The author, Tom Monahan, was the cofounder and former creative director of Leonard/Monahan and is now President and Head Creativity Coach of Before and After, Inc. With a client list that includes names like AT&T, ABC Sports, The Wall Street Journal, McDonalds, Sears and others you know that he has a proven track record.
In this book he takes the reader through a series of techniques to break through the rust of thinking the way you always have in the past and open new directions in creative thinking. Whether looking for a truly different solution to a problem, a unique way to open a new market, or anything else that requires a new approach this book will teach you to break loose from old patterns and embrace new ideas that you never knew existed.
A truly enlightening piece of work, you will not be disappointed. Access your creative self and see how it changes your world or at least your perception of it.
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on October 25, 2003
Brining big ideas to my job is now easier than ever.  In an entertaining manner this book helps to codify a process that is almost impossible to contain and explain.  The author first breaks down the creative "process" then gives the reader easy to learn, simple to use thinking tools to help jump start the imagination when you need to. I've used many of the suggestions and methods and they have helped me go beyond the same old ideas in my category.  My supervisor is amazed at my new found resource.  The chapters about brainstorming, selling and managing for more creativity could have been books of their own.  I've seen nothing like it in other books on creative thinking.  I'm not sure why this book has been bashed by a few readers.  Maybe advertising types believe they already know this. I've been on the business side of health care for 17 years and this is a very refreshing, effective way to think.
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on August 14, 2002
This book takes a down-to-earth approach to an elusive subject, with lots of real world examples of how unmysterious creativity can be in everyday life and in business. It's fun to read. Lots of inspiration. Yes, the "thinking tools" are a bit contrived, but I think that's the author's point; when you're stuck, and inspiration isn't coming, maybe a little calculated thinking is what's needed. I have already used some of these thinking methods with great success, but the guidance and motivation has been even more valuable. I'd love my boss, coworkers and clients to read Lobotomy.
This is not an advertising book, as the author states and shouldn't be judged that way. It's a book about creative thinking that can be applied to anything - even advertising.
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on April 22, 2002
As an advertising copywriter, I've been asked many times, "How do you come up with those ideas?" My answer's always the same. Damned if I know. But Tom Monahan does know. He is one of the few creative people I have ever known who genuinely understands where big ideas come from and how virtually anyone can tap into them. This is a rare gift. Anyone who's ever done one of Tom's very popular creative boot camps knows of what I speak. This is an eye-opening, mind-expanding book of the first magnitude. You won't be disappointed.
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on April 13, 2002
I have had the pleasure of working with Tom Monahan before and after he wrote "Lobotomy". Tom approaches creative thinking with energy and fun. He frames the possible and allows you to peer into a future state beyond where you are at the start. The book captures his methods for thinking creatively about everything from your personal life to the challenges of the workplace. If you can't work with Tom personally, read this book...he's on those pages doing a fiery dance to create a boundary-less world of possibility.
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on May 6, 2002
From an agency creative's point of view, this is a terrific book, whether you're to the business or been in it a while. It's full of real-world tools and techniques, and you can start using them right away. A lof of creativity books don't give you hands-on things you can use RIGHT NOW. But this one does.
Maybe you've been doing some of this stuff already and didn't really know it. Or know why. But if you're not a CA/One Show/D&AD regular (and even if you are) this is a great book to read.
And Re-read.
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on June 6, 2002
Advice.....use a "highlighter" when reading this book.
There are some key ideas on pushing creative thinking that have changed the way I approach my work. I guess we all get in thinking ruts and become more and more predicable each year in our creative solutions. This book made me realize I really haven't been pushing myself creatively. This book gave me new energy and new approaches in looking for creative solutions.
A must for your library!
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on May 29, 2002
This book spends too much time telling you how great Tom Monahan is. Too much time telling you how to read the book. Too many tired "catchy" names for his brainstorming processes. And to make matters worse, too many fonts & font sizes to look at. And this from someone who sat through one of his seminars & loved it.
Stick to other books like "How To Get Ideas" or "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This" for real creative inspiration.
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