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Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  8,598 ratings  ·  272 reviews

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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by Portfolio Hardcover (first published January 1st 2010)
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1st out of 19 books — 4 voters
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I'm of two minds about this book. If you're looking for a "how to," read Getting Things Done instead. The "how" of making tasks happen is more pragmatically covered there.

What's compelling about Belsky's book is the sense he gives that many, many conversations led into this book. If you read it as a catalogue of the simple things effective creatives do, there's some things to learn here. Otherwise, it's not terribly compelling.
Mr. Belsky, of, does a great job explaining to artists, photographers, and writers how to go about organizing their work flows to maximize their output. I read the book over the last few weeks and have already seen the results. My boss mentioned I was getting a lot of stuff done and asked if I felt overwhelmed with work. Cute.

The book is organized broadly into three areas: Organization and Execution, Community, and Leadership Capability.

So his organizational system goes something
Even though it is written by a different author, this book reads like a sequel to David Allen's über-famous Getting Things Done (GTD), only this time geared specifically toward the broad category of anyone who creates, a.k.a. creative people. Like GTD, the concepts here aren't particularly exciting but I'm hoping that like GTD, they'll be life-changing.

Since reading GTD several years ago the concepts of "what's the next action" and having a trusted system for tracking projects have become firmly
Repetitive, unfocused, and generally unremarkable. The only thing that kept me reading were the occasional one-liners that really did encapsulate intelligent thoughts about productivity, teamwork, and focus.

This book varied between theoretical ramblings that were vague to the point of being useless and excerpted interviews with famous people who talked about their productivity philosophies. I wish there had been more direct suggestions about productivity techniques and combining creative dreami
Written founder of Behance, a company aimed at helping creative individuals become more productive. This book aims to share best-of practices. Despite the amount of knowledge Belskey must have on the topic, and the research that went into this book, the book was a major disappointment. I didn't learn much and struggled to find interesting, novel ideas here.

Belskey divided the book into three sections (Organization and Execution; The Forces of Community; Leadership Capacity). He first summarized
Jinnie Lee
This book is written by a guy who was interested in organization and productivity within the creative business community (designers, etc.), whom he observered was awash in great ideas but too many failed to get implemented or were not implemented successfully. So he put together a productivity "system" for this audience, as well as an online community where they can support each other in developing the habits, as well as sharing work for feedback and sharing job opportunities. The "system" he of ...more
Allen Plummer
It's interesting that so many reviewers on Goodreads feel passionately about this book one way or the other. I personally, greatly enjoyed the book, but will fully admit to enjoying the Behance website 99u. I also knew enough of the book to realize that it is in fact about how a creative individual produces results, not the usual "break out your inner creative" peptalk used by so many authors.

For serious artists who have more ideas than time, the temptation to move onto a new project constantly
Belsky’s main idea is that creative people tend to have lots of ideas on how to improve products or services, but they have difficulty executing those ideas. And that’s crucial because ideas are cheap. We have tons of ideas that come and go. But success only comes to those who can execute. Belsky believes that “making ideas happen” is simply a matter of satisfying a formula: Ideas + Organization and Execution + Forces of Community + Leadership Capability. With the exception of ideas, he then foc ...more
Marie Poulin
This book was exactly what I needed. As a creative that struggles with project management, timelines and tasks, this outlines a very practical system for actually getting things done daily. I've read "Getting Things Done", but I actually found this even more simplified and practical. It's all about thinking about everything as a Project, and learning to always create actionable items.
I personally found myself going "AH, YES, that's totally what I've been missing!", however, some of those concept
Michael Rubin
Normally, I'm resistant to popular new business books. Part of it is a natural urge to go against the grain, but all too often, I usually finish one of these titles feeling that the information is obsolete and inapplicable. I'm delighted to say that this is NOT one of those cases.

"Making Ideas Happen" is definitely not a "flavor of the month" book. The ideas and concepts are geared toward artists, but the productivity lessons here are perfect for anyone trying to effect change within an organiz
This is the best book I've read this year. (There's a free iPhone app, Action Method, to go along with the book as well.)

Here are some key points:

The Forces that Make Ideas Happen:
Organization & Execution + Forces of Community + Leadership Capability

The way you organize projects, prioritize and manage your energy is arguably more than the quality of the ideas you wish to pursue.

The truth is, creativity isn't about wild talent as much as it's about productivity. To find a few ideas that wor
The author finishs this books explainig how difficult is to transform an idea into a reality (a book, a music album, a painting, etc.) and how difficult is for the observer to realize this difficultness. I don't doubt the amount of work behind this book but it is far from what I was expecting.

The first chapter is not so bad but the another-self-help-book-tone is noticiable in many pages and most of the ideas are simply not so innovative. Second chapter is dissapointing, it just does not fit in
Book Calendar
Making Ideas Happen Overcoming The Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky Founder and CEO of Behance

Scott Belsky is a very much a new media type of writer. He is the CEO of Behance which is a social networking platform for creative professionals. I took a look at the site and it is a shared image database of advertisements, designs, and illustrations. It is quite interesting to look at The site has a new media, trendy feeling to it which is
Nov 08, 2012 Joewoolworth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: creatives
One of the problems I have as a “freelance guy” is finding a productivity system that works. I have tried a couple different types of strategies to organize my workflow, but the problem is: I GET BORED.

I am a creative person and so one of my least favorite things is spending time on the details and not on the ideas. But, I know it is necessary and I am actually pretty good with the details, however normal productivity plans haven’t seemed to work for me.

That is why when I read what this book was
Dave Emmett
I really enjoyed this book. In a way, I feel like it was written just me for me: I have tons of 'great' ideas, but I very rarely act on them because it's easier to just think I'm a genius and go about my day. The challenge, as this book points out, is to commit to, and execute your ideas. Coming up with ideas is easy, and ultimately it's not really all that valuable if ideas aren't executed.

I was thinking about this when I watched The Social Network: the brothers who 'came up' with Facebook (wh
Rowena Morais
Title : Making Ideas Happen. Overcoming the Obstacles between Vision and Reality
Author : Scott Belsky
Published by : Portfolio Trade
Year of publication: 2012
ISBN-10: 1591844118
ISBN-13: 13 978 1591844112
Detail : Paperback
Availability: Borders

The way to get things done.

I am sure that the challenge created by the gap between the things we think we’d like to achieve and what we actually achieve is one that many of us face. So it is always interesting, for me especially, to read or find out more abou
Joseph McBee
This book is for creative types. You know, the ones who are long on ideas and short on execution. This book is written for those who want to do great things but keep being lured away by the next shiny idea. This book will help you get things done. It is project management for the creative soul.

Scott Belsky knows his audience and he speaks their language. He knows how to keep creatives reading and interested. He knows how to help us make things happen.

I greatly apprecited the simple--but not simp
Pretty much a typical personal planning book with some team management planning added. Certainly was not just pushing technology (except for maybe nice pens) -- suggested paper and pen planning worked best for many creative types. Included a few nuggets, and had a few interesting examples.
Elaine Nelson
I've been torn between giving this 1 or 2 stars, or 4 stars, so 3 it is. The good parts are fascinating, and I think potentially very useful to me in work and at home. Some smart techniques and interesting quotes. I may even recommend it to my colleagues.

On the other's hard for me to take seriously a book that uses "thought leader" non-ironically. And so it has a lot of that sort of thing going on: oh, look, there's Chris Anderson! Malcolm Gladwell! IDEO! etc., etc. And plenty of eye-r
Tanja Laden
Based on the conditions in which artists thrive as professionals Behance founder Scott Belsky reveals his formula for creative success in Making Ideas Happen.

Just like his Behance Network, which offers artists an online portfolio-sharing platform, Belsky’s book offers motivation to put concepts into practice, outlining key steps in the execution of ideas. Referencing a framework that involves inspiration, organization, and leadership, it’s a step-by-step primer for making your own creative dream
Shawn Pfunder
Worth it.

If you're a creative person who's looking for some insight when it comes to simple organization and execution, this may fit the bill. The story about the violin player is inspirational and very telling. You might have the most beautiful music in the world to share with others, but unless you figure out how to package and deliver it, no one is going to hear a note.

As a bonus: the section towards the end of the book on leadership is spot-on. I can personally vouch for many of the points h
Zbyszek Sokolowski
Książka nierówna mająca dobre fragmenty ale w wielu miejscach nużąca, tak naprawdę autor się rozkręcił pod koniec. Parę interesujących cytatów - perełek zebrałem poniżej.

"Wyłania się szokująca i być może trochę niewygodna prawda: osoba przeciętnie kreatywna, ale mająca doskonałe zdolności organizacyjne osiągnie więcej niż ci z nas, którzy są niezorganizowanymi, kreatywnymi geniuszami."

"Randall Stutman, coach kadry zarządzającej współpracujący z najbardziej doświadczonymi przywódcami korporacyjne
Moemen Ahmed
Scott Belsky –founder of Behance- is sharing in this book his insight about transforming ideas into reality. Based on the famous quote of Thomas Edison

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

The book offers a simple strategy as a base for this transformation, based on three base pillars named by the author; (1) Organization & Execution. (2) Communal Forces. (3) Leadership.

The book describes in details the fine composition of each of the three pillars, supp
Some tips from this book:

Action Method for creative projects - involves organizing the project into Action Steps, References and Backburner items.
List down all your projects based on the level of energy that it requires - Extreme, High, Medium, Low, Idle. Projects placed at the Extreme end should be the most important for the time being.

- keep 2 lists for action steps, one for urgent and one for important and preserve different periods of time to focus on these
- choose 5 projects that matter the
Apryl Anderson
This was super-duper! I'm the reigning star of unfinished projects, and I've been making myself crazy.

Belsky lays out the reality of my condition, and rather than preach to the choir about overcoming my fears and all that I've read 100x before, he shows me how to walk through every step--without telling me how to do it, and I love him for it!

This is the Strategic Life Journal with bells on!
This book talks big but doesn't deliver. As many other readers have noted, David Allen's GTD is much better and will actually help you realize goals and projects. I would also recommend Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit, instead of this schlock. Belsky's book, on the other hand, is just a protracted advertisement for his company, Behance. Disappointing, bland and surprisingly useless.
Wes Baker
While this book has plenty of good points (taking responsibility, using your time wisely, improving teams) I feel that it's more of a rehash or a summary of recent rediscoveries. It's worth a read if you've been out of touch with productivity, time management and team dynamics, but if you've been paying attention, I wouldn't take the time to read this book.
Not as useful for project management as Getting Things Done. Some useful ideas: CREATIVITY x ORGANIZATION = IMPACT; reduce your "insecurity work" (things you do to show you're working that don't contribute to final goal); be comfortable with ambiguity.
Jorge Suárez
Avanzando finalmente con este!!!! Que ya merece y traía atorado de rato! gracias hermanitou!!! @sandovalr muy necesitado en estos y todo momento sin duda! O.o
Lance Schaubert
Here's the thing: Belsky has great ideas in the book, but he makes them happen with bad examples. Thomas Kinkaide and James Patterson aren't the best examples when you want to impress artists.

There are workhorses who do. Stephen King's a machine, but not a hack. Piccasso cranked them out. We could make a list, I'm sure.

But if making ideas happen means making them happen even when they should die, it's not worth it.

The practical suggestions in this book you can find anywhere, but its interest
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“An idea can only become a reality once it is broken down into organized, actionable elements.” 22 likes
“Most ideas are born and lost in isolation.” 11 likes
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