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Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  13,243 Ratings  ·  318 Reviews
"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard. This book helps you with the hard part."
-Guy Kawasaki, author of "Enchantment"
According to productivity expert Scott Belsky, no one is born with the ability to drive creative projects to completion. Execution is a skill that must be developed by building your organizational habits and harnessing the support of your colleagues.
ebook, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Portfolio (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jun 02, 2010 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nicole Harkin
Jul 09, 2010 Nicole Harkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 13, 2011 Angie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-clubbers
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
Marie Poulin
Dec 24, 2012 Marie Poulin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dss
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
Alan Briggs
So good for any entrepreneurs!
Oct 25, 2011 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 14, 2012 Allen Plummer rated it really liked it
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
Mar 14, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it
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
Michael Rubin
Mar 06, 2011 Michael Rubin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 10, 2012 Kamal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 19, 2011 Wes Baker rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
Rowena Morais
Feb 09, 2013 Rowena Morais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jk Baseer
Aug 21, 2016 Jk Baseer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is like a daily reminder or a daily tip book which I was reading while traveling every morning to office in the bus.

The books cover on the topic of organization and execution, the forces of community and Leadership capability.

Each topic has lot of sub-topics but there are really an extraordinary sub-topics which are thought provoking to realize how we have been working so far.

Few points which I would recommend to any one

1. Action method by Scott Belsky:
He recommends that Each projects c
Hasan Basusta
İçinde büyük bir fikir barındırmayan, fikirleri nasıl gerçeğe dönüştürebileceğimizin bildik yollarını sıralamış sıradan bir kitap.
Oct 07, 2012 Joewoolworth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Book Calendar
May 06, 2010 Book Calendar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, marketing
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
Aug 06, 2010 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dave Emmett
Oct 11, 2010 Dave Emmett rated it really liked it
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
Joseph McBee
Jan 06, 2013 Joseph McBee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tanja Laden
Oct 18, 2010 Tanja Laden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 06, 2012 Shawn Pfunder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Derek Harvey
Great practical book for those leading creative teams (even if it's a creative team of one...yourself). Great content, although I had a hard time finishing. The writing style is very academic, which is not bad at all. It just made for a focused read. Not many riveting stories in here...highly practical. Glad I read it.
Apryl Anderson
Dec 13, 2011 Apryl Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jan 14, 2015 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audiobook
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.
Jan 29, 2011 Maura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Cynthia Boris
Mar 20, 2012 Cynthia Boris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent kick the pants for any creative person who has too many ideas and can't execute. Read this now!` ...more
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Please remove me as Editor 2 161 Aug 08, 2013 10:13AM  
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“An idea can only become a reality once it is broken down into organized, actionable elements.” 29 likes
“Most ideas are born and lost in isolation.” 11 likes
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