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Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  18,262 Ratings  ·  1,497 Reviews
In Originals the author addresses the challenge of improving the world from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, pol
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Viking
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Feb 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I beg to differ with Sheryl Sandberg. This isn't a cutting-edge primer on what it takes to be "original." It's a pleasantly readable, if mediocre, collection of findings and anecdotes that are more-or-less related to the notion of fostering creativity/success.

Earnest? Yes. The author applies his formula with zest: he starts each chapter with a "hook," spaces out his anecdotes, sprinkles in previews to build suspense, and distills each story into a pithy moral. He tries hard to keep us engaged a
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Fools rush in.” Those 3 words are the foundation for the recurring theme that Adam Grant reveals through studied research which shakes the dominant mythology of our modern dogma on what it takes to succeed.

The myth is that first movers gain a first-to-market advantage. The fact is that “settlers” who enter later, lower their risk of failure compared to the early “pioneers.” The slow-movers also raise their yield of measurable returns. Who is really laughing first and last here?

The myth is that
Bill Zoelle
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I got the sense that this book was yet another compilation of blog posts with examples cherrypicked from successful books to support ideas with very little first hand research. The author is critical of other formulaic authors, such as those that write self help books, yet he follows the same formula that those in the pop psych genre have relied upon. The book is a collection of anecdotes slathered with confirmation bias in place of a logic rooted argument.

The examples are written in more of an
Peter Aloysius
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Ironically, this book contains very few original ideas on it's own
Jim Lavis
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was ok

Two stars are generous. The first 3 or 4 chapters had some value, but the examples that were used, in those chapters, were dated and generic. The author’s credentials seem steer and the reviews were quite good, so you can imagine my surprise when I found the content to be so remedial.

The remaining chapters seemed trite and had little value. It’s sad. I love to find something worthwhile in this subject matter, so please recommend something if anyone knows of anything worth reading.
Lloyd Fassett
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
1/31/16 The author wrote an interesting synopsis for the nyts here: How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off

I appreciated learning about a company that seriously promotes dissenting opinions as well as social science experiments. It's great to know they exist, but the book didnt match my expectations set by the title at all. These are anecdotes about successful people. It's not about nonconformists or originals.

There are many Social Science tests discussed.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Strikingly unoriginal for a book on originality. This is a mash-up of other books on pop psychology and whatnot with some personal anecdotes about other people who are original. It's entertaining enough because it's got these counterintuitive ideas like "procrastination is good." The problem is that these are just teasers, because they get hedged with "except when it isn't" or they're just overall gibberish.

Take the procrastination example. Grant talks about MLK's famous "I have a dream" speech
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in two days. Several times while in the middle of reading it, I had to remind myself that I wasn't reading a book written by Malcolm Gladwell. Then, I realized something just as good: I was reading a book by Adam Grant. Grant is quickly becoming one of my favorite thinkers in the field of social science. Pick this book up—it's wildly entertaining, and you'll get so much out of it.
د.أمجد الجنباز
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
يتحدث الكتاب عن الأشخاص الذين يأتون بأفكار جديدة وسباقة، والذين أسماهم باسم
Originals الأصليون
ويعطي نصائح هامة لهم
كل فصل من الكتاب يتحدث عن مشكلة معينة تواجه هؤلاء الأشخاص، ابتداء من الآلية المثلى لتقييم افكارهم ومعرفة ما إن كانت فاشلة أو قوية، مرورا بكيف سيتحدث وكيف يقنع الآخرين بفكرته والتوقيت الأمثل لطرح الفكرة، وانتهاء بطرق لتجاوز القلق من صعوبة التحديات التي تواجههم.
الكتاب قوي جدا، يبدأ بحماس ويضيء العديد من مساحات التفكير لديك.
واعتمد في كتابه على الكثير من الأبحاث والتجارب
Liza Fireman
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read lately. It has a lot that I already knew, but it added important principals, told great stories, and wrapped it all in great structure.

When was the last time you had an original idea and what did you do with it?

Originality is scary, and it is conventional wisdom that some people are innately creative, while most have few original thoughts. This is of course far from being the truth, but it is the easy way out of being original. People are afraid to speak
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of the few self-helpy books that is actually worth reading. Great stories and great tips and very well-written. I really enjoyed it and have thought a lot about it since I read it.
Henry Kimball
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm going to have to disagree with Sheryl Sandberg on this one. Not cutting-edge on what mavericks of the society have done to make it big. Grant tells a curated set of stories of familiar heroes that are mostly white guys, except of course of MLK. I wish he included a broader range of stories from other incredible black figures and figures of color -- Native Americans, Latinoamericanos, Asian Americans. Moreover, women of color were entirely written out and only mentioned as "double minorities" ...more
Richard Newton
This is a book full of well written chapters with interesting insights based on solid research.

It could have been a 5 star book, but struggles for a few reasons. Firstly, it wanders around bringing in some topics which seem to have little to do with the topic of originality. The second issue is similar, it can't seem to decide if it wants to be a book about originality in the situation of entrepreneurship and business, or originality in terms of wider creativity and innovation. Thirdly, some of
Ian Kelly
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
Read this for the EY book club at work. I found it to be mostly weak connections and psychological claims with no real support. It is like a BuzzFeed article turned into a book. There are better books in this genre.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
So I really enjoyed this book, and I can't really figure out why. It's not profound in any way, and a lot of it even takes the form of a shopworn case study, well told. But the best reasoning I can come up with was that it was flattering to me...!

Not because I'm particularly original--I'm an attorney, after all--but because it actually lauded a certain kind of restraint that I believe I'm possessed of. The book did not exhort throwing out all conventions, but rather to be sensible and accept res
Pavel Grecu
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for any person who strives to change the status-quo.
Masa Nishimura
Mar 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
He tackles lots of popular misconceptions about what it needs to become successful. It shows that you don't need to follow the media image. His writing style is similar to Malcolm Gladwell in that he introduces academic research and creates a compelling story that can stick. Overall, I find this approach really difficult to follow. He throws in lots of numbers, but I don't know which one is based on proper study or just based on 1 case study. He mixes those 2 up so much that I had to be extra ca ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a very well written interesting analysis of the origins of originality and how our society can foster it. I would recommend this book to basically anyone. The author uses fascinating anecdotes to get his points across and writes in a clear and concise manner. Great book!
Guilherme De Azevedo
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book.
Check out a 4 minute video review and summary I made on Youtube.
It will give you a good overview to decide if you want to further explore it, or it can also refresh your memory if you have already read it.

Andrea McDowell
I enjoyed this book a lot. Not as much as Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, which was amazing and I think I pestered everyone I knew about it for a solid three months after I finished it, but it was still a solid and engaging read with good information written well.

I think I have credibility when I say that I already have a good track record in speaking out on subjects I care about regardless of whether or not they are popular or will make me well-liked, so in some ways, I wasn
Supriya Limaye
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I generally steer clear of anything like self-help books, but after being exposed to some of the ideas in Originals via podcasts and articles, I decided to give it a go. The reason I dislike self-help books is two fold, 1) it’s typically decent advice that doesn’t merit a whole book and thus becomes self-parody partway through 2) they never acknowledge how much of success is related to factors outside of the reader’s control, because if the reader doesn’t believe this one easy trick will fix th ...more
Ali Sattari
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took me about 5% of the book to warm up, but it was a fascinating journey all the way to the end.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Deborah R.
I am always on the hunt to learn more about creativity, particularly in the context of leading a team of Outreach librarians and staff. It is one of our top values as a group, even if all of our ideas don't always make it all the way to the top.

I appreciated that while Grant starts with startups and well-known innovators, he moves from that angle through many other scenarios - the work place, the CIA, even revolutions! If you haven't read much on creativity lately, he does a good job at consoli
W. Whalin
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What does it take to act on an original idea? Are entrepreneurs risk-takers or calculating risk-taker? We learn from the careful research of Adam Grant in ORIGINALS that successful entrepreneurs are careful risk-takers. Instead of jumping off a cliff, these entrepreneurs took calculated risks to begin their business. For example, everyone likes to talk about how Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to begin Microsoft. It was through listening to ORIGINALS, I learned Gates took a calculated risk and ...more
Femina Ernest
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Author Adam Grunt's diversified knowledge and analysis for this book is awesome. From "Creative Destruction" to "Rocking the Boat keep it steady" chapters, he is continuously trying to make us acknowledge "Yes, he is correct" kinda of nod. When talks about, One eyed Investors I felt it can be done better than that, but apart from that his concepts and studies are fabulous. Comparative facts like, chrome/Firefox, first born/later born, investors, Rethink/Group think etc are trying to showcase aut ...more
Sandra Snook
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
I would give this book 4.5 stars if possible. It is a compelling book with many ideas to reflect on. There are some useful suggestions one could apply immediately at work or in their life and likely acheive some positive results. Other ideas are less supported or the suggestions for application, IMO, would likely miss the mark. Despite my opinion on some specifics the book is one of the best i have read for offering advise and busting myths about how originality, and thus innovation, may be ache ...more
Greg Albrecht
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A set of interesting stories. In my opinion not all of them are exactly to the point, which I understood as "why it is good to be an original and how to become one". Reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's style of writing.
Jordan Harbinger
Fantastic research, well-presented

Another classic from Adam Grant. At first, the book started a bit slow before things clicked for me. The principles are practical and ready to be applied which made this a real winner for me.
Brad Meltzer
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a nonfiction guide to making a meaningful difference, inspiring creativity and finding one’s own gifts. It’s how to be truly different by one of my favorite thinkers.
Oct 01, 2016 marked it as books-i-need
kinda expired on me, it was interesting though. I must finish it sometime.

Dnf @ 38%
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Entrepreneur Book...: Originals - October, 2017 1 17 Oct 04, 2017 09:16AM  
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“In the deepest sense of the word, a friend is someone who sees more potential in you than you see in yourself, someone who helps you become the best version of yourself.” 62 likes
“Argue like you’re right and listen like you’re wrong.” 41 likes
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