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The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Big data entrepreneur Allen Gannett overturns the mythology around creative genius, and reveals the science and secrets behind achieving breakout commercial success in any field.
We have been spoon-fed the notion that creativity is the province of genius -- of those favored, brilliant few whose moments of insight arrive in unpredictable flashes of divine inspiration.  And
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2018 by Penguin Random House USA (first published June 12th 2018)
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Kevin Loder
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although less than 300 pages, I took a month to finish the book thanks to the creative ideas that kept popping up in mind from the variety of inspirational stories. Halfway in I decided to use a green highlighter for parts that stood out to me, starting with:

"...our culture has created a mythology around these "flashes of genius." The thing is, they're just a normal, if spectacular, function of our brains. And the best news is that they can be enhanced."

I can relate with my most recent shower '
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
To be honest, a lot of business books end up boring me because they're written in such a professional way that they aren't engaging. I love that this book was easy to read, engaging, and right to the point!

The Creative Curve discusses both the truths and myths about creativity. The author interviewed dozens of creative geniuses for this book. He gathered their insight on how to approach creative work, and he shares what he learned in an effort to help artists and entrepreneurs.

From start to fin
Alyse Stolz
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nothing super mind blowing, but I do love that math can prove that even creativity has patterns and rules and hidden structure. Plus, I enjoy busting the myth that creative people are just born amazing and the rest of us don’t have the gift unless we have it naturally.
Iryna Paprotska
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
A few quick thoughts:
- Interesting topic although I was personally not satisfied with the level of analysis. Arguably too superficial - although there are plenty of good tidbits of information/research literature I learned about.
- The short anecdotes describing ice cream flavor production, JK Rowling's writing process, Darwin's path to producing 'On the Origin of Species' and their relation to Allen Garnnett's thesis were fascinating. Absolutely love learning about these interesting groups and p
Felipe CZ
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting book which showcases that creativity is fueled by practice, not intelligence. Divergence thinking, which is finding multiple solutions to a problem is associated with creativity.To become experts in any field, we must practice in a way that emphasizes tangible goals and continual feedback. Creative curves describe our paradoxical preference for familiarity and novelty, the more familiar we are with something, the more we like it. But then, the flipside of the creative curve, our desi ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Being creative is not just a buzzword. It involves hard work according to the plan towards the goal of being right with the idea at the right time. And this book provides a very tangible steps on how to develop creativity in yourself in any domain. Love it!
Quentin Wolfe
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Million dollar ideas coming soon
Brian Honigman
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From start to finish The Creative Curve was relatable, easy to read and informative on the subject of tapping into your own version of creative success. Allen argues that creatives find the most success when they create ideas that are a blend of the familiar and the novel. And that's exactly what his book did as you're presented with familiar ideas, examples and myths about creativity, but then given a new and impactful perspective on how to approach creative work for the future. It's a definite ...more
Catherine Kushan
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In reading The Creative Curve, I was most interested in the idea that creativity is the result of a replicable set of steps that is equally accessible to anyone. Rather than waiting for an idea to come to you as a passive actor, having four “laws” to start following at any time is an empowering concept. Implicit in this book is in the insinuation that commercial success (going viral, selling a million copies of a book or song or ice cream flavor) is synonymous with creativity. This isn’t necessa ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Video review here:
Laurel Starkey
Allen Gannett has written an engaging guide to the results from his research on the creative process. He starts with the assumption that creativity is not exclusive, anyone can be creative under the right circumstances. The key to a well accepted product/book/song, etc is capturing the tension between the beloved familiar and an exciting novelty. Creative “genius” really means that the creator has mastered and followed the laws of the creative curve, not that they were gifted genetically.

The bo
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
The author debunks the idea of a creative genius (he also calls the inspiration theory of creativity). Instead, he argues that all successful creatives follow similar patterns which we can all learn. He uses examples of familiar successful creatives like Paul McCartney , Mozart as well as numerous others ultra-successful people whom most people have never heard of.

The whole premise of the book revolves around the four laws that the author came up with: the law of consumption, the law of imitati
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
'The Creative Curve' breaks down the science behind creativity. Allen Gannett believes that creativity is not limited to only those with talent or those whom we easily label as geniuses in their respective industries. Achieving creative genius is possible for all - provided there's drive, patience and a system in place. Gannett shares four laws of creative success and identifies the common patterns behind achieving them.

My top three thoughts on 'The Creative Curve':
1. This book doesn't follow th
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although it is approaching the issue of creativity as a pattern which has to do with a certain historical and social context of circumstances, Allen Gannett's The Creative Curve is rejecting the genius-driven idea of the intellectual elites and cultural achievements. Mozart worked a lot, Picasso also, Beatles did it too. Their success was a matter of being the right person at the right time.
The idea and the many premises developped in the book are not new at all. Many decades ago, the Historica
David Calvert
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jashvina Shah
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because it's one of the only things I've read recently that accounts for the racism/sexism involved in being able to make it as a creative (if you read the book or understand the concept of gatekeepers, you'll understand why) so that was a pleasant surprise, because I'm used to people just ignoring it and saying "if you come up with the right idea and work hard you'll make it!" because that's not true. Anyway...

This is a good look at how our brains work and how societies
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First, Allen Gannett is hilarious, and my favorite person on LinkedIn. Unlike a lot of books that fall somewhere in the Venn diagram of self-help, creativity, and biz, this book doesn't rely on platitudes that one suspects any sentient adult could come up with. Rather, he delves into the day-to-day of creative professionals, relying on interviews and primary sources. Particularly memorable to me were Sarandos of Netflix and J. K. Rowling.

The thesis statement is that "creativity" is not from an
Jiny S
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is throughly entertaining. It sells a bit too hard in the beginning: the overzealous and completely unnecessary way some self-help books advertise themselves in the beginning chapters. Why put the readers through that when they already acquired the book? The points the author made in the book, however, were interesting enough to redeem itself somewhat.

First: geniuses and epiphanies are myths. You can't have a suddenly productive insight without already possessing a good understanding t
Ayo Philip
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book dispels the idea that only a set of people are born to do great work. The author backs this with real life examples, interviews and scientific evidence. From Mozart to the Beattles, all of the great work that have stood the test of time hard to put in the work. The story of Jon stuck with me the most and pushed me to dedicate myself to writing everyday. There are other stories of repetitive success by human beings who have created multiple multi-million dollar businesses over and over ...more
Victoria Meyer
Sep 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
I had hopes that this book would offer a tidbit or two of useful, applicable advice - these kinds of books rarely offer more than that. Unfortunately all I found was a meandering explanation of incredibly broad and well-known advice like practice intentionally, and consume media in your chosen field so you know what's happening. This was all peppered with rambling explanations of things that anyone who doesn't live under a rock knows about. Don't waste time telling me what a meme is, just get to ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Though a bit sluggish at the beginning, most of my pauses later in the book came from internalizing the information before moving forward. I bought the book as a creative person, yet found myself sharing many of the passages with my husband, who is in marketing, where they were just as valid. The anecdotal style matched with scientific data helps reflect the core message from the book about how creativity does not happen in a vacuum but with identifiable and achievable methods. Not a self-help b ...more
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Achieving your creative potential is not for the faint of heart. It requires countless hours, days, and ever years of work.”

Allen Gannet’s, The Creative Curve, is an inspirational book debunking he theory that creativity occurs in a flash to create the music, books, movies, etc. we consume.

My favorite sections included the processes regarding Paul McCartney, Ted Sarandos, and J.K. Rowling.

Through intentional consumption, imitation, communities, timing, and engagement, Allen demonstrates the
Edward Waverley
Dec 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was absolute garbage. Amazing that it was ever published. He really embodies what it means to be clever – silly. The author is what Nasim Taleb has referred to as an IYI (Intellectual Yet Idiot). It’s really just a collection of anecdotes about his fawning interviews with early entrants to various industries, most of which produce artistic garbage. He then generalizes several tautological “rules” about creative success: work should be both novel and familiar...This is considered some kind o ...more
Nate Timmons
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gannett searches high and low for creatives from a multitude of professions; from top artists and musicians, to Darwin and business magnates. The Creative Curve is the perfect blend of real-life, actionable advice, paired with historic and present examples of creatives using the "creative curve" to become cemented in human history. Would highly recommend for any marketer looking to brainstorm new ideas, or to any creative looking to take on a new endeavor, as there are plenty of golden nuggets t ...more
Mitalee Patange
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: booklet-blinkist
Key message -
We’re quick to mystify the notion of talent and eager to label a chosen few as geniuses, but the true nature of these concepts is less mysterious and more formulaic than conventional wisdom suggests. Community, great timing, a hefty dose of familiarity and a dash of novelty all contribute to what we recognize as creative genius.
Actionable advice -
Successful creatives need prominent promoters.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I've heard most of the advice in this book before, The Creative Curve pieces it all together into a cohesive strategy. Allen Gannett uses well-known examples of "sudden light-bulb moments" and dispels the myth by revealing the underlying process. He provides realistic encouragement to readers, letting us know that we don't need an innate creative ability to have creative successes, but that it also involves work.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The theories presented in the book have been there for quite some time and can be found in many other books.

However it was the first time I read a book about creative process and it's just nice to have it put in one clear storyline which also backed up with science behind and real life examples from writers, painters, film makers, even businesses like Ben & Jerry's.
John E.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome. I am a long time musician and now manage a content team. Allen hits the creative process right on the head. I love how he breaks it down and makes it accessible. Achieving creative genius is not easy, and as Allen states, can take years, but if you want to know the path, this book is for you.
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Allen Gannett was the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform whose clients included Microsoft, Marriott, Saks Fifth Avenue, Home Depot, Aetna, Honda, and GE. In 2018 it merged with Skyword, the leading content marketing platform, where he now serves as Chief Strategy Officer. He has been on the “30 Under 30” lists for both Inc. and Forbes. He is a contributor for FastCompany ...more