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

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  635 ratings  ·  109 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Penguin Random House USA
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  635 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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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 '
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.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, business
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
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
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently finished reading Allen Gannett's The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time ( Here are my thoughts.

* The book makes a solid contribution to demystifying "genius". Increasing data for a few decades has been that "genius" is often more or less hard work from an early age. The good news here is that anyone of moderate IQ can develop "creative genius."

* Sherlock Holmes's frequent complaint was that everyone thought his findings were obvio
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
Ericka Clouther
This was pretty solid, there was even some new information here which is pretty exciting for me since I read a lot of books on these general psychology-behavioral economics-business topics.

My main complaint is that we can't completely control the four laws of creativity. The current cultural zeitgeist, for example, is completely out of our control; if that culture has no interest in us or vice versa, then that's that. Likewise, not all people have access to high-quality creative communities eith
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
Faiza Sattar
★★★★☆ (4/5)

A selection of my favourite passages from the book

There is in fact a science behind what becomes a hit and that today’s neuroscience gives us an unprecedented ability to decode and engineer the necessary moments of “inspiration” to create popular work

Chapter 1: The Making of a Dream
• Inspiration theory of creativity: the idea that creative success results from a mysterious internal process punctuated by unpredictable flashes of genius.
• On the other hand, most of us believe that if
Michael Riemer
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time
by Allen Gannett.

This is a well researched and insightful book and a must read for any entrepreneur.

I’ve had the pleasure to meet Allen a few times as a member of DC high-tech community. When he told me, he was writing a book, I thought it would be another software marketing book on the use of big data.

Boy was I wrong!

The Creative Curve is a well-researched and insightful book. It crisply addresses the process, myths and reasons
Rohit Singh
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Allen Gannett has truly unfolded the pages of creativity very creatively. He has not only explained the nuances in the creative process but leaves you instilled with inspiration as he breaks through the myths around magic of creative process right from the first page. His writing style is simple and if you have heard him even once somewhere, you can listen to him talking through the book. The content cuts through the non-required paraphrasing of the same point over and over again; instead it wal ...more
Eileen Breseman
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Basically, without all the examples given, the gist of a good idea is one that is familiar but with enough novelty to capture a following. In addition, one needs to have a mentor or peer group that helps you achieve the skills to get to mastery, and to reach success it needs to not be too far in front of the curve, or too far behind it. The book's concept of the Creative Curve is good, but the story was much longer than needed to convey the relevant points.
Jessica Jackson
Feb 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
I found The Creative Curve to be wholly unhelpful, uninformative, and repetitive. While I know there's no "secret pill" to creating a successful business or thinking of a creative "big" idea, I hoped to gain at least some sort of wisdom from reading this book. But all I learned was that Paul McCartney took years to write the successful song "yesterday." Thanks for that totally useless piece of info. I've frankly picked up more from a 45 minute free online webinar than I did in the entirety of th ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Video review 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
Andrew Griffiths
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Listening to the audiobook version, narrated by Allen Gannett himself, was an absolute pleasure. Particularly having had the opportunity to meet him in person last year prior to the launch of his book.

The practicality of his insights into a notoriously 'elusive' trait to conceptualise - creativity - are nothing short of amazing. Many elements in his modelling of the 'Creative Curve' resonated with me a great deal and led to some instant changes/actions on my part to put these into practice in my
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
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
Tracy Stanley
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This new author intrigued me. He ran a great pre-launch marketing campaign and received a high number of reviews, i.e. 350 plus on Amazon. Blimey Charlie! My curiosity was peaked, particularly as I thought the cover was a bit boring, (Sorry Allen), and I couldn’t quite get my head around the books offering. (So I downloaded it to discover why.)

Allen quickly revealed himself as a capable researcher and story teller. He illustrated the power of stories that capture our imagination and easily deliv
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
stella Lee
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I always envy creative people and assume that you must be born with creativity and original idea. Well, after reading this book, creative success in fact is learnable, whether you are starving artist, or the head of an advertising firm. However in order to succeed, you CHOOSE to dedicate your life to creativity, there is a path and a set of key considerations you need to bear in mind and need to do and to make success to happen.
The following is the secret formula that has been revealed in this
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.
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Allen Gannett’s book deftly demystifies the notion of innate creative genius and aptly articulates proven prescriptive measures for anyone to achieve creative success. Admittedly, I usually look to fiction for creative inspiration and very occasionally pick up a biography, but otherwise non-fiction for creative inspiration is a reach. Gannett‘s The Creative Curve has turned that on it’s head. This book is highly compelling and exactly the read I needed to get back to being creative and doing so ...more
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
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
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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