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Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
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Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  22,263 ratings  ·  398 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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by Portfolio (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jun 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Monica Kim: musings of monica
Although this book, “Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality” by Scott Belsky seems to be marketed towards the creative people and/or people in creative settings, I think this book is for everyone, whether you’re an entrepreneur, employee, at-home parent, or a retiree and/or is working on a side projects, professionally or personally, we all have ideas (small or big) that were are working to bring it to life & projects to its completion, but many of us struggle m ...more
Marie Poulin
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Alan Briggs
So good for any entrepreneurs!
Alex Memus
A cool book. Too much non-connected stuff sometimes.
Still Action n Method is well defined. And watching on execution through creative professional lens worked for me.

Genius: 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. - Thomas Edison

Output-oriented creatives get recognition even w/o support of critics (James Patterson and 100+ bestsellers.)

So only finished projects make sense, not the ideas themselves.
Everything is a project.

Action Method:
1. Action Steps. To do lost with focus on what ca
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between vision and Reality - Scott Belsky

An entertaining non-fiction about making ideas happen, as the title suggests. It was a refreshment of memory for some things I already know in theory. Lots of gentle reminders about progress, self-doubt and sharing with others. I did find myself itching to get back to some of my personal projects and indulge in hobbies that I've abandoned for some reason or another. It reminded me of how much I have yet to lea
Stefan-Iulian Tesoi
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
This is my second time reading this book, the first time being about two years ago. I don't usually read a book twice or more unless it's worth it so without further introduction let's get into the good stuff.

The primary takeaway from this book would be the Action Method which has three components: Action Steps, References, and Backburner Items. The action steps are all the incremental objectives that you have to take in order to move forward
Rachel Acalinei
Sep 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Good practical advice. It's aimed at 'creatives' (designers, artists and so on..) - people who are excited by ideas and have energy to explore and create, but aren't always as disciplined as they could be at getting practical and organised to get things done.
Loved the quotes and the way they organized the chapters, and easy to apply the exercises in your own life.
Allen Plummer
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Michael Rubin
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Wes Baker
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring, insightful, and just the type of book I needed during this time in my life. Raises self-awareness and provides concrete action steps, which is exactly the combination I want in a nonfiction.
Rowena Morais
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Esben Kranc
Apr 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book that points out sustainable and healthy ways to make ideas happen consistently and creating a personal and organizational culture of ownership and accountability. I give it 5 stars because it's a book that resonated a lot with my existing thoughts about these topics from a cognitive science perspective. ...more
Zafer Atik
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's a must-read for those who want to realize an idea. Clear guidelines and related examples. ...more
Melissa Regalado
Aug 05, 2021 rated it did not like it
i read this a long time ago but from what i remember i only made it half way through the book. it was not good actually. there are better books out there about creativity and entrepreneurship and making your ideas come to life. but this isn’t it…for me at least.
Jk Baseer
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Anil Bhat
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Joe Woolworth
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Narendran Thangarajan
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Given the background of the author, when I picked up this book I was aiming to see the creativity-specific delta this book can provide on top of the general #GetThingsDone books. Interestingly the author has covered a wide variety of creatives and still managed to keep the book focused. I finished the book with a few takeaways to improve my idea-to-project-landing workflow. Specifically, I found the example of Joshua Bell's metro station performance very interesting (on the importance of marketi ...more
Book Calendar
May 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 work, y
Jinnie Lee
Feb 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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