Making Ideas Happen Book Summary - Making Ideas Happen Book explained in key points
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Making Ideas Happen summary

Scott Belsky

Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

4.3 (114 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky is a productivity book that offers practical methods for creatives to turn their ideas into realities. It emphasizes the importance of execution and provides actionable tips for project management and collaboration.

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    Making Ideas Happen
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    Every task can be broken down into action steps, references and backburner items.

    Your company is gearing up to a sales pitch that will make or break it, and your boss asks you to prepare the presentation. Yet when you sit down in front of your computer . . . nothing. Your mind is blank, and you have no idea where to even begin.

    Have you ever been in a similar situation? It’s a horrible feeling! Luckily, there is a simple path that anyone can follow to make sure this never happens again.

    All your projects, no matter what they are, can be broken down into three main categories.

    First come the action steps, the specific tasks that must be done in order to realize the project. For your vital sales presentation, the action steps might be: “Create an outline for the presentation,” or “Ask my boss which product benefits I should focus on.”

    Next come references. These are pieces of related information that could prove useful for your project. For that important pitch, the references could be things like sales forecasts for your product, analysis of your market competitors or even the feedback you’ve received from previous pitches.

    Finally, you have backburner items, project-related ideas or action steps that aren’t immediately relevant but may become so in the future. Reworking and beautifying the slides of your presentation, for example, is a backburner item.

    Elegant slides and cool graphics are, of course, nice to have, but aren’t actually necessary. It could become an action step, but only if you have time.

    It’s important to separate the aspects of your project into these categories, as failure to do so will leave you stressed and distracted. If you don’t distill the vital from the trivial, then your mind will simply be too crammed full of thoughts to concentrate effectively.

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    What is Making Ideas Happen about?

    Making Ideas Happen deals with the obstacles that lie between your ideas and their implementation. It offers insight into the ways in which successful individuals and creative departments overcome these obstacles, by offering real-life examples from some of the world’s leading brands and creative minds.

    Making Ideas Happen Review

    Making Ideas Happen (2010) by Scott Belsky is a book that provides valuable insights into the process of turning ideas into reality. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its practical strategies and techniques, it helps readers overcome the obstacles that often prevent ideas from becoming successful projects.
    • By combining theory and real-life examples, the book offers a comprehensive guide to effective project management and creative collaboration.
    • Through its engaging and relatable approach, the book makes the topic of idea execution fascinating and emphasizes the importance of taking action.

    Best quote from Making Ideas Happen

    Whether personal or professional, every project revolves around ideas you want to push into action.

    —Scott Belsky
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    Who should read Making Ideas Happen?

    • Anyone working in the creative industry
    • Anyone who runs a start-up
    • Anyone who has had awesome ideas that never became a reality

    About the Author

    Scott Belsky is vice president of community at Adobe, as well as founder and CEO of the product development platform Behance. He’s consulted for Fortune 500 companies and new media giants, and guest lectured at Cornell University, Harvard University and UC Berkeley. Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” list included Scott in 2010.

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    Making Ideas Happen FAQs 

    What is the main message of Making Ideas Happen?

    The main message of Making Ideas Happen is that execution is the key to turning ideas into reality.

    How long does it take to read Making Ideas Happen?

    The reading time for Making Ideas Happen varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Making Ideas Happen a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Making Ideas Happen is worth reading for its practical advice and actionable strategies that can help you bring your ideas to life.

    Who is the author of Making Ideas Happen?

    The author of Making Ideas Happen is Scott Belsky.

    What to read after Making Ideas Happen?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Making Ideas Happen, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
    • Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
    • Give and Take by Adam Grant
    • Do Pause by Robert Poynton
    • Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman & Raj Sisodia
    • Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
    • How to Walk into a Room by Emily P. Freeman
    • A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
    • Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg