The Icarus Deception Book Summary - The Icarus Deception Book explained in key points
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The Icarus Deception summary

Seth Godin

How High Will You Fly?

4.4 (95 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

In The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin explains how we must embrace the creative side of ourselves to succeed in a new world where conformity no longer works.

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    The Icarus Deception
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    The Icarus Deception makes us overly cautious, but we need to move out of our comfort zone.

    The future will be increasingly automated. Machines will take over more and more manual and administrative tasks. So, what’s left for us humans? Well, we’ll need to become a lot more creative. But we’ve been far too slow in recognizing this.

    Blame it on the Icarus Deception. We live in a society in which we settle for too little. We’ve taken the Greek myth of Icarus to heart, but we’ve also misunderstood it.

    Icarus was the son of Daedalus, a craftsman thrown into prison together with his son for disobeying Minos, the king of Crete. Daedalus had a plan, however, and started building wings for himself and Icarus to help them escape. He told his son not to fly too high so that the sun would not melt the wax holding his wings together. Icarus didn’t listen and soared towards the sun. Sure enough, his wings melted, and he plunged to his death.

    Our culture has fixated on this part of the myth. “Don’t fly too high!” is the lesson we’ve learned. But that’s not all there is to it. Daedalus also warned Icarus not to fly too low, as the spray from the sea would saturate his wings and drag him down. Aiming for the stars can be risky, but so is being overly cautious.

    It’s worth remembering this second piece of advice. If we want to thrive, we need to get out of our comfort zone, meaning we mustn’t fly too low.

    After all, the world has changed. In the past, it was possible to land a safe and well-paid office job with rewards. That model came to an end in the 1990s. Today, steady employment is guaranteed only to creatives who aren’t afraid to take risks and initiate new ventures. Just think of internet startups like Facebook, launched at a time when the success of this kind of business model was far from certain.

    We need to learn from that. The new comfort zone is all about creativity and connecting with others.

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    What is The Icarus Deception about?

    The Icarus Deception (2012) takes aim at a myth as old as the ancient Greeks – that aiming high is bound to end in tears. Icarus might have flown too close to the sun, but we usually forget that he was also warned not to fly too low. Why does that matter? Well, we’re living in a new economy in which maintaining altitude on cruise control just won’t cut it. The new, global and connected economy is here to stay, and once “safe” jobs are being automated. Those who want to thrive better set their sights high. And that means one thing above all: living and working creatively.

    The Icarus Deception Review

    The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin (2012) challenges conventional notions of success and urges readers to embrace their creativity and fly higher. Here's why this book is worth the read:

    • With its bold ideas and unconventional approach, it pushes readers to break free from the status quo and take risks.
    • The book emphasizes the importance of embracing authenticity and creating art that truly resonates with others, offering a refreshing perspective on success.
    • Through stories, examples, and insights, Godin's book inspires and motivates, igniting a sense of passion and urgency to create meaningful work.

    Best quote from The Icarus Deception

    Recognizing that the safety zone has moved might be the prompt you need to reevaluate your comfort zone.

    —Seth Godin
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    Who should read The Icarus Deception?

    • Entrepreneurs
    • Dreamers
    • Artists

    About the Author

    Seth Godin is the bestselling author of several books, including Purple Cow, Tribes and Poke the Box. A popular business and self-help blogger, he also founded Squidoo, a blogging platform that brings people together who wish to write about and share their passions.

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    The Icarus Deception FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Icarus Deception?

    The main message of The Icarus Deception is that anyone can be an artist and make their work meaningful.

    How long does it take to read The Icarus Deception?

    The reading time for The Icarus Deception varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Icarus Deception a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Icarus Deception is a worthwhile read, providing valuable insights on creativity and embracing your artistic side.

    Who is the author of The Icarus Deception?

    The author of The Icarus Deception is Seth Godin.

    What to read after The Icarus Deception?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Icarus Deception, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Dip by Seth Godin
    • Tribes by Seth Godin
    • We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
    • Linchpin by Seth Godin
    • Poke the Box by Seth Godin
    • All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
    • Not the End of the World by Hannah Ritchie
    • Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout
    • Purple Cow by Seth Godin
    • The Practice by Seth Godin