Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity

Overview

When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog—gapingvoid.com—and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures.

MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, ...

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Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

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Overview

When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog—gapingvoid.com—and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures.

MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person?

Ignore Everybody expands on MacLeod's sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice. For example:

—Selling out is harder than it looks. Diluting your product to make it more commercial will just make people like it less.

—If your plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.

—Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There's no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.

—The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours. The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.

After learning MacLeod's forty keys to creativity, you will be ready to unlock your own brilliance and unleash it on the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"William Dufris reads with humor and liveliness as he shares the author's argument for creativity in a complicated world and steps for personal creativity." —-AudioFile
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591842590
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/11/2009
  • Pages: 159
  • Sales rank: 243,016
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 5.86 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Hugh MacLeod worked as an advertising copywriter for more than a decade, while developing his skills as a cartoonist and pundit. His blog is Gaping Void, and more than a million people have downloaded the original post that inspired this book, "How to be Creative." He also lectures and consults on Web 2.0 and its impact on business.
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 14, 2009

    If you read one business book this year, read this...and it's short!

    This book contains some valuable universal truths presented in an interesting way. I would classify it at as a "Leadership Lite" book worthy of being stashed in your briefcase to be read on an airplane.

    I love "fun to read" leadership books versus the "utilitarian", "old fogy" "Harvard Business Review" style and this book is fun to read. I still read the utilitarian books...I just suffer through them. What makes this book good is the stories to illustrate points are the author's own.

    Here are my top eight takeaways from Ignore Everybody.

    1. The more original your idea is, the less good advice people will be able to give you.

    2. Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships that is why good ideas are always initially resisted.

    3. Your idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing.

    4. The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.

    5. Being good at anything is like figure skating - the definition of being good at it is being able to make it look easy. But it never is easy. Ever. That is what the stupidly wrong people conveniently forget.

    6. Your job is probably worth 50 percent of what it was in real terms ten years ago. And who knows? It may very well not exist in five to ten years...Stop worrying about technology. Start worrying about people who trust you.

    7. Part of being a master is learning to sing in nobody else's voice but your own...Put your whole self into it, and you will find your true voice. Hold back and you won't. Its that simple.

    8. The biggest mistake young people make is underestimating how competitive the world is out there.

    I recommend this book with one reservation. The captions in the cartoons are racy to say the least and not suited for the corporate environment or youthful readers. If the racy cartoons were toned down or removed I would have immediately sent a copy of this book to all of my clients. If they were toned down or removed it wouldn't be Hugh MacLeod's style either. So my clients will have to buy this book themselves.

    Dr. James T. Brown PMP PE CSP
    Author, The Handbook of Program Management

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Advice!

    Ignore Everybody is a must read for anyone who is, or aspires to be creative. There are 40 "keys to creativity" that are definitely applicable to creative types, but would serve to round out the non-creative types as well. This book is easy to read, brief, and entertaining - but packed with value. The author can get a bit racy at times - but this just appears to be his style - and he does not seem to hold back. Although I do not necessarily agree with all 40 "keys to creativity" the author presents some great points. Give it a read, you will be glad you did!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    Attention Creatives: You Need to Hear This

    This book is short, sweet, and to the point. Hugh asks people not to put off going after a creative pursuit on their time and in their way - though it will be painful.

    Good writers write on what they know - their own experiences. Hugh is authentic.

    He didn't ask people for advice about his idea.
    He didn't ask for permission to do it.
    He didn't shout his plan from the rooftops - there was no plan.
    He didn't expect it to make him rich.
    He didn't expect to become an overnight success.
    He doesn't expect everyone to like it.
    He doesn't care if people hate it.

    Take one thing that you love, find a way to make its output uniquely yours. And get started immediately. Stick with it, put in the time to make something special. You only have to satisfy yourself.

    That's the main message here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Relevant & Compelling Work

    MacLeod has written a "business book" that is unlike most of the field. And my goodness that is a blessing. A great many of the current managerial tomes are just a repeat of others with very few fresh, innovative ideas. In fact, most stick to the boiler plate recommendation of how to get ahead in this competitive world and sadly, most of them fail in their advice.

    This book is different.

    In 2008 I published a book which had a single chapter on this subject. MacLeod has greatly expanded on my writing and created - in my mind - a tour de force for the creative arena.

    How different the business and industrial world would look in 5 years if every newly minted supervisor was given a copy of this book and asked to implement the ideas and lessons each work day. Think about it. What impact would this have on our gross national product? Our desire ship work overseas? Applying MacLeod's 40 keys to creativity could unleash a virtual flood of increased productivity and new, improved products that we have never dreamed about.

    I hope you find this review helpful.

    Michael L. Gooch

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Create as he says, not as he does

    I bought this book on a whim because it seemed like he had the no-nonsense sort of advice to inspire me to make sacrifices for my creative ventures. Some of what he says is helpful. But it is the kind of helpful that is worth more like a couple dollar pamphlet.
    The first thing that damns all his credibility is that his comics are horrible. They are lower quality than random comedic facebook status updates I generate on a daily basis just for kicks. In the era of the meme, buying his cards would be insane. Half of them are related to how he feels like he has to spend time and resources to BS his way to get sex from women or other things. But there are a couple clever ones.
    And then he draws doodles that I could draw. And I don't draw.
    Seems like his message is that if you work hard enough, and have an entire other business on the side, then however horrible your art is... you may be able to get it into people's faces. Or write a book about how to be creative.
    A lot of the advice in the book is good, and mostly revolves around dedication and then not listening to the philistines out there. Overall I found it incredibly depressing since the author's creative output is so pisspoor. But then again, I read a book called "Save the Cat" by one Blake Snyder, who wrote mostly stinky movies. But, I still cannot recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Several useful ideas

    The book contained several concepts that I hope to pass along to high school students such as "you are responsible for your own experience." The author uses his own experience to give examples and to highlight the ideas presented. I really like the emphasis on the need to do things yourself instead of expecting everything to be handed to you.

    The only problem I have with the book is the language in some of the cartoons contained in the book. The cartoons will prevent me from using the book in a high school class, although the concepts are important ones for anyone just starting a career.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    Disappointment

    Mostly vague rambling. Very self indulgent. Probably not real useful for an intelligent and already successful perosn. Not was I was hoping for.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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