How to Get Ideas shows youno matter your age or skill, your job or traininghow to come up with more ideas, faster and easier. You'll learn to condition your mind to become "idea-prone," utilize your sense of humor, develop your curiosity, visualize your goals, rethink your thinking, and overcome your fear of rejection.
Jack Foster's simple five-step technique for solving problems and getting ideas takes the mystery and anxiety out of the idea-generating process. It's a proven process that works.
This expanded edition of the inspiring and enlightening classic features new information on how to turn failures to your advantage and how to create a rich, idea-inducing environment. Dozens of new examples and real life stories show that anyone can learn to get more and better ideas.
About the Author
Jack Foster spent thirty-five years working in creative departments of major advertising agencies; the first ten as a writer, the last 25 as a creative director. He has helped create advertising for scores of companies including Carnation, Mazda, Sunkist, Mattel, Albertson's, Ore-Ida, Suzuki, Universal Studios, Rand McNally, and Smokey Bear. He is a recipient of the Los Angeles Creative Club’s "Creative Person of the Year" award.
I was born in London, England. It was raining.
After fifteen years of studying Latin I decided to go into advertising.
My first job was as an apprentice at an advertising agency called Graham and Gilles. I changed the water pots for the art directors (they painted layouts with watercolours in those days) and made them tea. This was before magic markers. This was even before rubber cement—I’m that old.
It was raining. It was always raining, and I was watching my favourite programme at the time— 77 Sunset Strip. I said, “Ah, sun, palm trees, women.” My dad gave me a one-way ticket.
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Excerpted from "How to Get Ideas"
Copyright © 2007 Jack Foster.
Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Is an Idea?
Part I: Ten Ways to Idea-Condition Your Mind
1. Have Fun
2. Be More Like a Child
3. Become Idea-Prone
4. Visualize Success
5. Rejoice in Failure
6. Get More Inputs
7. Screw Up Your Courage
8. Team Up with Energy
9. Rethink Your Thinking
10. Learn How to Combine
Part II: A Five-Step Method for Producing Ideas
11. Define the Problem
12. Gather the Information
13. Search for the Idea
14. Forget about It
15. Put the Idea into Action
About the Author
About the Illustrator
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
'Albert Einstein said his best ideas came to him while he was shaving,' Jack Foster writes in 'How to Get Ideas' '2nd ed.'. When I read that line, what could I do? I put the book down for a moment and went to shave. That's about the only time I stopped reading though, and you won't be able to put it down either. For boosting creativity, this book is a lifesaver. Foster's advice is simple -- have fun, think like a child again, open your mind to new possibilities -- but not necessarily obvious. Most of us do the same old things and think in the same old ways. Foster aims to help us spot these unhelpful patterns, then break out with easy-to-follow tips and stimulating exercises. And anecdotes. Foster draws on decades of experience as a top creative hand in major advertising agencies, where he encountered guys and gals driven by curiosity -- people who found out how much a ten-gallon hat will hold 'three-quarters of a gallon' and how many times per day an African elephant will defecate '16'. Illustrating how to solve a problem by stepping around it, Foster tells the story of the woman who solved the slow-elevator problem in her building -- by mounting mirrors in the lobby. 'How did she do it? See P. 134.' You'll discover how to overcome the fears that keep you from thinking creatively ... easy ways to gather information ... combining unrelated facts for new ideas ... the five steps for getting great new ideas ... and how to put them to work for YOU. You'll finish reading 'How to Get Ideas' in an hour or two. But you'll benefit from its advice for the rest of your life.
Actually I read an earlier edition, published 1996. Writing books can be divided into 'tools for writing' and 'self-help/inspirational'. This definitely falls into the latter category, of which I'm not fond. It seems there was a proliferation of this kind of self-help book in the '90s and I was looking for something more concrete.Perhaps others will be inspired after reading this book, but I wasn't. I was kind of annoyed that it took the author an entire book to say what could have been summarised in two pages. And what has already been said before.
This is a fun book to read and I¿m sure was a fun book to write.Jack Foster confesses in the opening pages that there is no rocket science enclosed within its pages, and perhaps nothing new. In one sense he is correct, and his liberal use of quotation, some of which span the centuries, underline the timeless nature of the principles he describes. Indeed like much good advice, he is telling us much that we already know, if only we take the time to stop and realise it. Sadly the reality is that we seldom do.Here is perhaps the secret of the book. Jack writes in an engaging style which invites the reader to take a moment out from continuously doing what they do. The style of the book and its length, you will read it easily in two evenings, invite the reader to allow themselves to be reminded that they already know how to have ideas, and have simply lost the habit, and need to refine their skill.In essence the book outlines five steps. Define the problem; Gather the information; Search for the idea; Forget about it; Put the idea into action. As I said, no rocket science, but the book explores each step in concise and inviting chapters which bring focus to the process without labouring the points. Among other things you¿ll learn how to be courageous and curious, how Einstein equated his ability to being mentally retarded and thinking like a child, and the importance of fun. The careful use of quotations expands the imagery of the ideas as do the personal anecdotes and gathered stories. In addition there are lists of prompts to get each of the steps of the process working for you.Some of the anecdotes naturally relate to Jack¿s background in advertising, but don¿t be put off. These do nothing to diminish their value to all of us who seek to see in new ways and do new things.As a taster, think of the question ¿What is half of thirteen?How many answers have you got? The book stops at 23 answers, but having read it, I guarantee you¿ll double this and know that you can double it again.This is a good fun read and will remind you of all you know about having ideas, and help make these magical events less infrequent.
This book will literaly change the way you go about coming up with new and refreshing, innovative ideas. Some of them are so simple and obvious, you'll ask yourself why you didn't think of it before. It's an easy and fast read but you will learn new ways to spark new ideas.
This is one to buy. I enjoyed it the first time when I read it straight through to the end and have in my my nook writing shelf. I turn to it when I want a quick start and good ideas. The writing is so enjoyable.