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DOWNTIME BOOKS


IDEAS AND INNOVATION


quality of your ideas, but instead focuses on why most ideas never happen. He cites examples of arguably poor ideas, well executed, that have made their impact regardless. It’s actually a rather encouraging thought and as he says, “the most potent forces that kill off new ideas are our own limitations.” Belsky soon draws you


T F


HE TITLE OF the book promises a lot. But will


it deliver? Belsky provides no guidance for judging the


IRST LET’S PICK up on the title’s reference to


secrets. Very little about this book is a true revelation to anyone who followed Jobs’ career until his recent untimely demise. Likely readers of this book will presumably be amongst his many admirers. As such, many will have at least watched online as Jobs presented product launches or followed Apple’s press coverage, bought Apple products or perhaps seen his now famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. The so-called secrets might be more


in with his insights into the forces that drive creatives, and their creations, forward. He ushers us through a commendably practical collection of views about managing ideas, harnessing resources and community, as


accurately described as analysis. This takes nothing away


from the book, however. Carmine writes in a highly engaging style that provides a compelling and fast-paced read. He introduces us to his distillation of seven principles underpinning Jobs’ approach to business and life. From the start, we are immersed in stories that illuminate Carmine’s opinions, drawing on a wide range of sources. Innovation is clearly a big


topic. So rather than trying to create an innovation blue print, Carmine wisely settles


for exploring Jobs’ philosophy and approach. At the end of


Thomas Board reviews one title that aims to harness new ideas and another which explores one of the most creative thinkers of modern times.


well as leading others and oneself. Having tried many productivity and time management systems, I found his Action Method for prioritising and managing projects striking in its simplicity. His set of leadership principles for turning ideas into reality are refreshingly straightforward and you can’t really argue with them. However, you may be disappointed by the superficial skim over some of these topics. Belsky’s writing is so task-focused that even developing self-awareness and reflection is tagged as an important to-do!


In conclusion, he is


provoking us to commit, driving us towards action and focusing our attention on what will make the difference. So if you have a habit of having ideas rather than implementing them, this might be the wake-up call you need. If, on the other hand, you


are battling your inner self’s excuses and doubts about self-expression, try “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. Or if you want quick-result solutions for psychological barriers like procrastination and motivation you might enjoy “59 Seconds” by Richard Wiseman.


each chapter he then reflects on what can be learned and applied by us mere mortals.


The 7 principles are:


• Do what you love • Put a dent in the universe • Kick start your brain • Sell dreams not products • Say no to 1000 things • Create insanely great experiences • Master the message


The book is a starting point for understanding the Apple story and Jobs’ leadership. But, if you want insight into Jobs’ thoughts and personal experiences, you will not find it here.


106 / DECEMBER 2011


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