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The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? | [Seth Godin]

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

In his bravest and most challenging book yet, Seth Godin shows how we can thrive in an economy that rewards art, not compliance. He explains why true innovators focus on trust, remarkability, leadership, and stories that spread. And he makes a passionate argument for why you should be treating your work as art. Art is not a gene or a specific talent. It's an attitude, available to anyone who has a vision that others don't, and the guts to do something about it.
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Publisher's Summary

What are you afraid of?

The old rules: Play it safe. Stay in your comfort zone. Find an institution, a job, a set of rules to stick to. Keep your head down. Don't fly too close to the sun.

The new truth: It's better to be sorry than safe. You need to fly higher than ever.

In his bravest and most challenging book yet, Seth Godin shows how we can thrive in an economy that rewards art, not compliance. He explains why true innovators focus on trust, remarkability, leadership, and stories that spread. And he makes a passionate argument for why you should be treating your work as art.

Art is not a gene or a specific talent. It's an attitude, available to anyone who has a vision that others don't, and the guts to do something about it. Steve Jobs was an artist. So were Henry Ford and Martin Luther King, Jr. To work like an artist means investing in the things that scale: creativity, emotional labor, and grit. The path of the artist isn't for the faint of heart - but Godin shows why it's your only chance to stand up, stand out, and make a difference.

The time to seize new ground and work without a map is now. So what are you going to do?

©2012 Seth Godin (P)2012 Random House Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Clay ROUND ROCK, TX, United States 03-19-13
    Clay ROUND ROCK, TX, United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Change the way you see work"
    Any additional comments?

    Seth Godin brings a new perspective to work, challenging each of us to see ourselves as artists instead of workers. At first, I was skeptical and thought that this may only apply to entrepreneurs and not to those of us who are employed by others, but the book came so highly recommended by several people that I gave it a chance - and I'm very glad I did.

    As I finished the book, I immediately changed the way I look on work. When someone criticizes something I've produced, I don't get frustrated. I've given my work as a gift, and if I've given it, then I have no control over what the recipient does with it. Many an artist has been criticized and misunderstood because they are "ahead of their time".

    As a worker, criticism reflects on me. As an artist, criticism reflects on the beholder of my work.

    Thanks, Seth!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Highlands Ranch, CO, United States 06-06-13
    Kim Highlands Ranch, CO, United States 06-06-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Needed Perspective for the New Connected Economy"
    What did you love best about The Icarus Deception?

    This book slaps you in the face with a new reality. The 9 - 5 job is dead and we are all in a new frontier with the connected economy. We've been brainwashed by corporate America about what success should be and if we follow the rules, we will be adequately rewarded. I tried this for 14 years at my corporate America job and now that I'm embarking on my own and starting my own creative agency. This book has inspired to make more art and focus on relationships that are key to have in the connected economy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Icarus Deception?

    Seth told me I was a fraud and how could I possibly think I would be successful starting my own business. It was precisely how I was feeling starting my own business! It was encouraging to hear that it's normal and it needs to be embraced for you to move forward instead of living in it's shadow.


    What about Seth Godin’s performance did you like?

    His passion about his message.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was not. This is a book to listen to on the treadmill and then digest what you heard over a couple of days


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blissfully Chaotic Life GA, United States 03-23-13
    Blissfully Chaotic Life GA, United States 03-23-13

    Happy Mom!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Deception is just beneath the surface..."
    What made the experience of listening to The Icarus Deception the most enjoyable?

    The narrator and the link of art/business...


    What other book might you compare The Icarus Deception to and why?

    Previous works of Goodin-enjoyable and applicable to business.


    Have you listened to any of Seth Godin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have been reading other works, not listened to any before. This one was excellent and will lead me to seak out others for my commute.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The tale of Icarus.


    Any additional comments?

    At times the discussion of art in business does go on a bit long, but it is so worth the listen! The message hit home. Excellent book for anyone wanting to succeed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Sherwood, Australia 03-23-13
    Dave Sherwood, Australia 03-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Validation for Artists"
    If you could sum up The Icarus Deception in three words, what would they be?

    Validating, unstructured, worthwhile


    What aspect of Seth Godin’s performance would you have changed?

    Seth's voice is calming and easy to listen to, but can border on a monotone. He rarely changes up his rhythm or presentational style.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Icarus Deception?

    The Icarus Deception gives fantastic insight into the role of the artist in the connected economy, and helps to validate the work of creative entrepreneurs who are emerging. It's not new or original information, but it's concise.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Singapore, Singapore 05-17-13
    Eric Singapore, Singapore 05-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much pop psychology and belaboured rhetoric!"
    What would have made The Icarus Deception better?

    Could have significantly condensed the key points, and supported it with more empirical and cross-sectional references. Too many self-derived conclusions, and the author was particularly hung up about the term "artiste".

    The author's reading came across as 'preachy'; could have used a more enlivened reader.


    Has The Icarus Deception turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It had interesting ideas that could be further unpacked in a more objective manner. As it stands, the book became a personal pulpit for the author.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver Aarau, Switzerland 01-06-13
    Oliver Aarau, Switzerland 01-06-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a good idea with a lot of bla bla"
    What would have made The Icarus Deception better?

    Have you ever watched a movie when, after 20 minutes or so, you knew it is a waste of time, but you stick with it, just to figure out at the end that it hasnt become better? I had the same sensation with this book.

    The main idea is that the "safty zone" of the industrial economy is not in the comfort zone anymore, as making a living is now harder than ever. Because we are living in a "connection economy" it is necessary that we create art, which makes art the new safty zone.

    But this idea just makes for a series of maybe 3 blog posts, though this posts would have been worth your attention. The book however is just the main idea surrounded by endles bouts of the same in different words.


    What was most disappointing about Seth Godin’s story?

    I just had the feeling that Mr. Godin is following the unwritten mantra of da intern guru that you need to get out a new book at least every 18 months or so in order to not fall out of the attention grid. And as a book is supposed to have a certain length, he had to fill it with something.

    To be fair, there are a few good points, such as that when making art, do not fear to mess up with "the machine" (the still prevailing industrial economy) and that you should figure out who your audience is and ignore the rest as you cannot please everybody. Or: art is a process, not a goal. the goal isnt winning, it's playing. or: dance with the inner voice of fear.

    Yet useful "how to information" is scarce and mostly self-evident and full of sentences like "when your art fails, make better art".

    I dont want you to prevent you from reading this book, maybe it's just the right one for you, but in order to get 15 minutes of gems, you have to dig through seven hours of listening.


    How could the performance have been better?

    the performance is not sooo bad, but i have listened to so many audible books already that i have my preferances.


    What character would you cut from The Icarus Deception?

    there is no character to be cut out.


    Any additional comments?

    I wished that in order to write his next book, Mr. Godin would listen to "Mastery" by Robert Greene, which is not a gem, but a crown juwel amongst all the books I have read so far. It goes so much more indepth as the Icarus Deception and is more inspiring more insightful and enchantingly well read.

    25 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jake Mukilteo, WA, United States 02-11-13
    Jake Mukilteo, WA, United States 02-11-13
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    "Mentions art a whole lot, gets annoying."
    What would have made The Icarus Deception better?

    Even though the authors point is good, I feel like it could have been summed up in a much, much shorter book. And I got really tired of hearing him say "art." Anyone got a count on this?


    What could Seth Godin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Be more concise, say "art" less.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael NY, NY, United States 10-02-13
    Michael NY, NY, United States 10-02-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It really talked to me."
    Would you listen to The Icarus Deception again? Why?

    Likely, and Ive recommended it to everyone.


    What other book might you compare The Icarus Deception to and why?

    It's equal to Good to Great


    What about Seth Godin’s performance did you like?

    He talks well?


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Ask better questions


    Any additional comments?

    I found this book great. He encourages you to step up and make it happen. He also adds great ways to deal w/ not be perfect, and you try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael JAMESVILLE, NY, United States 09-19-13
    Michael JAMESVILLE, NY, United States 09-19-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Can't listen to it for more than 3 minutes."
    What did you like best about The Icarus Deception? What did you like least?

    Love Seth Godin...have been reading his stuff sine "Permission Marketing" when I was in college. But the voice he uses in this...the muted "whisper" and the (dare I say LAZY) way he finishes his words drives me NUTS!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TLStudio Co. Durham, United Kingdom 09-12-13
    TLStudio Co. Durham, United Kingdom 09-12-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible Narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Buy the physical book not the Audible version because the narration is terrible.


    If you’ve listened to books by Seth Godin before, how does this one compare?

    Like so many books of the nature the author is beating the same idea to death over and over with each new book.

    Seth Godin likes to narrate his own work but unfortunately he really does't have the voice for it which really distracts from the information he is attempting to communicate.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Someone needs to tell Seth Godin that he is not the best person to narrate his own books and then hire a better narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 35 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • Mr. G. A. Wassell
    Stansted, UK
    5/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overly long and repetitious"

    I had high expectations of this book as Seth Godin seems to be held in high reverence. I deliberated whether to purchase this book or his purple Cow book - I think I may have made the wrong decision.

    As I listened and listened I became ever more frustrated. Godin gives us a history lesson about the industrial revolution and mechanisation and the organised management of labour in order to set the scene. All perfectly understandable and relevant to his take on the way we are now and the way he believes we should be.

    Once we get the drift of his take on the way we should be / see ourselves the message is easily understood. What frustrated me was that he then proceeds to say the same thing over and over with only a slight variance on the story.

    The premise of the book in itself is what gives himself and the reader a "get out" clause. If people don't understand you or like what you're doing then that's their fault - you just keep on making art as he calls it. Just believe in what you're doing and everything will eventually be alright.

    That's great but if you don't listen to your customer and keep on delivering things people don't want or need or are willing to buy in to, then there comes a point when reality takes a hold and you may need to have a re-think.

    That stance could well work for Godin and for many others that have already achieved a certain level of success in their personal and business lives. It's the attraction of the masses and the crowd mentality - "if he's doing it, it must be good". read as if Godin wrote it, it must be good.

    My analogy would be to consider a famous artist for example and because of their status / notoriety they will get people to buy even the most ridiculous of things in the name of art. The buyer doesn't need to explain his purchase he just says it's a "Godin" for example. Social acceptance.

    So, whilst what he says does bear true, I don't believe that this theory will be as easy to apply / work for everybody.

    If it wasn't Seth Godin writing this would everybody buy in to it?

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • F
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    5/19/13
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    "Absolutely life changing"

    I have read quite few self development books and something about NLP, but none of them actually changed my perspective and my life like this book. It really opened my eyes and liberated my creativity trapped by guilt and years of strict upbringing.
    I LOVE this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to wake up and Live

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Neil
    United Kingdom
    7/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The connection economy"

    Brilliant performance. I love when authors read the books and Seth is one of the best, I've read the book and the audio version is the way to consume this book.

    It builds on the premise that we are entering a new age, gone is the industrial and information economy and now is the time of the connection economy. The way to create connections is through art. To stand up and be counting, to risk failure, to say here I made this.

    This is not a how to book, there are no 8 steps to creating art and win in the new economy. As Seth puts it, he provides a compass not a map.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Bergbron, South Africa
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "An excellent book"

    I have been reading a lot on leaders of the future and felt this book was really excellent; explaining how what worked in the Industrial Age is not working for us now. The whole idea of " making art" was great and I particularly loved it when the author said if you are looking for the rules to being a leader, you are secretly wishing to be a manager. Definitely a worthwhile read/ listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jedd
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    2/12/13
    Overall
    "Life changer"

    The lack of Drama in this book is beautiful, yet it is absolute rocket fuel when it hits. It's had an immediate and profound effect on me, highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • steven
    plymouth, United Kingdom
    7/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "too much 'padding out'"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is simply too long and repetitive. Maybe I had high hopes as Seth is undoubtedly a guru and I admire his work but this is stretching out a one hour session into many hours. I persevered as I hate to waste my money and give in, but in reality I gained little after grasping the concept of the Icarus Deception and the few real ‘nuggets’ buried in all the padding. He states himself that critics are simply expressing their own opinion- and that is exactly what this is. It is my opinion is that there are better books out there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • charlie
    London, United Kingdom
    2/11/13
    Overall
    "buckle up"

    This book came at just the right moment for me. Whilst starting a new venture and feeling the gut-wrenching fragility of the situation, Seth helped carry me through.



    An excellent text for helping you step outside the comfort zone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • M. D. Westbrook
    Northern Ireland
    2/2/13
    Overall
    "One of the most uplifting books"

    Precisely what I needed to start writing again. Godin understands the shifts in technology, marketing, business etc, but in this book applies it to 'art ' and left me inspired and writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • amazon_addict
    7/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Must For Anyone Who Wants Success In Life"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Seth Godin is one of those authors who gets you thinking. The Icarus Deception is all about the shift from the industrial age to the new age of information and tribes. We have been programmed to behave a certain way since our childhood but to succeed in today's economy, we have to think and behave differently.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. Logan
    Wolfsburg, Germany
    9/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Repetative and boring with no real substance."
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I cannot think of anyone that would enjoy this book


    What was most disappointing about Seth Godin’s story?

    It is so repetative, constently chanting the same messages, but never once do it explain why the authors statements are correct or true; no facts or practical examples are given. It reminds me of a religious sermon where you need to just believe. It is an interesting theory (that we have all been brainwashed to underachieve), but I find it to be very poorly communicated. Also, the guy has one of the most boring voices I have ever heard.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Seth Godin’s performances?

    No, never


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Icarus Deception?

    probably 90% of it, as it repeats itself over and over and over again!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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