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
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.
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.
His passion about his message.
It was not. This is a book to listen to on the treadmill and then digest what you heard over a couple of days
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.
The narrator and the link of art/business...
Previous works of Goodin-enjoyable and applicable to business.
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.
The tale of Icarus.
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.
The whole book felt inflated and empty. I think it was supposed to be inspiring. Perhaps for some it was.
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?
Be more concise, say "art" less.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the performance is not sooo bad, but i have listened to so many audible books already that i have my preferances.
there is no character to be cut out.
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.
Godin gets off to a great start but his message is too repetitive through the latter two thirds of his book. I love the Icarus metaphor but he fails to convert on his point of finding your personal art because instead of giving advice on the how, he gives anecdote after anecdote of other artists. I wanted to like this book more but lost interest along the way.
Seth Godin is an inspirational writer but one of worst narrators I ever listened to. With a professional voice over and 50% shorter content this would be a fascinating audio book, but if you don't mind setting the speed to 1.5, it's still worth it.
Validating, unstructured, worthwhile
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.
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.
"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
"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?
"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.
"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.
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!
"Classic Seth if a little underwhelming"
This is a worthwhile book with an argument which will help any reader understand the merits of initiative if they weren't believers before.
Personally I prefer Godins blog posts which, while covering topics in less detail get to the heart of their topics quickly.
"too much 'padding out'"
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.
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.
"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.
"A strange book"
The book in essence tells you to be brave and unique to be successful in life/work. The book could be a chapter long and sufficiently long enough! The narrator also pronounces his h's as u's which is annoying.
On the plus side the book was very effective in making me fall asleep!
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