This book is such a gem from James Webb Young.
It’s short but packs a punch. Basically the book shares his 5 step approach to getting ideas. It’s simple and for that reason it is useful.
I’ve read other books from James Webb Young and of all his books, I think this is a good one to start with. It is also probably the easiest one to find since there are many reprints of this book compared to his other work.
In my own words, the process is:
- Gather the raw materials for your ideas
- Think about it in your head
- Let it incubate, but do other things to let it simmer at the back of your mind
- Get the idea! (your eureka moment)
- Shape the idea & release it into the world (shipping the idea or publishing it)
It all seems very simple or obvious but it provides a useful framework. After all, some of the best things can seem simple but actually have a lot of depth.
Even James Webb Young admitted in his book and wrote, “… the formula is so simple to state that few who hear it really believe in it.”
That being said, I am a believer and love this book. If you’re a fan of people like Seth Godin or Derek Sivers, it might be worth picking up this book. Although written in 1940, there’s still a lot of truth in it… and even if I did just share the technique (in my own words), there’s a charm to reading how James Webb Young expressed it.
It’s not just the idea but the expression of it that makes it interesting. Check it out!
Pros: Great book, well written, concise!
TLDR: A good book for anyone interested in creative work & making your own stuff. If you need ideas or a process for getting ideas, get this book for a perspective from 1940 that is still relevant now.
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