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Great Book for Understanding How Creativity Works

Just finished “Imagine: how creativity works” by Jonah Lehrer. I must say “wow”. If you have questions about why one people have fresh new ideas and others – don’t, you should read this book.


Jonah made a great job by gathering all information from researches and creative people and put it in one place. Great examples of how innovations born was made on such companies as Pixar, Apple, Google. It was interesting and refreshing to know how Post it pages was created and how Dan Wieden came up with famous Nike slogan “Just do it”.
I’ve read this book on one breath… It took me from times of Shakespeare to nowadays, from research labs to big city streets. The book is inspires and teach you at the same time.

Here is some phrases I love from the book:

The first stage is the impasse: Before there can be a breakthrough, there has to be a block.

More recently, Beeman has demonstrated that people who score high on a standard measure of happiness solve about 25 percent more insight puzzles than people who are feeling angry or upset.

Another ideal moment for insights, according to Beeman and John Kounios, is the early morning, shortly after waking up. The drowsy brain is unwound and disorganized, open to all sorts of unconventional ideas.

Occasionally, focus can backfire and make us fixated on the wrong answers. It’s not until you let yourself relax and indulge in distractions that you discover the answer; the insight arrives only after you stop looking for it.

I think people need to be reminded that creativity is a verb, a very time consuming verb. It’s about taking an idea in your head, and transforming that idea into something real. And that’s always going to be a long and difficult process. If you’re doing it right, it’s going to feel like work.

Picasso once summarized the paradox this way: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.
— Anton Ego, in Pixar’s Ratatouille

Unless we learn to share our ideas with others, we will be stuck with a world of seemingly impossible problems. We can either all work together or fail alone.

“If it feels easy, then you’re doing it wrong,” Unkrich says. “We know that screwups are an essential part of what we do here. That’s why our goal is simple: We just want to screw up as quickly as possible. We want to fail fast. And then we want to fix it. Together.”

…Because it’s not enough to be good when you can be great.


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