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Introducing the New Book from Behance & 99%: “Making Ideas Happen”

How do uber-productive creative people & teams like IDEO, Google & Disney make ideas happen? Find out in Behance CEO Scott Belsky's new book.

My obsession, since before the founding days of Behance, has been to better understand the forces behind making ideas happen. In a perfect world, the best ideas would be the easiest to execute. Or, at the very least, there would be some correlation between the quality of an idea and the probability that it becomes a reality. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Ideas don’t happen because they are great – or by accident. Ideas are made to happen through a series of other forces. But what are these miraculous and mysterious “forces”? And why are certain people and teams able to consistently defy the odds and push their ideas to fruition, time and time again? I have spent over four years meeting these creative powerhouses and asking them how they do it.The result of this quest – Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision & Reality (Penguin, Portfolio Imprint) – will land in bookstores next month, on April 15th. In about 250 pages, the book collects a series of pragmatic tips, tools, and anecdotes about the art (and science) of making ideas happen.

I share the insights and methods of uber-productive creative leaders and teams – companies like Google, IDEO, and Disney, and individuals like authors Seth Godin and Chris Anderson, RISD President John Maeda, and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, among others.

Ideas don’t happen because they are great – or by accident.

It turns out that the mechanics of making ideas happen are not pretty. But the good news is that they are accessible to all of us.

I found that one’s methods for organization are just as important as the quality of one’s ideas. How you manage projects, how (and when) you conduct meetings, how you allocate your time on a daily basis – these seemingly “uncreative” activities matter. I’ll go further: they make a dramatic impact that is often the difference between success and… yet another idea that didn’t happen.

But organization isn’t everything. There are other common themes among prolific creative leaders, notably how they engage their community and how they lead others in creative pursuits. I found that the capacity to make ideas happen could be distilled into a simple framework:

Making Ideas Happen = (Ideas) + Organization & Execution + Communal Forces + Leadership Capability

The methods and practices in each part of the above equation are absolutely essential when it comes to creative execution. Yet nearly all of these activities – perhaps because they come after the “idea” – are vastly undervalued. In fact, many of the forces that are crucial to making ideas happen may seem counter-intuitive at first blush.

Things like acting without conviction, skipping regular meetings, sharing ownership of your ideas, encouraging your team to fight, using appreciations instead of critical feedback, and drawing strength from others’ doubts.

Many of the forces that are crucial to making ideas happen may seem counter-intuitive at first blush.

These and many other surprising insights that emerged have changed the way I work and live my life. Needless to say, the process of writing the book was a 99% case study in itself. During the course of the project, I was able to put many of the insights I was observing into practice. I am also fortunate to have an incredible team – my colleagues at Behance – that provided invaluable support along the way.

I hope that this book will help more brilliant ideas see the light of day. Although it is the end product of many years of research, it is also the beginning of a richer conversation about execution in the creative world.

I am thrilled to invite you to pre-order the book, spread the word, and start showing your ideas some respect.

–> Pre-order the book now
–> More information & reviews

More Posts by Scott Belsky

Scott Belsky is the Chief Product Officer at Adobe and is the co-founder of 99U and Behance. He has been called one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, and is the author of The Messy Middle and the bestselling book, Making Ideas Happen.

Comments (17)
  • Michael

    Would be great to see the table of contents and an excerpt, like on Amazon.

  • Bernardo Carvalho

    Look great could be helpful to get our digital creative team in London and Brazil in good shape for this year!

  • roitsch

    I can’t wait to read this book. It definetely sounds like it could be “my bible”.

  • Steven Raft

    Just pre-ordered it at – can’t wait!

  • Adam Thurland

    Any idea where we can buy this book in China?

  • chrisfizik

    Huge annoucement and as always, interesting new stuff. Anticipating this

  • Armaan Reza

    Is this book available to purchase through ClickBank or Paypal in PDF format? Amazon will take long to deliver the book. It would be much convenient to purchase an ebook rather than a hard cover book in some part of the World.

  • Kat

    Thanks Scott! I love Behance and I’m so looking forward to this book! I got a couple of ideas I’m very passionate about and grateful for any help to put them into reality.

  • Hina Sultan

    I am glad to be a part of behance and loved the great effort from each n every memeber of behance. I truly believe in turning an idea———-creativity. Looking forward to know from where we can buy this book in New Delhi, India.
    Good Luck for 15th April.

  • John McDowall

    No PDF?

    The future of publishing is, without doubt, digital. If I can’t get a book on / for my Kindle then I’m unwilling to contribute to the cult of the dead tree.


  • Scott

    Do not fret; book will certainly be available digitally as well…I know the publisher (Portfolio imprint, Penguin Books) has this in the plan.

  • Kat

    An audio version would be great. Just an idea. =)

  • Shared Sh.

    I have new ideas in my head every day. I have recently been working hard to make some of those ideas go from the whiteboard in my mind to the real world. I am interested to see what kind of insight this book might provide.

  • Traveling bags

    Nice review ! I like your article and i will definitely look again……………………………………

  • Bmade

    What ever you was put on this earth to do,do it life is to short. Wouldn’t you want hear a job well done at the end of your JOURNEY

  • Steve

    I bought this book last year hoping it would help me focus the random nature of my creativity of the previous 10 years. With no word of a lie, it inspired me not only to find a project and stick to it but also see it to fruition!
    Just two weeks ago I launched my very own game on the app store “Fainting Goats” inspired by the viral youtube videos.
    Thanks Scott for your sharing your insights and above all showing me that I am not alone in struggling to finish projects.

  • clayton

    there is a pdf version available on amizon

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