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Scott Belsky: Don’t Let Your Genius Go Unnoticed

About this talk

Particularly in the creative world, there is a stigma around self-marketing. Many of us believe that our talents should speak for themselves. On the contrary, Behance founder Scott Belsky argues that we must take it upon ourselves to ensure that others recognize our strengths. Editor’s Note: The Joshua Bell experiment Scott mentions was conducted by the Washington Post.

Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer & EVP, Adobe Creative Cloud

Scott Belsky believes that the greatest breakthroughs across all industries are a result of creative people and teams that are especially productive. As such, he has committed his professional life to help organize creative individuals, teams, and networks. Belsky co-founded Behance in 2006, and served as CEO until 2012.

Belsky has become an advocate for technology and community initiatives that empower the careers of creative professionals and help businesses leverage the creative potential of their people. He has worked with leading media and Fortune 500 companies, including GE and Facebook, and has traveled around the world to share his findings. In 2010, Scott was included in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” list.

Comments (7)
  • Lisa Stewart

    You nailed it, Scott. We are responsible for our own success.


  • Patrvic

    It’s 2010, people have grown along with technology…And the attitude that you mentioned is quite prevalent…But, reminders, like the one’s from you are appreciated both by novices and seasoned folks who need a boost. Keep ’em coming!


  • Ines Franklin

    Thank you Scott! Great reminder that we are responsible for the gifts we have been given and the talents we have been endowed with. I am so bothered by people who over-sell themselves (or brag incessantly) that I tend to hold back, work hard and wait for others to notice. They don’t. That frustrates me. Then I start to believe that I do not have talent. Wrong! Joshua Bell’s story (

    proves to me that I need to help people notice what I have to offer. It’s in my hands now. Woah, that is a bit scary.

  • Bob Sharp

    On a site dedicated to making ideas happen, I was hoping for tips, techniques, and opportunities that others have used (or considered) to achieve the self-promotion that Scott is talking about.  At least a link or two…

  • Christine Creamer

    Great point, but does that reality actually translate to digital or viral rather than in person?  What about a viral response to something ‘found’ or unknown as an instant success?..Personal marketing tactics need to also pay attention to placement and behavior in a given medium or framework.  

  • Artistdandeming

    I am an Artist who has spent the last 20 years of a 50 year career as an unknown Artist rethinking Fine Art and coming up with a whole new way make and to look at Art. Just to break through the wall of indifference. This indicates big time to me. I could have broken through years ago had I not gone into agreement with this phenomenon. What do I do now? 

  • Timi Siytangco

    This is a great story, and a great way of illustrating a valid point that creatives need to understand how to sell and market themselves. I work in the creative industry and find that creative people, because they are by nature great at communicating ideas, can use those ideas to promote their capabilities and their work.

    I do want to point out though, that the Joshua Bell story was set up as a test “of whether, in an incongruous context, ordinary people would recognise genius.” Bell was not the subject of the experiment; the commuters during DC rush-hour were. It was to test the hypothesis that human beings have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate beauty.

    The article is full of detail and is a good read for all of us, and a reminder to always, always take care of ourselves to keep our minds open to art. Pearls Before Breakfast:

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