What if Genius was all about perspiration?


We’re back this Sunday with the Day of the Thinker.  Today, we welcome Scott Belsky, the founder of the Behance network (www.behance.net) that allows all sorts of creative types (photographers, directors, illustrators, architects…) to bring together the best of their work in real time.  This month he is publishing a book (available here) entitled Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles between vision and reality.  Belsky takes the famous Thomas Edison saying, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” as the jumping off point for this very interesting book.

Scott started his career working at Goldman Sachs before going on to create Behance, which acts as an exchange platform for design professionals and welcomes millions of visitors each month.  He has also created “The 99%” a think tank and an annual conference dedicated to creative execution and the “Action Method” that aims at maximizing productivity and the ability to carry out good ideas.  Belsky was able to study the organizational processes of the world’s most creative people.  His most recent book details very hands-on teachings that he learned from their practices.

In Making Ideas Happen, Scott Belsky reminds us that those who lack creativity but still produce things that are impactful are more important than geniuses who do nothing!  The majority of creative people must fight to bring ideas to fruition, because executing an excellent idea is rarely as stimulating as having the idea.  In the same way that we need some restrictions to create, we also need to overcome the restrictions of producing an idea.  To help an idea become a reality, Belsky believes that ideas should be seen as projects, within three distinct categories: actions, the “backburner”, and references.  He recommends constantly sharing ideas with a community to benefit from useful feedback (as you can imagine, I wholeheartedly support this) in real time.  He also recommends that “dreamers” team up with “doers” and offers a leadership process for projects that includes pointers not only on managing others, but also managing oneself.  In all, this book includes practical advice that can help transform ideas into reality, but unfortunately, there is very little conceptual framework.  While waiting for the Amazon shipment, take a look at the inspirational site for Behance, whose images are below.

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