Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Idea Book, talk about immense creativity

Well, it has been a long time since my last post and finally I'm putting one up because my exams are over! And what better way to celebrate than to go listen to a talk by Fredrik Haren, the author of 'The Idea Book' and probably the most creative person I have ever met.

Fredrik is one of the most talked about names in the field of business creativity, and this masterpiece of his, the Idea Book, has sold 200 000 + copies in 40 countries and has been translated into 9 languages. Amazing thing is, his company,, has only 6 employees.


2 in Singapore, 2 in Sri Lanka, 2 in Sweden.

And his book, is one of the top 100 management books of ALL TIME.

The only way he could possibly achieve this success is through a massive amount of creativity. And indeed, he is no doubt super creative, and it was very apparent during his talk.

So the talk was held in SMU, I travelled all the way there from NTU, joined a couple of friends and basically just sat in for the talk. (sorry, i forgot to take a picture) Perhaps what struck me first was his tone and pitch. He kind of reminded me of the eccentric Doctor Who when played by David Tennant, my favourite doctor ever. Not to mention his lean and lanky figure resembled that of Tennant as well. So he began with a humourous introduction to 'Swedish creativity' (o yes, I forgot to mention he was from Sweden but residing in Singapore), and then came the more serious stuff. Basically, it was how to be creative in business.

So the first rule was to essentially, take away the fundamentals. Write down what are the fundamentals of the product you have, and do away with them. Why? Because if everyone else does the norm, and you don't, you will stand out. You will grab the attention of others which is important, if you are to sell your product effectively. But of course, it is not taking away every fundamental, there will be some you need to keep. It all depends on your focus.

For The Idea Book, the author's name, publisher's name, the picture, descriptions, endorsements, were all done away from the cover, front and back. The front cover only has 3 words "The Idea Book". Now it was on the bestseller list in Kino, and among all those colourful books by Trump and Gladwell, suddenly you see this little black book which resembles the Bible. Now that will make people curious, and you want to flip it open. And you see blank pages... and a few other pages.,.. you find it cool, you buy it.


The next rule was to use external capital. With only 6 employees in 3 countries, essentially made use of competitions to get members of the public to take creative photos for their 'creative picture' of the book.

Ok, so this little book alone can teach us so many lessons on creativity. Indeed, all irony was negated when the whole idea of publishing and writing the book creatively, because it is a creativity book, was thought up. There are 2 other rules, unfortunately I cannot remember, because this paragraph was written a week after the paragraphs above (i got tired and was busy).

So just to end off, this little book is worth taking a look at. Inside are some pretty interesting stuff about creativity you can check out. It is a worthwhile investment, and you can use it as a notebook, a thoughts book or even a random doodle book. You can go find it in kino, it should be on the bestseller shelf.

Stay creative people :)

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