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4.7 out of 5 stars13
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2012
Joseph Benn is a late comer to the already saturated ideas generation/mapping/turn me into a genius genre, and I was slightly sceptical as to whether he would have anything new to add or would he be rehashing old ideas by the like of Edward De Bono and alike. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Benn has an engaging written style that is approachable for those new to the subject and imaginative enough to be of value to professionals.

A criticism of most ideas generation/self help/get rich quick, type of literature is that they inevitably rely on the kind of user self motivation and tenacity that a reader of such books clearly doesn't have! (No offence) Benn unlike most authors of these types of book doesn't expect readers to have Richard Branson levels of determination and instead focuses on simple tools and practical ideas that ANY reader can quickly and easily utilise to start creating ideas of their own in the space of 5 minutes.

Using the advice and techniques Benn describes ANYONE can come up with unique and novel business ideas that will have a higher chance of success than most because they will utilise your own interest and values. An interesting useful and entertaining read!
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on 29 January 2012
I've read a lot of these books and to be frank, I wasn't expecting much. This book, however, stands out. I immediately began using the techniques it describes and with great success. To those people who don't believe that business can be creative, or simply don't feel that they are creative, YOU need to buy this book! The Ideas Matrix alone is worth the money. Truthfully, in the current economic climate, everyone in business needs to be as creative as possible and this book will guide you through that process. My partner teaches and has also found this tremendously useful for those students who take part in 'Young Enterprise' schemes, or simply study business. Whether you want to rejuvenate an existing venture, or simply begin a new one, do yourself a favour, don't try and do it without this book.
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I am biased, Joe is a friend and I have written the foreword to this book. But neither of these are the reason why I am biased. When Joe first came and asked me to write the foreword for this book I was worried because there are lots of books on creativity and I didn't think the world needed another one. After I read the book I was grateful for the opportunity to be associated with it. Here is why I think this book is a valuable creativity resource.

Firstly the book is focused on creativity in a business context. Because of this focus the concepts are easy to explain, the examples are clear and there are even specific case studies that show how these concepts have been applied.

But the best thing about this book is that it not only deconstructs a process for creativity but also shows you how to use that process in a focused way. It is all well and good having creative ideas but unless those ideas are focused on making your business more effective you may end up wasting large amounts of resources. What this book skilfully does is show you how to harness your creativity in a specific direction. This is why I think this is a great and valuable resource about creativity in business.
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on 19 June 2012
I have a real love of books on creativity, but this one had a great twist, instead of being generic and teaching you general techniques it shows you how to use things that matter to you to come up with business ideas. There are a lot of business books out there that offer ideas on things you could do, but generally these are no tailored to your talents or passions, whereas this is exactly what this book aims to do. I am currently working through some of the exercises now.

My only very minor criticsm (but I couldn't give 4.5 stars) would be that I felt the book could have been separated into more than one edition to have been even more specific - ie. one for Managers looking for ideas to improve their business, one for individuals looking for a new business idea, one for employees looking to improve their prospects. That said I still loved it.
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on 1 May 2012
Great book, but the editor needs to use comma's more.

Maybe he was trying to save on ink?

Comma-aversions laid aside, this book is actually remarkably good! I brought a copy when myself and a friend were trying to drag together a few student run start-ups. I'd had a recommendation on Benn's work, but was somewhat sceptical. Business books (in my experience) tend to be so heavily laden in pointless jargon that they aren't particularly accessible to non-management specialists. Benn manages to produce a treatise on creative business thinking without the reader feeling that the subject has been watered down for their benefit. The narrative is also fairly easy-going, and surprisingly motivational. I also like this structure very much, it fits with either the reader (like myself) who is mid-way through project development or, I imagine, someone who simply wants to expand their own potential with a general overview of the subject.

The topic of this book is shockingly overlooked, I find. It seems obvious to me now to think of 'creativity' or 'ideas' as psychological traits which can be honed or developed, but I just never used to classify it that way. That's what Benn gets at really quickly here: that the way you think about thinking can drastically alter the output. I also recommend Chapter 5, which discusses the development of an idea into a working model and flags up some predictable practical difficulties. This chapter saved me a lot time when I was getting a little vague (although I think I was still calling it 'visionary').

Anyway, two of our start-ups are doing seriously well now. It's been a while since I brought this book, but I really wouldn't feel right not acknowledging its contribution to out success. Comes highly recommended.
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on 10 March 2012
As a business owner I bought this book to see if it could help me improve the service I offer to my clients. I had heard good things about it from a family member so I took the risk and bought it. It was a good read and I have to say that the techniques really do work. Its interesting that one of the other reviewers said that he found the chapter on questions one of the most useful. Its proved out of all the chapters to be the on that gave me the most benefit though its not the only one. While this book is being marketed as being for those people who want a business idea I believe that its useful for anyone who wants to use creative thinking to get ahead in a career or life in general. Very good!
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on 27 December 2012
A really good little book, easy to read, down-to-Earth narrative, I read the whole thing in about three hours and was left itching the try the exercises, which themselves yielded some unexpected viable ideas. I liked the fact that it was centred around making that initial seed for a business, this is what I have always had trouble with. A great book from a practitioner who gets results, thoroughly recommended!
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on 25 January 2012
Had a good idea, want to try to market it, will it work, this book will guide you through the process.
Excellently written, concise easy to follow and understand.
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on 29 January 2012
This book contains some techniques I have not seen before. As I have a job rather than a business I have tried applying them to my work and they have been effective. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to increase their creativity. The chapter on checking your ideas to make sure they are viable is very good and something more people need to think about.
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on 6 April 2013
Being nearer 50 than 40 and having run businesses for 20 years I don't have much trouble generating business ideas, but usually there's that one magical piece missing - the spark that lights the fire. I'd never heard of the ideas matrix before, but seriously - this should be taught at school. It's a simple process to grasp, but immediately helps to join the dots - and find you a new purpose in life. I know that I could run a session using this method with any group of people and providing they are open-minded they'd be generating good ideas really quickly. This is one of those books where it doesn't matter what price you have to pay for it - just order it! After I'd read it once and used the method to generate a fantastic new business idea, I had to email Joseph (the author) to let him know how well it had worked for me.
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