Book Review, “The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?”

I’m a Seth Godin noob having only seen him in some online videos but he certainly comes with a lot of high praise. Based on that and an introductory post over on swissmiss I went ahead and bought his newest book for my Kindle app (iPhone). After about 2 pages I could tell this was going to be like juggling live grenades for me: I see myself as a creative person first above almost everything else, and this book demanded that I start doing more and better Art.

The premise of “The Icarus Deception” is that we have been shaped to fit into an Industrial world that demands we be a small cog in a system meant to produce more things, more cheaply, and faster. We have forgotten that Icarus was warned not just to fly too high, but also not to fly too low. In forgetting this and associating safety only with not trying to fly to greater heights and become more god-like we have settled into a comfort zone that is far too low. Furthermore the Industrial world that we have come to love as our comfort zone has just been supplanted by the connected world. People that truly engage with others through their art are now empowered to connect with people worldwide, immediately.

Godin’s style is to write almost like his talks and there quite a few small sections within sections. Surprisingly I found this a little difficult to read on the iPhone as it was hard to put together the flow of thoughts and points on the smaller screen. He also continues to hammer the reader with the central themes of Art and the new connection economy. I whined about these things to my wife about that and the fact that it wasn’t really my usual fare of SciFi for recreational bedtime reading, but I kept coming back to this book. Every section and every chapter detailed more and more about the importance of changing our mindset to get out of our current safety zone, to pour more into creating our art (whatever that is for each of us). He details how we need to take the risk of failure, the risk of not looking like a pro, the shame and vulnerability of putting ourselves out there, whether that’s adding a human touch or innovation at our existing job or writing on our blog. To Godin this is about being human and connecting with people that share our viewpoint.

If you have an ounce of creativity .. even if you don’t .. buy this book. You might not buy into everything Seth Godin is saying here about the end of the Industrial age, but if it changes you enough to create one thing that helps you connect to one person then it was worth reading. The advice I took away was to stop juggling those creative grenades and start creating Art.

On Amazon for about 12 bucks

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (December 31, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1591846072
ISBN-13: 978-1591846079

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