Idea: Sanders presents a nicely developed book that discusses the creative process, while providing inspiration, guidance, and ample ideas and prompts.
Prose: The author effectively walks the reader through the earliest stages of creative thought, to development, and seeing an idea through to fruition.
Originality: The Next Big Idea is a successful guidebook to problem solving through innovative ideas. It stands apart via its thoughtful, process-oriented approach.
Character/Execution: This book has a great deal of potential. The author does a strong job of developing a creative workbook that really delves into the process. This said, the book could benefit from a few suggested changes. The first is not putting the first exercise in the introduction. Granted, while many people read the introduction, those who don't are missing the first step in the process. Also, the author presents a detailed Exercise 7, but the ideas and answers listed feel a little disconnected from the topic of the book. The author also could have benefited from adding more real-life examples to each exercise instead of fictional ones. With more examples that illustrate the points in a more relatable way, the book can be even stronger.
Date Submitted: January 21, 2021
Sanders emphasizes the concrete, offering exercises and activities to drive home his concepts, and focuses heavily on problem identification (“You need to be able to identify problems in order to come up with productive ideas”). He encourages the development of analytical techniques to differentiate between needs and wants, while urging readers to discover the root of the glitches in their lives. Your Next Big Idea covers some advice readers may already be familiar with–such as identifying your habits and learning the importance of asking “why”–but nudges toward deeper self discovery. Sanders advocates fresh approaches to creativity like attempting to combine multiple solutions instead of aiming for just one sensational idea,and he offers an original “feasibility check” to apply to new ideas.
Some readers may balk at his idea that “Your life is the only thing you can totally control,” but most will appreciate the back-to-basics approach of this motivating handbook. Entertaining illustrations and almost riddle-like exercises (such as a problem to solve involving a fox, a chicken, and some corn) keep things lighthearted while still nurturing creativity, while Sanders excels at technical suggestions and hands-on activities. Early entrepreneurs and those seeking personal encouragement will find this an enjoyable way to cultivate basic business sense and enrich their originality.
Takeaway: Prospective entrepreneurs and self-improvement seekers will find this a helpful, entertaining guide to generating ideas.
Great for fans of: Dan Heath’s Upstream, Erik Qualman’s The Focus Project.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B
In Your Next Big Idea, serial entrepreneur Samuel Sanders shares, with clarity and finesse, the process he’s used since a college class assignment to come up with more than 100 ideas a week. Overall, he aims to help readers learn to be “innovative, creative, good at solving problems, and an ace at coming up with ideas”— skills important in both personal and business arenas.
The book is appropriate for all types of readers, from employees and startup launchers to students and those between jobs. Writing in a straightforward, crisp style, Sanders takes readers from identifying problems, needs, wants and questions to implementing solutions. Along the way, he offers copious creative exercises to warm up the brain and stories that concisely illustrate the concepts.
In one exercise, Sanders challenges readers to imagine a way to make shoes more efficient; in another, he urges his audience to pretend they are aliens charged with solving highway traffic jams. To point out how old habits, societal standards, and assumptions can hold us back, he tells the story of a speaker who pulls out a $100 bill and remarks that “the first audience member on stage” can have it. Bound by closely held stigmas, attendees often hesitate to claim the free money.
Occasionally, Sanders discusses the interesting origins of real-life solutions to problems, from the wheeled suitcase to the noisy bullet train made quieter by borrowing features from three species of birds.
The author includes a short conclusion at the close of each chapter and a recap at book’s end. With his step-by-step format, readers always know where they’ve been and where they’re headed, even as he stretches their brains with his fun prose.
Your Next Big Idea ignites the imagination with a kaleidoscope of ideas and exercises. Even if you have no intention of pursuing “the next big idea,” this book is sure to give you an exciting and fresh perspective of the world around you.
Also available as an ebook.
The inspiring self-help guide Your Next Big Idea forwards advice and creative exercises that encourage the development of different ways of thinking.
Samuel Sanders’s playful self-help workbook, Your Next Big Idea, encourages creative thinking and problem solving; it has both business and personal applications.
Creative thinking, the book claims, is essential when it comes to solving personal and workplace problems. Whether processes need to be streamlined, or new products and services are being contemplated and developed, problem solving is necessary; yet, Sanders claims, it’s a skill that’s not often sufficiently taught. This text aims to help audiences cultivate such skills through thoughtful practices and deliberate thinking.
The book guides its audience through a multitude of exercises in order to identify problems, explore creative solutions, eliminate biases, and test the viability of ideas and potential solutions. It brainstorms through challenges, like picking up on what other people say they hate or are annoyed by; and suggests exercises, like imagining an alien trying to solve the same problem you’re grappling with. The book’s general suggestions and prompts—to identify problems; to search for solutions; to ask the right questions; and to identify personal habits—are also helpful when it comes to instigating creativity.
Though it is structured in such a way that it can be read and worked through in sequence, the text includes an option to approach it with key explorations in mind. As such, its exercises will be useful to people at all levels of the creative process, whether they have already brainstormed solutions, or they need to return to earlier points to reconsider their methods. It is encouraging at all points.
The book’s suggested tasks, if they are approached with care and deliberation, stand to train one’s mind to preemptively seek out problems and their potential solutions. It functions well as a creative thinking course whose lessons can be returned to on a continual basis. Its workbook spaces for writing out and completing exercises, including those which involve drawing, are also useful. While some of its prompts and stories are familiar, its introduction to its concepts is solid, and is likely to jumpstart creative and out-of-the-box thinking well.
With the appealing suggestion that it can help its audience to generate 100 good ideas a week, the inspiring self-help guide Your Next Big Idea forwards advice and creative exercises to encourage the development of different ways of thinking.
Author Samuel Sanders makes a bold statement: "Stop saying you aren’t creative enough. The problem is how we teach creativity – not you."
Heard Publishing, LLC has announced its debut novel Your Next Big Idea - Improve Your Creativity and Problem-Solving will launch on 5/3/2021 and is live for pre-order today with a print book price of $14.99.
Your Next Big Idea: Improve Your Creativity and Problem-Solving is a book that breaks down the creative process in a way that anyone can follow. The book is written so whether you are an entrepreneur itching to find your startup idea, a business leader looking to make their organization more innovative, or just someone looking to improve their creativity and problem-solving skills, you can find information designed to help propel you towards your goals.
When asked about the inspiration behind the book, author Samuel Sanders said, "I wrote this book because I was frustrated with the way we teach creativity and business in our education system. Many people give up and label themselves as "not creative," when in reality we all have the potential to come up with great ideas."
Samuel isn’t the only one to acknowledge the problem. In a longitudinal test of creative potential, a NASA study found that 98% of 4-and-5-year-olds scored at a creative genius level, but just 2% of adults scored at that same level.
So, what is happening? According to a developed-country survey reported by Fast Company, almost 60% of adults felt their creativity was stifled in our education systems. Businesses were not off the hook either, as they also found that 75% of people felt the pressure to be productive was limiting creative potential in the workplace.
Samuel weighed in, "One of the biggest issues we face as we get older is, we get trapped in what I call stigmas. Stigmas are rules or guidelines that we feel we need to follow even though they may not apply to our present situation or may not be true at all. As we repeat more patterns and create more rules around our lives, these stigmas become stiffer and harder to break, and they stifle our creative ability."