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The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by [Godin, Seth]
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The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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In Seth Godin’s most inspiring book, he challenges readers to find the courage to treat their work as a form of art

Everyone knows that Icarus’s father made him wings and told him not to fly too close to the sun; he ignored the warning and plunged to his doom. The lesson: Play it safe. Listen to the experts. It was the perfect propaganda for the industrial economy. What boss wouldn’t want employees to believe that obedience and conformity are the keys to success?

But we tend to forget that Icarus was also warned not to fly too low, because seawater would ruin the lift in his wings. Flying too low is even more dangerous than flying too high, because it feels deceptively safe.

The safety zone has moved. Conformity no longer leads to comfort. But the good news is that creativity is scarce and more valuable than ever. So is choosing to do something unpredictable and brave: Make art. Being an artist isn’t a genetic disposition or a specific talent. It’s an attitude we can all adopt. It’s a hunger to seize new ground, make connections, and work without a map. If you do those things you’re an artist, no matter what it says on your business card.

Godin shows us how it’s possible and convinces us why it’s essential.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1676 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (31 December 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0090UOLEW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brilliant book that will expand anyone's definition of what 'Art' can be in all areas of your life and specifically how you choose you view your 'work'.
A book that raises more questions than it has answers , which he does deliberately , and one of those books that you'll want to re read again and again .
Can't recommend more highly !
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is by far the most optimism-fueling, compelling book I've ever read to express our creative potential in this present day and age, and it resonates deeply with the Internet generation. It not only encourages, it scolds, urges, and insists that we do and go for it, to make better art, to connect with people, in order to live a fulfilled life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A no-nonsense book that will encourage and inspire any artist to keep making art and seeking connection. I also found this book to be spot on in highlighting some of the many reasons we homeschool. I'm glad I found this book, it's a real gem.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 296 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book 9 August 2016
By Geoffrey A Blades - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I looked at the reviews that showed up below, and I was surprised by how negative they were. When I looked to see the book was rated 72% 5 stars I wondered why Amazon served me all the crummy reviews.

I don't know how other people judge whether this book is good or not, but I do know that it was very good for me. At a time when I felt like the wax was peeling away from my own wings, in this book Seth helped me get back some of my lift.

We all love Pressfield's book and it's true that in Icarus Seth covers ideas he has hit before, but inside this book Seth takes us on a journey, of not just what it takes to fly, but to keep soaring higher and higher.

Creating remarkable art takes more than creativity and go go go. It takes the right guides at the right time, and that's what Icarus was for me.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good examination of what it means to be an artist - could've been much shorter 23 October 2014
By Charlie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall I’d recommend this book.

His basic message is to create things you feel compelled to create, because that's your best shot at success in this new economy.

With the advent of the Internet, distribution is now basically free. In the traditional economy, everything was tangible and thus scarce. Customers demanded these goods, so value was created when you could bring these goods to the customers. That created lots of gatekeepers who would decide how to allocate their scarce resources: retailers charge slot fees, publishing houses pick authors, etc.

However, now distribution is free: billions of people are (mostly) free to connect with any of the others billions of people. It’s an unprecedented and amazing time for us, given how important connections are to us.

But because distribution is free, there’s a lot more noise out there. Curation is still important. How do you cut through all the noise and add value to other people?

The answer is that you do things that are valuable and are worthy of cutting through the noise. And the author asserts you do that in two ways: making a commitment to art, and getting good at that art.

Art, as defined by the author, is work that is new, real, and important. It’s using your gifts to make a difference in other people’s lives.

It’s operating without a map, exploring the edge of what’s possible. And, it’s inherently risky. You might fail. You’ll probably fail. There have always been “safe paths”, but those necessarily required you to follow a plan that’s not yours. And people usually have to give up part of themselves to follow it.

Instead, now today, we live in a world where you can create your own path. You can find and serve your customers wherever they are. But you need to find your unique offering, because if you just copy someone else, then customers will just go to that someone else.

There are millions of bloggers out there, but certain bloggers stand out in part because of their unique voice. We connect with them, we like their style and personality. But I’m not going to connect with every great blogger because some will just rub me wrong. That’s OK, because someone I connect with will rub someone else the wrong way.

When you can’t please everyone, that’s OK in the new economy. In fact, that is a differentiator.

One action item from this book is to recognize situations where I’m feeling internal fear/stalling/insecurity when creating, recognizing procrastination and subtle instinct to seek approval. Another is to remember that shame is a choice – you can’t feel ashamed without your permission, only if you agree it’s bad.

The major critique I have for this book is it’s way too long. This thing could’ve been 25% the size and still gotten the major points across. It meanders this way and that way. I’m sure he could’ve made more concise without compromising himself.
325 of 351 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Deception 6 January 2013
By Faisal Nsour - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I give this book 3 stars to split the difference between the 1 star it deserves as a book, and the 5 it deserves as a marketing lesson.

Like most reviewers so far, I bought this book because I'm a fan of SG. However, while I do believe he is preaching his message with the sincere intention to serve us, his readers, I must disagree with the raving reviews. As I read the same message he's given us before, remixed with nuggets from his vast reading, I feel deja vu. The book is like a handful of fortune cookies from SG's all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.

The Icarus Deception is grab-bag of his market insight and signature motivational style, already well-expressed on his blog and in his other books. The references to SG's broad reading (even Ulysses gets a nod) was probably thrown in to mix things up, but all it does for this reader is mix up things.

The cajoling to seize your destiny, and live as an artist of life, is not without charm. But SG can do better. He is better than this book. His readers certainly deserve better. Mr. Godin, your readers deserve all of that enormous brain of yours, not just the clever marketing gland (which I can only assume is just above the lizard brain).

A good book on life and work as an artist is the "The Elephant and the Flea" by Charles Handy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Love Seth (but this book is 1.5x too long) 25 June 2014
By Otis Woodard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book in a nutshell:

1. We've been brainwashed by the industrial complex to fly too low, to comply, to surrender our brilliance for perceived security.
2. That strategy once worked--our comfort zone and that safety zone we were offered were aligned.
3. They are no longer aligned and most aren't noticing. That's dangerous. The world tilted on it's axis and folks aren't noticing.
4. The new gig is to produce "art" in whatever you do (no matter what you do), because art "connects" and people want connection.
5. Everybody can be an artist at whatever they choose to do. You don't need to change your work or career. Just elevate your work to art.
6. But to do that you have to step over fear and the lizard brain (amygdala) we have that screams "you are gonna die!" if we attempt to do something risky and creative.
7. But you gotta do that because the world is waiting on your art, your connection, your breath of fresh air.

The bulk of the book is looking at the nuances of all this in about 88 different ways when you'd really probably get it after four. He's got a great theme and call to action, and there are some gems in here to be sure. But there are times when I was simply thinking to myself, "Really, Seth? I trusted you, and you are driving me around all the blocks in the neighborhood when just a couple would have conveyed the sense of the place."

But heck. Maybe I didn't get the "art" of this type of book. But don't get me wrong. I'll buy the next Seth book because Seth rocks and all. But, my goodness, this was the longest short read I've ever read, and I even just skimmed all the Kickstarter Acknowledgements that are a whopping 20% of the total length of the book. Would I recommend the book? I am glad for the gems I pulled out of it. But, honestly, after seeing the pattern, I was ready for the book to be over with. So the answer is, "It depends." If what you are looking for is a kick in the pants to get on with your "art," I'd recommend Pressfield's "The War of Art" instead. If you are not sure you are an artist or can be an artist at whatever you do, and want to entertain that idea, then this book might be for you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindset change guaranteed 14 January 2017
By Julio Alonso - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading the book I know that the author won't read this lines, and if he does he won't care, so I feel I can freely tell the truth. Again, a writing by Seth Godin changed my mindset with his inspiring and provoking ideas. Some weeks after finishing, I can see the results - and my clients and family can as well. Because changing my mindset meant changing my life. That is the result of reading Godin's books, on me at least. So, if you want to change your life start reading Seth Godin, and why not start with this book?