September 22, 2009

Paul Arden’s Surprisingly Thoughtful Motivational Tract

It’s Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be is another title that most people would naturally tune out (especially if they’d actually enjoy the book).

Arden’s book is short and tightly edited. The features big text, lots of whitespace, sudden pictures, emphatic headlines—it’s like a really, really good Tumblr.

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September 21, 2009

Hugh MacLeod’s “Ignore Everybody”: How to Be More Creative Than Necessary

Ignore Everybody is Hugh MacLeod’s manual about staying sane while you do stuff you don’t really love, and trying to figure out what it is that you do love. MacLeod wrote the book in New York (of course) where he worked in advertising (of course!) until he was successful enough to stop. He also made comics.

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September 6, 2009

Claude Hopkins Would Have Loved Bittorrent

There are many second-best books about advertising. Ogilvy on Advertising will tell you all about how Ogilvy would have sold it; The Book of Gossage can tell you how Gossage would have scolded you for selling too hard; but only Scientific Advertising tells you how to think about advertising.

Even if you don’t sell things for a living, being a good judge of advertising is a pretty useful talent. With that in mind, I’ve reread Hopkins’ book every year or two, just to stay sharp. And this year, I noticed something startling: Hopkins, writing in 1923, would have loved software piracy. Read the rest of this entry »