Book Review: Making Ideas Happen

In this post I'll review this amazing book "Making Ideas Happen—Overcoming the obstacles between vision & reality" by Scott Belsky. This is an unbelieavable book that totally changed my approach to new ideas, and everyone should take a look to find out more about it.

Making Ideas Happen


I’ve been a member of the behance network ( for a little while now, and I also follow their blog 99% ( Since the book came out I’ve always wanted to pick it up. The title is very attractive; who doesn’t want to make ideas happen?

Being always full of ideas, I started reading this book expecting to learn this secret formula to make my ideas happen. I didn’t really know what to expect but I knew that coming from Scott Belsky it had to be good.

As I started reading I got hooked right from the beginning, and my first impression was that this book is going to take me farther than I thought. I consider myself a very creative guy full of good ideas, but as I started reading the book I looked back and realized that most of my ideas, if not all, never happened. I never really thought about it, but it was sad to know that I’ve failed so many times in making my ideas happen.

Making Ideas Happen

“Most ideas get lost in what we call ‘project plateau,’ a period of intense execution where your natural creative tendencies turn against you.” — Making Ideas Happen

The book was written after long years of research based on the experience of a lot of visionary people who are able to make successful ideas happen. Scott makes it clear that, the tendency to generate ideas is rather natural, the path to making them happen is tumultuous. To guide you all the way from vision to reality the book is broken down in 3 chapters:

  1. 1. Organization and Execution
  2. 2. The Forces of Community
  3. 3. Leadership Capability
“Ideas don’t happen because they are great—or by accident. The misconception that great ideas inevitably lead to success has prevailed for too long. Whether you have the perfect solution for an everyday problem or a bold new concept for a creative masterpiece, you must transform vision into reality. Far from being some stroke of creative genius, this capacity to make ideas happen can be developed by anyone. You just need to modify your organizational habits, engage a broader community, and develop your leadership capability” — Making Ideas Happen

The first chapter was definitely the most important for me as I realized that most of my ideas got lost because of lack of organization and execution. In this chapter Scott presents great methods to stay on top of things and most importantly, stay organized.

Making Ideas Happen

One of the sticking points to move your idea forward is knowing how to organize and manage its progress, you have to have a plan, each idea should be seen as a project and taking steps to bring this project all the way to reality is the key to success. Scott talks about the methods he developed (the action steps), which is for sure one of the greatest ways to work on your ideas, but he also interviews other creatives to find out about their approach.

“... it turns out that ‘having the idea’ is just a small part of the process, perhaps only 1 percent of the journey.” — Making Ideas Happen

The second chapter of the book talks about the forces of community. I’ve never gotten that far with my ideas but will love too in my future executions. Scott talks about the value of having other people pursuing your ideas, and how much you can benefit from that.

“Your success will depend on how well you harness the efforts of others” — Making Ideas Happen

The community may not be thousands of people behind your idea, everything starts small and you have to engage more and more people behind your idea, this chapter tackles the ways to harness the forces around you. Explains the type of creative you may be and what type of people you should match up with in order to get the best results. And also teaches you how to capitalize feedback and build upon it.

Making Ideas Happen

The last part of this chapter shows how to push ideas further than you think they can go, by effective marketing and learning to share ownership, recognizing when the idea is no longer “only” yours.

“This is not about money; it’s about mentality. Having only one person stay up at night thinking about how to solve a problem or capitalize on a particular opportunity is frankly not enough. You need to engage your team as owners by sharing credit, sharing responsibility, and sharing financial rewards.” — Making Ideas Happen

The last and third chapter talks about the leadership capabilities one must have to not only manage and lead a creative team but most importantly to lead yourself. I learned that whenever I’m working by myself I have to be my own boss, and set rules to be followed by myself.

Making Ideas Happen

“The most challenging one to manage is you”— Making Ideas Happen

It’s also important to be able to lead others. Regardless of how big your team may be it’s important to always keep them motivated and productive.

“Leadership development is experimental. Through trial and error, good times and bad, we gradually become better leaders—but only if we are self-aware enough to notice when and why we falter.” — Making Ideas Happen

It turns out that being a leader is a very important step to a successful idea, whether you have to lead a team or yourself, it all brings it back around the first chapter where organization and execution take place, and how well you use the forces of community may tell you how big of a team you will have to lead.

Making Ideas Happen

I must say I learned a lot through this book, things that I have never even thought about while having a simple idea. It’s fascinating that one can use the same approach to make a genius idea happen that may turn you into a millionaire, or simply plan a vacation. It’s not the idea that makes the difference but the other 99% behind it.

“Love is a cause of both commitment and then, often, a great deal of disappointment. But an enduring love for and idea or interest can push you past the obstacles. The people who transform industries and change the world are people who mastered what they love. They continue to practice their craft because they love the process more than the outcome. And they are constantly finding new ways to reengage, keeping the love affair alive despite the suite of pressures that come between our visions and reality” — Making Ideas Happen

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