You are previewing The 46 Rules of Genius: An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity.
O'Reilly logo
The 46 Rules of Genius: An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity

Book Description

Not since Strunk and White’s ELEMENTS OF STYLE has a book compressed so many insights into so few pages. With his trademark simplicity and wit, Marty Neumeier has written and illustrated a concise guide that can be read quickly over a lunch break or savored slowly over a lifetime.

Part 1, “How can I innovate?” offers insightful guidance such as “Feel before you think,” “See what’s not there,” and “Ask a bigger question.” Rule #1 gives the paradoxical advice: “Break the rules.”

Part 2, “How should I work?” offers down-to-earth tips on craft: “Use a linear process for static elements,” and “Express related elements in a similar manner.” The reader is also reminded: “Don’t be boring!”

In Part 3, “How can I learn?” contains practical advice including “Do your own projects,” “Invest in your originality,” and “Develop an authentic style.”

Finally, Part 4, “How can I matter?” deals with the deeper questions of a career in creativity, such as “Overcommit to a mission,” “Build support methodically,” and “Become who you are.”

THE 46 RULES OF GENIUS is a reassuring lighthouse against the swirling tides of innovation. Geniuses from every discipline will want to keep it in sight.

(Educators: Those who recommend this book to students may also be interested its deeply researched precursor, METASKILLS, from which the rules were drawn.)

From the back cover:

There’s no such thing as an accidental genius. Anyone who’s reached that exalted state has arrived there by design. But simply wanting to get there is not enough. A would-be genius also needs a theoretical framework, a basic compass, a set of principles to guide the way forward.

Marty Neumeier, acclaimed author of The Brand Gap and Metaskills, has compressed the wisdom of the ages into the first “quick start guide” for genius46 glittering gems that will light your path to creative brilliance. This is THE essential handbook for designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, educators, artists, scientists, innovators, and future leaders in every field.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. WHAT IS A GENIUS?
  5. CONTENTS
  6. Part 1: HOW CAN I INNOVATE?
    1. Rule 1. BREAK THE RULES
    2. Rule 2. WISH FOR WHAT YOU WANT
    3. Rule 3. FEEL BEFORE YOU THINK
    4. Rule 4. SEE WHAT’S NOT THERE
    5. Rule 5. ASK A BIGGER QUESTION
    6. Rule 6. FRAME PROBLEMS TIGHTLY
    7. Rule 7. THINK WHOLE THOUGHTS
    8. Rule 8. STAY IN THE DRAGON PIT
    9. Rule 9. APPROACH ANSWERS OBLIQUELY
    10. Rule 10. WAIT FOR THE JOLT
    11. Rule 11. USE BEAUTY AS A YARDSTICK
  7. Part 2: HOW SHOULD I WORK?
    1. Rule 12. DESIGN QUICKLY, DECIDE SLOWLY
    2. Rule 13. USE A LINEAR PROCESS FOR STATIC ELEMENTS
    3. Rule 14. USE A DYNAMIC PROCESS FOR REACTIVE ELEMENTS
    4. Rule 15. WORK TO AN APPROPRIATE STRUCTURE
    5. Rule 16. EXPRESS RELATED ELEMENTS IN A SIMILAR MANNER
    6. Rule 17. MATCH FORM TO FUNCTION, FUNCTION TO FORM
    7. Rule 18. DON’T BE BORING
    8. Rule 19. PUT THE SURPRISE WHERE YOU WANT THE ATTENTION
    9. Rule 20. APPLY AESTHETICS DELIBERATELY
    10. Rule 21. VISUALIZE WITH SKETCHES, MODELS, OR PROTOTYPES
    11. Rule 22. EMBRACE MESSINESS
    12. Rule 23. TEST YOUR IDEAS IN REALISTIC SITUATIONS
    13. Rule 24. SIMPLIFY
  8. Part 3: HOW CAN I LEARN?
    1. Rule 25. LEARN HOW TO LEARN
    2. Rule 26. START WITH CURIOSITY, NOT BELIEF
    3. Rule 27. DO YOUR OWN PROJECTS
    4. Rule 28. KEEP A HERO FILE
    5. Rule 29. INVEST IN YOUR ORIGINALITY
    6. Rule 30. LEARN STRATEGICALLY
    7. Rule 31. SHORE UP YOUR WEAKNESSES
    8. Rule 32. SPEND LONG HOURS IN THE JOY ZONE
    9. Rule 33. MAKE EDUCATIONAL MISTAKES
    10. Rule 34. SEEK INSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
    11. Rule 35. FUEL YOUR PASSION
    12. Rule 36. DEVELOP AN AUTHENTIC STYLE
    13. Rule 37. PRACTICE
  9. Part 4: HOW CAN I MATTER?
    1. Rule 38. OVERCOMMIT TO A MISSION
    2. Rule 39. STAY FOCUSED
    3. Rule 40. FOLLOW THROUGH
    4. Rule 41. DO GOOD DESIGN
    5. Rule 42. BUILD SUPPORT METHODICALLY
    6. Rule 43. DON’T BLAME OTHERS
    7. Rule 44. JOIN A NETWORK
    8. Rule 45. BECOME WHO YOU ARE
    9. Rule 46. MAKE NEW RULES
  10. ABOUT THE AUTHOR