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Summary

Based on in-depth interviews with more than 200 leading entrepreneurs, a business executive and senior fellow at Harvard's Center for Public Leadership identifies the six essential disciplines needed to transform your ideas into real-world successes, whether you're an innovative manager or an aspiring entrepreneur.

How do some people turn ideas into enterprises that endure? Startup founders and business leaders young and old are taking advantage of the new, fast-paced, interconnected world and turning small notions into big business. But why do some people succeed when so many others fail? Now, Amy Wilkinson is the first to develop a comprehensive theory that explains how these new iconoclasts gain traction to achieve lasting results.

Wilkinson conducted rigorous, lengthy interviews with today's most dynamic entrepreneurs including the founders of eBay, AirBnB, Yelp, LinkedIn, Chipotle, Spanx, Zipcar, Jetblue, PayPal, Gilt Groupe, and Revolution Foods, among others. The Creator's Code shows how these entrepreneurial creators built their companies. It delves into the belief of Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and Solar City, that "people are too self-limiting", reveals how AirBnB founder Joe Gebbia overcame obstacles to reach what he calls "Ramen Profitability", explains Stella & Dot founder Jessica Herrin's dictum that "there are no jobs on the unicorn farm", and shows how "Maryland's sweatiest football player", Kevin Plank, turned his somewhat comical problem into Under Armour, a $2 billion global sports brand.

The men and women you'll meet in this audiobook prove that entrepreneurship is accessible to everyone, and that by practicing six disciplines you can produce unexpected, creative, and wildly meaningful results.

©2015 Amy Wilkinson (P)2015 Simon and Schuster

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The Creator's Code review

Great insights into how renowned entrepreneurs got it right, by failing, learning and re-engineering along the way. However, the six elements of the code are unclear, or I missed something...

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  • R. Walling
  • 08-03-15

Nothing groundbreaking

I wanted to love it, but I read a lot of business books and this felt like a re-hash of several origin stories I've heard too many times (eBay, Dropbox, Air BnB), and the six lessons feel like a random collection of fairly general advice on starting a company.

The book is well written and well performed. But unfortunately I didn't pull anything new from it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Coach Brock
  • 31-05-15

Not original but useful

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Creator's Code?

It does not add anything original to the research, but the stories are inspiring.

What aspect of Cassandra Campbell’s performance would you have changed?

The cadence of the constant Howard Cosell imitation is extremely grating. Not sure I can finish listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • TrevorR
  • 02-04-15

Required Reading for Business Owners (and Dreamers

If you've started, own, operate, or aspire to leading an organization, YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

Amy Wilkinson has done a masterful job a of identifying the skills required to excel in business today. Not only are her observations accurate, they are highly actionable. She frames each (highly researched) insight with colorful stories from her interviews with more than 200 successful entrepreneurs (Musk, Skoll, Levchin, Rahman, Blakely...) to exemplify her identified skills in practice. It's a wonderful and captivating read that gives insight and prospective to what it takes to survive and thrive in today's changing marketplace.

One of the initially unidentified values this book brings is the humanization of great modern entrepreneurial demi-gods. It's very reassuring to hear stories about the early struggles for EBay, Tesla, UnderArmor, Spanx to made only a few. It's highly motivational to know that all 'Start Ups' experience turmoil and thankfully Amy has written this book to help aspirational Entrepreneurs learn from and build off the work of these exemplary leaders.

Thank you Amy - and happy reading!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ville Walveranta
  • 28-03-15

Interesting but not great

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The content was interesting but not great.. interesting stories of how various entrepreneurs got the idea to start their business.. but there really isn't "code" in this book (not that I expected there to be.. I don't think such thing can really be extracted into a "code", or written down, other than anecdotally, which this book perhaps did to a degree).

Would you recommend The Creator's Code to your friends? Why or why not?

Probably not. It wasn't a book that I "could not put down" (or in this case, "stop playing"), but rather one of the "well, I'm going to see how it ends now that I've started it".

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I thought the "different voice" she did for the quotes from various interviewees was strange, distracting. This was not a fictional book, but it quoted interviews with Elon Musk and many other well-known and not-so-well-known entrepreneurs. So.. I kept wondering if she's trying to approximate the interviewees' voices (probably not since the voice was the same for all interviewee quotes, regardless of whether the interviewee was a male or a female.. which was another thing about the 'voice' that I found distracting).

Could you see The Creator's Code being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

A documentary, maybe, with interviews with many of the interviewed entrepreneurs. However, it would have to have a different structure than the book.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason Francoeur
  • 12-11-15

Open your mind to what's possible

I'd recommend this book to anyone in business or thinking of starting a business. It will definitely make a person view their word in a different way and open your eyes to opportunities you may have been staring at for some time! Fly the OODA Loop!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • R.B.
  • 08-04-15

A good primer and reminder

If you could sum up The Creator's Code in three words, what would they be?

It's a good primer and reminder of concepts and strategies that some successful entrepreneurs use to rule our lives. Like all books of this nature, things are greatly simplified, but overall I find it to be very useful.

What did you like best about this story?

The bio on Elon Musk is incredible. I knew a little about this man but now I can appreciate his genius.

What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

Good voice and tempo, no complaints.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Elon Musk almost losing everything but pushing through immense obstacles anyway. Worked out well for him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Buddha Weatherby
  • 02-02-17

I appreciate the science and the personal perspectives.

She based this on hundreds of cases, so there is a decent sample size. There is a fair bit of breadth, but I would have appreciated a more in-depth study and a longer book. Breaking it down to six traits is nice and simple, making it approachable for folks without a business background.

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  • Ehren
  • 19-01-17

Fantastic and inspiring

I'm happy to know that I am not alone. Every word person needs to read this

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-01-17

great book

I really enjoyed it. It contains really excellent insights. And, it allowed me to see what it really takes to make it!

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  • Sally C.
  • 31-08-16

Extremely inspiring!!

This information sparks courage, creativity, and inspiration....and action.
Everyone can benefit greatly from it, if they desire...and I'd say especially those who are scared off by the societal belief that you have to be an expert in an area or have an expensive education in order to create something of value in our world.