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  • The Icarus Deception

  • How High Will You Fly?
  • By: Seth Godin
  • Narrated by: Seth Godin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (309 ratings)

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The Icarus Deception cover art

The Icarus Deception

By: Seth Godin
Narrated by: Seth Godin
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Summary

What are you afraid of?

The old rules: Play it safe. Stay in your comfort zone. Find an institution, a job, a set of rules to stick to. Keep your head down. Don't fly too close to the sun.

The new truth: It's better to be sorry than safe. You need to fly higher than ever.

In his bravest and most challenging book yet, Seth Godin shows how we can thrive in an economy that rewards art, not compliance. He explains why true innovators focus on trust, remarkability, leadership, and stories that spread. And he makes a passionate argument for why you should be treating your work as art.

Art is not a gene or a specific talent. It's an attitude, available to anyone who has a vision that others don't, and the guts to do something about it. Steve Jobs was an artist. So were Henry Ford and Martin Luther King, Jr. To work like an artist means investing in the things that scale: creativity, emotional labor, and grit. The path of the artist isn't for the faint of heart - but Godin shows why it's your only chance to stand up, stand out, and make a difference.

The time to seize new ground and work without a map is now. So what are you going to do?

©2012 Seth Godin (P)2012 Random House Audio

What listeners say about The Icarus Deception

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Overly long and repetitious

I had high expectations of this book as Seth Godin seems to be held in high reverence. I deliberated whether to purchase this book or his purple Cow book - I think I may have made the wrong decision.

As I listened and listened I became ever more frustrated. Godin gives us a history lesson about the industrial revolution and mechanisation and the organised management of labour in order to set the scene. All perfectly understandable and relevant to his take on the way we are now and the way he believes we should be.

Once we get the drift of his take on the way we should be / see ourselves the message is easily understood. What frustrated me was that he then proceeds to say the same thing over and over with only a slight variance on the story.

The premise of the book in itself is what gives himself and the reader a "get out" clause. If people don't understand you or like what you're doing then that's their fault - you just keep on making art as he calls it. Just believe in what you're doing and everything will eventually be alright.

That's great but if you don't listen to your customer and keep on delivering things people don't want or need or are willing to buy in to, then there comes a point when reality takes a hold and you may need to have a re-think.

That stance could well work for Godin and for many others that have already achieved a certain level of success in their personal and business lives. It's the attraction of the masses and the crowd mentality - "if he's doing it, it must be good". read as if Godin wrote it, it must be good.

My analogy would be to consider a famous artist for example and because of their status / notoriety they will get people to buy even the most ridiculous of things in the name of art. The buyer doesn't need to explain his purchase he just says it's a "Godin" for example. Social acceptance.

So, whilst what he says does bear true, I don't believe that this theory will be as easy to apply / work for everybody.

If it wasn't Seth Godin writing this would everybody buy in to it?

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The connection economy

Brilliant performance. I love when authors read the books and Seth is one of the best, I've read the book and the audio version is the way to consume this book.

It builds on the premise that we are entering a new age, gone is the industrial and information economy and now is the time of the connection economy. The way to create connections is through art. To stand up and be counting, to risk failure, to say here I made this.

This is not a how to book, there are no 8 steps to creating art and win in the new economy. As Seth puts it, he provides a compass not a map.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely life changing

I have read quite few self development books and something about NLP, but none of them actually changed my perspective and my life like this book. It really opened my eyes and liberated my creativity trapped by guilt and years of strict upbringing.
I LOVE this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to wake up and Live

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Classic Seth if a little underwhelming

This is a worthwhile book with an argument which will help any reader understand the merits of initiative if they weren't believers before.

Personally I prefer Godins blog posts which, while covering topics in less detail get to the heart of their topics quickly.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent book

I have been reading a lot on leaders of the future and felt this book was really excellent; explaining how what worked in the Industrial Age is not working for us now. The whole idea of " making art" was great and I particularly loved it when the author said if you are looking for the rules to being a leader, you are secretly wishing to be a manager. Definitely a worthwhile read/ listen.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Life changer

The lack of Drama in this book is beautiful, yet it is absolute rocket fuel when it hits. It's had an immediate and profound effect on me, highly recommended!

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

How to catch a fox.

Check the sample out to hear Seths voice. Read other reviews to get an outline of the book if youre still not sure.

So the obvious out of the way (and catalyst for a lot of the complaints reviews); this book is worth it alone for the tale of the wiley fox. 'Too crafty to just be caught, you need to build the prison around it'. Now, some people are calling this book 'obvious' and 'boring', but the very important oversight to this book is the readers ego: defeatist and arrogant. The tale of the fox alone explains not only why industrialism tricked us, but why its possible to continue to be tricked.

The book can come across as slow, but its very wry and ready. Theres no question that Seth Godin can write humorously and witty. The only way you cant find any merit in this book is if youre one of the problems in the book. Complaining of 'have to be arty' or 'its pointless', is the dawn chorus for the defeated. This book attempts to rouse the dormant genius you had as a child and shake the rules from your pockets and the target appraisals off your lapels.

If theres anything negative about this book is that its a bit of a tall order to fit so much good information inside of 7 hours. Ive honestly listened to this about 9 times now. Theres a lot in there and I find something new in there each time, or revalue what I learned last time. Its a splendid modern self- help book ('No such thing as self-help. You couldnt do it yourself so you got a book. Thats just help - George Carlin). And though I love them, its a breather from things like Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy and the like. A contemporary American view without the theological whimsys woven in the tapersty. And a note again to the point of the book; though its dangerous to fly too close to the sun, it's equally as dangerous to fly too close to the waves.

Maybe the authors of negative comments on here should consider that and perhaps give the thing another listen.

5 stars. Cheers, Seth.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliance at its brightest!

If you're drawn to it.
If you've been recommended to it.
Then go listen to it.
If you're disappointed. Listen again.
If you loved it. Listen again.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dull, obvious and needlessly long

I struggled to get through this. The narrator talks unbelievably slowly to the point of being annoying. The writer takes forever to get to each and every point, most of which is a slightly different way of saying that big business is dead and you need to become an artist with a flair for human connection. Neither entertaining or helpful.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

too much 'padding out'

Any additional comments?

This book is simply too long and repetitive. Maybe I had high hopes as Seth is undoubtedly a guru and I admire his work but this is stretching out a one hour session into many hours. I persevered as I hate to waste my money and give in, but in reality I gained little after grasping the concept of the Icarus Deception and the few real ‘nuggets’ buried in all the padding. He states himself that critics are simply expressing their own opinion- and that is exactly what this is. It is my opinion is that there are better books out there.

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