Brainfruit: Turning Creativity into Cash from East to West

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9780071324953: Brainfruit: Turning Creativity into Cash from East to West

Now is a time of great opportunity for creative people who have some understanding of business. We are more connected than ever and the Internet has brought East and West closer. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we are all on the same map. Brainfruit is the essential travel guide for anyone setting out to try and make money from their ideas.

  • You might be a recent graduate of a creative course. This book shows how you can get paid.
  • You might work in someone else s creative business. This book can help explain what that business needs to succeed or how it might feel to set up on your own.
  • You could be one of the many ideas people who find themselves running a business, almost by accident. This book will help you clarify your plans and show you what lies ahead.
Brainfruit is packed with inspiring stories of people who have succeeded in turning creativity into cash. Insight exercises will help you understand yourself and the business potential of your ideas. The book includes free access to an online community and resources.

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From the Author:

Marriage, painting a picture and riding a bicycle have something in common. They are all simple to explain in theory: respectively, you just fall in love, pick up a brush, or keep pedalling.
Of course, in reality, doing any of these things well takes a lot of practice -- experience that is not easy to put into words.
So it is with business. The basic ideas are not difficult to explain or understand, even if they seem unfamiliar and there are a lot of them. But sticking with business takes some self-awareness, much like marriage. Like painting, there is an art to it that only comes with practice. And, like learning to ride a bike, you have to be prepared to fall off a few times before you get the hang of it.
We have tried to keep the theory in this book to a minimum. Instead, we have tried to capture some of that elusive experience that is the secret of turning creative energy into cash.
True Stories
Over the past decade we have worked with hundreds of creative people and 'ideas businesses'. Some have hit dead ends. Others have changed the world in big and small ways. A few have created immense wealth. It has been reassuring to find that so many have discovered similar shortcuts to success, however they define it, and wherever they are located.
We invited them to share their stories in this book. Rather than featuring unrepresentative superstars or sugarcoating the messiness of real life, we selected ordinary people who were willing to 'tell it like it is'. We hope that reading about their setbacks as well as their successes will give you confidence to explore the business side of creativity, even if you do not feel in any way that you are a business person.
Convergence Long before video games and the Internet, there was a time when creative songwriters, designers, TV producers and marketing professionals worked in very different worlds. The giant tape recorders of a 1950s music studio looked nothing like the drawing boards in a product designer's office or the palette of paint in an artist's hand. Placing an international phone call cost a small fortune. Ideas spread slowly when they had to travel on paper.
Today we can share our work instantly, world-wide, for free. We can chat with co-creators on webcam even if we never meet face to face. Everyone uses the same screens and those screens can switch from making music to designing a website in a couple of clicks. The same person can create music in the morning and do graphic design in the afternoon. It is common to find people who are equally happy directing a video drama for a social enterprise, building a web community or designing the packaging for a client's product, all in a day's work. The only limits are our skill and imagination.
Yet some things have not changed at all. Throughout history, great ideas have enriched the world, but the world has not always made great ideas people rich. That is why we wrote this book.
Now is a time of great opportunity for creative people who have some understanding of business. We are more connected than ever and the Internet has brought East and West closer. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we are all on the same map now.
As a creative professional, it used to be OK to understand just your corner of that map. A film-maker did not need to know much about how advertising agencies or film archives make money. Fashion designers did not need to understand how software companies make money. Now, that looks shortsighted.
We live in a world where two guys with $1,000 and an idea for an online T-shirt competition built the global brand Threadless in less than a decade. Their success is based on the open source approach to collaboration between strangers pioneered by software developers.
Even some refrigerators now come with built-in screens to browse the Internet, instantly making you and your kitchen part of an online community. Product designers can make more impact and get better rewarded if they understand the many ways consumers might want to connect to their brands and products. Musicians can strike better deals if they know how advertisers make money from their work. We can all benefit if we start to develop a common language around the businesses of ideas.
Positioning this book Think of a newspaper: different people see it in very different ways.
A cultural theorist might describe a newspaper as a cultural symbol, while a historian could see it as the mouthpiece of a political movement. A macro-economist might view the newspaper as a component in a media value system, while the newspaper's owner views it as a commercial asset. To an advertising agency, a newspaper is both a brand and a media channel -- someplace where advertisements will be seen by many. A journalist thinks of their newspaper as a collection of stories, while a graphic designer sees a stylised layout of typography, images and graphics. Printers see sheets of paper needing to be inked, cut and shipped, while materials scientists see organic fibres bound together by chemical forces. A child sees the raw materials to make a paper hat while, traditionally in Great Britain, food retailers see omething to wrap fish and chips in.
All these people are right and none of them can talk meaningfully to each other if they insist that only their definition covers it all. In the same way it would be foolish for us to try to cover the entire world of ideas in one book. We must be frank about our starting point and the limits of our vision.
We are an entrepreneur and a creative practitioner-turned-academic who help people starting out with ideas to survive, thrive and make sense of business. So our approach is very pragmatic. By framing up stories of success we hope to share some of the key strategies that seem to work in the real world. That is all.
Above and below us are levels of understanding that we do not have space to explore. We build on a foundation of basic business skills like time management, sales technique and accounting. These topics may not appeal to every creative person's natural inclinations but they are very relevant and well covered in accessible form elsewhere.
Above us arches macro-economics, setting a context to understand the world in which ideas, creativity and business operate. Somewhere up in the stratosphere floats cultural theory; it is not always easy to apply but it can help to make sense of why the people who buy the products of creativity behave as they do.
Finding Your Way Around Many creative people tell us that business feels like a world apart from their own. So we have structured this book rather like a travel guide. Think of the people who share their journeys here as tracing tracks where you might want to go one day, or covering ground you have already passed over. Think of the parts into which this book is divided as each covering a different region of the world where ideas and business meet.

  • Part 1 aims to help you make sense of some key ideas business concepts painlessly.
  • Part 2 explains how money flows through ideas businesses.
  • Part 3 sets out the steps that most ideas businesses must climb as they grow.
  • Part 4 covers a topic that often puzzles ideas people: raising money.
  • Part 5 explores the ecosystem that supports creative people and introduces the expert professionals that an ideas business will need to succeed.

At the end of each part you will find an Insight Exercise that you might want to use to understand your own situation, or to start a discussion with your colleagues.
There is no need to read this book from cover to cover, in one go, unless you want to. If a page, chapter or part feels irrelevant to you, we suggest that you simply skip it for now. Come back and dip in and out of the book as you work through your career. The guarantee we offer is that many of the questions which will keep you awake at night have already been answered by people just like you. The answers are here when you need them.

From the Inside Flap:

"A fantastic, thoughtful  and productive guide for anyone who has the passion to turn their idea into a viable business. A must-read for creative thinkers who are the designers of the landscape of our business environments in the future."
- Mindy Coppin, Senior Vice President and Director, IMG Artists Asia
 
"You have an idea you are passionate about and want to make a business reality. This is your book."
- Charles Wigley, Chairman, BBH Asia
 
"Books dealing with creativity and business and ideas are legion. So, do we need yet another book on these topics? After reading Brainfruit, I say a resounding 'YES'. Yes because here is a book which lays out the road map for creativity and business in a manner that is uncluttered and unmined."- Kirpal Singh, author of Thinking Hats and Coloured Turbans: Creativity Across Cultures
 
Cover Image: Maclura pomifera is a small deciduous tree native to Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Its fruit, sometimes called Brain Fruit, is inedible to humans but enjoyed by squirrels.

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Book Description McGraw-Hill Education - Europe, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. Overview Now is a time of great opportunity for creative people who have some understanding of business. We are more connected than ever. The Internet has brought East and West closer. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we are all on the same map. Brainfruit is the essential travel guide for anyone setting out to try and make money from their ideas. * You might be a recent graduate of a creative course. This book shows how you can get paid. * You might work in someone else s creative business. This book can help explain what that business needs to succeed or how it might feel to set up on your own. * You could be one of the many ideas people who find themselves running a business, almost by accident. This book will help you clarify your plans and show you what lies ahead. Brainfruit is packed with inspiring stories of people who have succeeded in turning creativity into cash. Insight exercises after each part in this book will help you understand yourself and the business potential of your ideas. The book includes free access to an online community and resources. Bookseller Inventory # AA39780071324953

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Book Description McGraw-Hill Education - Europe, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. Overview Now is a time of great opportunity for creative people who have some understanding of business. We are more connected than ever. The Internet has brought East and West closer. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we are all on the same map. Brainfruit is the essential travel guide for anyone setting out to try and make money from their ideas. * You might be a recent graduate of a creative course. This book shows how you can get paid. * You might work in someone else s creative business. This book can help explain what that business needs to succeed or how it might feel to set up on your own. * You could be one of the many ideas people who find themselves running a business, almost by accident. This book will help you clarify your plans and show you what lies ahead. Brainfruit is packed with inspiring stories of people who have succeeded in turning creativity into cash. Insight exercises after each part in this book will help you understand yourself and the business potential of your ideas. The book includes free access to an online community and resources. Bookseller Inventory # AA39780071324953

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