The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas

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9780140287943: The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas

Britain makes more money from music than from its car industry. In the United States the core copyright industries achieved foreign sales and exports of $60.18 billion - a figure which surpasses, for the first time, every other export sector, including automobiles, agriculture and aircraft. Howkins sets out to explore how we can harness creativity and the industry it sustains to our common interests. This book is not about information and the information society. It is about more basic matters, what we humans want and what we are good at.

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The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas

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In The Creative Economy John Howkins argues that intellectual property is far more important today than "hard goods" and that creativity itself should now be viewed as a defining commercial factor. The examples quoted at the start of the book, including Amazon.com's copyrighting of its sales methodology and the British patent for the technique used to clone Dolly the sheep, illustrate the range of forms creativity can take. Throughout the rest of the book, Howkins uses a similarly wide range of examples to explain his theory that creativity will be the dominant economic form of the 21st century.

In its 230 pages The Creative Economy ranges widely in scope. Its seven chapters discuss various creative industries including art, video games, music, film and fashion. Digital technology and its central role is the subject of a separate chapter, as is the management of ideas as a profit-making enterprise. At the openings of his chapters, Howkins reports his interviews with a range of important figures from musician Bob Geldof to architect Richard Rogers and businesswoman Anita Roddick. The overall style, though, is intellectual and with little to break up the dense prose it is, despite the many real-world examples, not always an easy read. It's worth the effort though; Howkins presents a forceful argument, enough perhaps to convince readers with an eye for business to get his or her thinking cap on. --Sandra Vogel

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