A book of colorful tidbits to inspire creative thought.

The Billion-Dollar Creative

In this debut business-advice book, a seasoned digital artist and entrepreneur offers his insights on fostering creativity.

Margolis has had a 20-year career working with creative teams and corporate clients in entertainment, media, advertising, publishing, and finance in London and New York. Those clients have included IMG’s television division Trans World International, advertising agency Burkitt DDB (now Adam & Eve DDB), property consultancy King Sturge (now Jones Lang LaSalle), Sky Sports, and communications company Energis (now Vodafone). In this first book of a planned series, the author focuses on the first 25 of a projected 250 principles, all focused on how to create the best conditions to nurture creativity in “an increasingly complex world.” In 25 chapters, he offers musings and often amusing discussions on starter concepts, such as committing to documenting one’s ideas; eating a healthy diet; varying one’s daily commute; allowing time for meditation and daydreaming; asking “what if” instead of open-ended questions; and maximizing brainstorming sessions. Margolis sees the modern, open-plan office as “a creativity killer,” noting that one should take short breaks and go on longer-term retreats as much as possible. He discusses the “pressure paradox,” in which deadlines create creativity-crushing stress but also galvanize people into action. He describes sharing ideas with others as a “triple-edged sword”: one would miss out on constructive feedback by staying silent, but one’s ego may be unduly inflated (or deflated) by others’ responses. Overall, Margolis provides an array of chatty, easy-to-read chapters, making this book a good tool for kick-starting personal creativity. However, readers may wish for more details on how the author applied his principles to his own apparently stellar career, and his tendency toward humor can be a bit tiresome and distracting. Still, the book does offer some effective, quick-shot motivational advice. (A related website showcases some attractive visual representations of the book’s chapter titles.)

A book of colorful tidbits to inspire creative thought.

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2014


Page Count: 175

Publisher: Pacific Night Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...


The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

Did you like this book?