Photo: James Ryang

Scott Belsky: How To Avoid The Idea Generation Trap

About this presentation

We’ve all experienced it. After the high of a new idea fades, we enter the dreaded period of execution where nothing remains but the arduous task of actually doing. At this crucial juncture, our natural tendency is often to dive back into idea generation – to re-attain that new idea high – rather than seeing the original idea through to the finish. Here, Belsky talks about methods for keeping great ideas alive – seeking constraints, finding beauty in organization, short-circuiting our rewards systems, and more.

Making Ideas Happen: The Book

Drawing on hundreds of interviews and years of research, Scott Belsky shares the methods of exceptionally productive designers, entrepreneurs, and creative leaders in his national bestseller Making Ideas Happen. Learn more about the book here.

About Scott Belsky

Scott believes that the greatest breakthroughs across all industries are a result of creative people and teams that are especially productive. As the CEO and Founder of Behance, Scott has committed his professional life to helping organize creative individuals, teams, and networks. Prior to founding Behance, Scott helped grow the Pine Street Leadership Development Initiative at Goldman, Sachs & Co. He is the Chairman of the Board of Reboot and a Director for the Kaplan Foundation. Scott received his BA from Cornell University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Links @scottbelsky

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  • Stanley H. Griggs II

    Great video Scott! I am one of the twitter winners of the idea survival tool kit and I am going to get used to the Making Ideas Happen way of doing things and see how things workout. I indeed am going though the scenario you described with the idea plateau with my ideas of breaking the Guinness World Record of most people in underpants. I send e-mails, got people on my team, etc., etc. but I hasn’t happened. I am missing something by breaking it into Milestones then Task I can find what’s missing. I managed to get 344 people onboard via facebook I know I can get more then finally execute this project/IDEA.


  • BillyBush

    This is a great vid that is dead-on accurate. I tend to be an “idea-whore” jumping around from whatever looks appealing and gives energy. I’ve learned a few lessons and now its a matter of focus for me. Good stuff…

  • Zane M. Kolnik

    dude, you can’t embed your video on wordpress using an iFrame.

  • Theo

    Highly creative but unable to produce, I thought I was disorganized. Turns out I was ADD. I’d say 99% of the time, creatives find it hard to produce because it’s physically tormenting to do so. I’d suggest everyone who finds difficulty with ‘making ideas happen’ get screened.

  • Adam Salem

    dude>>>THEYRES NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING ADD>>>>IT JUST MEANS THAT WE”RE MULTI-DYNAMIC BEINGS…..THIS BIGGEST BULL IS THE ENTIRE FLATLAND WORLD OF….oh, if you’re not turning out results…then you MUST have a problem……….My answer to that parochial mindset is: NO….IM JUST A MULTI-DYNAMIC BEING

  • Adam Salem

    focus on what EXACTLY???? MAYBE ALL WERE INTERSETED IN AS HUMAN BEINGS IS SEX???? maybe the mind can only focus on pleasing Our Highest Self…..check out Ken Wilber’s “Sex, Ecology, and Sprituality”

  • Adam Salem

    ….How to Avoid Being Human

  • Donaldjohns

    How do you know when to quit a project if success isn’t very promising.

  • Giulio Sciorio

    Thank you Scott for this powerful presentation and all the great support tools that help artists take their ideas and make then a reality.

  • Graham Atkins-Hughes

    Lots of ideas never make it, find some of the answers to the why here

  • Tony

    I don’t like the 1% 99% analogy.

    It belittles creatives and implies their input is less valuable .

    I find that the creative element is the one constant and the only thing that will sustain a project during implementation.

    I think to use the plateau metaphor is incorrect. I have no less passion for my ideas during implementation than I do when I first conceive them. There is “resistance” to an idea and implementation can experience a fair amount of resistance.

    If you are someone who has ideas and you want to see them develop, you must learn to deal with this resistance. But don’t let it devalue your idea or stop its development, unless it’s a bad idea of course:)

  • Личное развитие

    Has found on the site “Personal progress” ( an interesting articles about generation of useful ideas (

  • Paul

    “Oh, Shit!”

    That’s the phrase I remember most from this segment.

    Sincerely, Try again.

  • Shoe Organizer Ideas

    The rewards of establishing a place for all of your shoes – in a cubbie or shoe chest, in the closet on a shoe rack, under your bed, on a shoe tree or in a shoe cabinet – are many. First, you will know where your shoes are when you want to find just the right pair. No more searching through the deep recesses of your closet, under the bed or in a big shoe basket in the morning as you get dressed. 

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