UPDATE: After skimming through the book, I did manage to find some more informative chapters on how to structure creative enterprises. So, I’ll raise my score of the book to 5/10, and will update when there’s more to say.
I was actually not planning to write anything too bookish this week, having championed their status for more than a few days last week. I just want to say that, ever since starting reading TDW, I found myself growing more and more uncomfortable for a few reasons.
First of all, the credo that the book is trying to sell to me is “Dream, believe, dare, do.” Yes, I remembered it without checking the book. DBDD is such a simple system, meant to emulate Walt Disney & Co’s way of thinking, that pretty much any idiot can remember it.
And that is how I feel like I’m being treated. Like an idiot, who can’t remember more than four words.
The book is split up into parts, representing each of the four “magic words.” I started on ‘Dream,’ expecting to find practical story-boarding tips. I’m not yet done, so maybe at the end, but all I’ve been reading was about companies that the authors consulted, which had “big problems” and now are “a leader in their industry.” There is very little, except for between the lines, which I can use as a case-study for me to think that I can replicate this in my own company.
The method most mentioned, is to create a “Dream Resort” (always capitalised, because it’s the authors’ business). If you go to a Dream Resort, all your creative barriers will fall away, the magic will happen. Believe it! Well, until I see something that justifies spending 1000s of dollars on consultants, or how I can replicate some methods on my own, I don’t believe it.
The only instructions I remember reading so far, was a pseudo-sociological experiment with monkeys. Apparently, if you put 99 monkeys on a beach with sandy fruits, one monkey will work out how to wash his fruit in the sea and make it taste better, and eventually the other monkeys will learn from him. And, I paraphrase: “That’s how companies learn too.” We are all monkeys!
Somewhat ironic, the authors mention several characteristics that people don’t like about how big companies are managed, such as arrogance and not including employees in solving problems. I would like to add treating people condescendingly to that list.
The lack of dreams, you could argue, is a big-company problem, which is another incompatibility-issue with some readers like me. There is no creative barrier, really, what is needed is a framework to build a business around it.
Also, small companies are flatter, there are less structural problems preventing the spread of ideas, it is actually a survival mechanism that everyone takes part in steering/fixing the machine that is a start-up.
Anyway, I decided to give this book until the end of the ‘Dreams’ chapter. If I don’t get clear-cut language by then, I’ll skim and throw it away.
And I still can’t believe that I’m being advertised to buy services in a book that I already bought. An end-of-book brochure is fine, but so far it’s very much over the top.
Reviewer’s current grade: 3/10 and I’m being generous.