Gideon Amichay Has a New Book Based on His TEDx Talk

By Erik Oster 

Back in January, we shared Gideon Amichay’s TEDx talk entitled “No, No, No, No, No, Yes” (see it again if you wish after the jump). Now, Adichay has an upcoming book based on the talk, with same title in tow.

Amichay’s book begins by talking about the new pair of Adidas sneakers his father refused him as a child, buying instead a cheaper, no-name brand. He identifies this moment as the beginning of his “endless will to move up and work hard.” He goes on to document the many rejection letters he received from the The New Yorker as a young aspiring cartoonist. For a period, Amichay would submit to The New Yorker every Wednesday, and receive a rejection letter every Friday. Gradually, the notes on the rejection letter became more positive, urging him to “Keep trying.” Eventually the cartoon editor kept one of Amichay’s sketches. Although it was later returned, the editor later held two sketches. One day, The New Yorker finally decided to buy one of Amichay’s sketches.

Amichay’s book is really about the importance of hearing “no,” something often forgotten in the era of instant gratification. “No” doesn’t have to be spirit-breaking, “No usually comes with a comma,” Amichay says. He makes a point of distinguishing between the automatic “no” that comes from fear of the unknown, the skeptics, those who would like to play it safe, and the constructive “no” that makes you reconsider an idea or take a new direction. He urges his readers to develop their personal relationship with the word. Amichay explores all the times you’ll hear “no” in advertising: from creative collaborators, from bosses, from clients. Behind the “no” schtick is a great look at Amichay’s career in advertising and some of the interesting campaigns he’s been involved with, from the beginning of his career at Grey Tel Aviv up until his 2010 resignation after spending nearly two decades as CCO/joint managing partner of Shalmor Avnon Amichay Y&R.

Not surprisingly, the conversational writing is accompanied by some of Amichay’s drawings. These drawings are perhaps the highlight of the book, as while Amichay’s easygoing, conversational writing style is commendable, sketching is his true talent. The book is a pleasant, easy read, and you could do a lot worse if looking for an inspirational text, especially one dealing with advertising. No, No, No, No, No, Yes will be released on Jan. 15, 2014 in hardcover format.