The Icarus Deception Summary

BookSummaryClub Blog The Icarus Deception Summary

The lowdown: This Icarus Deception summary based on the hit book written by Seth Godin, explains that you also can’t fly too low.

You may have heard of Icarus flying too close to the sun. The age-old myth has explained that aiming too high can end in tears and regret.

However, the Icarus story also demonstrates that you shouldn’t fly too low either and avoid taking risks altogether.

Why is that a valuable lesson in today’s business world? Well, previously safe jobs are now disappearing. To live the life you want to live, you are required to be more artistic and creative than ever before.

Creativity doesn’t mean painting or singing. However, we must complete tasks that computers can’t.

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?
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The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Seth Godin (Author) – Seth Godin (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/01/2013 (Publication Date) – Random House Audio (Publisher)

The three main lessons you’ll learn from The Icarus Deception are:

  1. We need to move out of our comfort zone
  2. In the new economy, there are more opportunities and fewer gatekeepers
  3. Shame can be the artists’ kryptonite
The Icarus Deception Summary #entrepreneur

Lesson One: We need to move out of our comfort zone

The world we live in is more automated than ever before. From self-serve machines at the supermarket to being able to complete all your banking on your smartphone, machines are the new norm.

As people, we need to make a place for ourselves by being creative and completing tasks which can’t be replicated by computer.

This comes from stepping out of our comfort zone. However, as people, we have had stories like that of Icarus engraved into society and our beliefs.

Note: A quick background on Icarus

If Greek Mythology isn’t your jam, here’s a quick rundown on Icarus. The son of Daedalus, Icarus and his father were thrown in prison for disobeying the king.

Daedalus created wax wings to help the two escape from prison. When escaping, Icarus was told not to fly too close to the sun, as it would melt the wax. Icarus didn’t listen, and soon plunged to his death.

The saying ‘don’t fly too high’ was taken from that story, and the theme of being too cautious is one that has stuck with mankind since (thanks a lot, Icarus).

Lesson Two: In the new economy, there are more opportunities and fewer gatekeepers

The new economy is one that is dominated by the internet. The world is a much smaller place and you can work with people over the other side of the world without hassle.

With this new economy and the use of the online world, there are less gatekeepers setting standards for what can and cannot be achieved.

Now, it is common to see famous business owners, artists or musicians that previously would have had no chance.


Hell, I started this website in an afternoon after having an idea!

Lesson Three: Shame can be the artists’ kryptonite

Every here has a weakness. Even Superman has Kryptonite, which stops the here in hes tracks.

As an artist, shame can be your biggest enemy.

Usually your ‘art’, or anything you invest a lot of time into, is deeply personal. Often others who don’t understand what you’re doing will criticize and that can have a huge impact if you let it.

As a business owner, it is likely that your business is your art. It is something you invest a lot of time in, something you’re passionate about, and something that is deeply personal.

If a boss has words to say about your note taking ability, odds are you won’t care too much. However, if a friend makes the same comments about a startup idea, it can completely derail you.

To succeed, you have to develop a thick skin and move past the criticism.

My Personal Takeaway

This book had me thinking about all the people who have no idea about the business I run.

I have kept it quite secret from a large portion of those who know me. Perhaps I am avoiding the shame that Seth Godin speaks of here.

Regardless, The Icarus Deception is a great read (as all of Godin’s books are) and will open your eyes to why you need to take that step outside of your comfort zone.

Did this summary excite you?

Book summaries are great, but I also really believe that you will not fully understand the book or the author without trying the real thing. Learn more about this subject by listening to the full book for free via Audible.

Put it into action

To be more creative, start writing every day.

It doesn’t have to be a diary. But writing something every day will get your mind in a creative space.

Odds are when you start you’ll find it difficult…. that’s the point. However writing daily will make it easier and easier.

If you’re a business owner, it can even be working on your company content.

You should consider buying this book if…

The Icarus Deception is perfect for business owners and those who are on the verge of starting a side-hustle but haven’t taken the leap yet.

Or, read our other business book summaries.

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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