In a famous Wired article, Steve Jobs said “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.
It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things…
A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”
Two things stand out for me. ‘Diverse experiences’ and ‘broad perspective’. One leads naturally to the other. If you work in a creative role, don’t focus completely on your specialty. Read widely. Explore areas that may not seem relevant. Discover. Uncover.
Earlier today, the roll out of Apple’s iOS 6 began sweeping the world.
Some people are cheering, some are yawning. Along with the eagerly awaited iPhone 5, iOS 6 will surely polarise fanboys and haters alike.
The biggest issue seems to be the lack of a game changing ‘wow’ factor in both products. But so what? Is radical innovation the only acceptable play? I don’t think so.
Radical innovation is exciting. It takes us in new directions and opens new doors creatively. but incremental innovation is also vital. It’s the basis of evolution. Small, constant changes that help us develop and improve.
The iPhone 5 and iOS 6 might not change the world, but every step forward is a step I’m happy with.
Commercial creativity has a growing flaw, exacerbated by the demands of business and new communication platforms.
The flaw is now. That one syllable word has caused more damage to creativity than any other. Business are pushing creatives to create instant ideas, and ideas which can be implemented instantly.
If your idea takes time, forget it. If it’s not going to have an impact of this quarter’s profits, or this term in office, we’re not interested. The lack of faith in the long term can be soul destroying.
Of course, there are plenty of companies who do think differently and plan creatively for the long term, but the companies snapping at their heels are too often the ones scrabbling for instant creativity, in order to jump ahead.
So how do you, as a creative type, overcome the need for now? If you’re in marketing or advertising, you probably can’t, but what you can do is plan properly. Make sure you file all your ideas for a rainy day (see The Boring Way To Creative Success) and never, ever, ever throw out an idea because it doesn’t fit now.
Don’t be afraid that you’ll be ‘rehashing’ an old idea. If the core of the idea is sound, it’s worth nurturing. File it away, let it grow and develop in the background, and make sure it’s ready when now rolls around again.
The bible (don’t panic, I’m not the religious type) said There’s Nothing New Under The Sun, but Ambrose Pierce revitalised that quote beautifully.
Sometimes, now can take years to create.
Steve Jobs, co founder of Apple has died. Full report at ABC HERE.
RIP one of the great creative minds of our era.