Friday, August 31, 2012

"I Am Determined to Make this Work"

There are two different flavors of creativity.

The first is the one with which most of us are both intuitively and empirically familiar: the "aha" moment. It is the spark that comes from talking to a bunch of strangers in an evening with varying interests. It is no secret that cross-germination of ideas between people with different professions is a good way to generate ideas. And we are delighted when something shiny and new arrives in our head, seemingly out of nowhere. (Even though most ideas are derivative of something that has come before, whether we know or readily acknowledge this.)

The second kind: focus. It is picking a particular "aha" moment and running with it. It is the attitude of "I am determined to make this work". It is a willingness to stare a difficult problem in the face, even when it seems insurmountable, and to refuse to back down. This is the kind of creativity that builds careers and companies.

If you need ideas, go engage people who are different than you in conversation and listen to what they say. Ideas will eventually come; that is the easy part. It is much harder to commit, to move past the one-night stand brand of ideation, to asking a single idea out on a series of dates.

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