Well Said - Steve Jobs - about iMovation and Creativity
For those who find iMovation unfamiliar, its imitation + innovation.
In Jobs' words, "It's smart to take an idea and enhance it."
A Legend of iMovative World
In previous installment of column Well Said, a few words by Steve Jobs were quoted - inspiring words about life, loving your work and about following your heart. But there was nothing about creativity - the incompleteness is rather unfair since Steve Jobs was a legend of the world of iMovation and creativity. Although he himself delivered words of wisdom time and again which were immensely inspiring, his quoting and interpretation of others' sayings are also amazing.
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Steal and Accept
"It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done. And then try to bring those things in to what you're doing. I mean, Picasso had a saying. He said, 'Good artists copy. Great artists steal.' We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."
Don't be a copy cat, Steal it, and Accept the Theft
Picasso might have meant something different - but Jobs states something which is as true as strange it might seem. When you copy something, you refuse to apply your own brain. But when you take an idea and enhance (steal, as stated by Jobs) it, you give something of your own to it. In fact, getting any success, even making this new enhancement acceptable might pose a greater challenge than its predecessor ever faced. For e.g., coming up with something much better than the existing competitor - good enough to convince people to try your stuff instead, especially when they are already comfortable and satisfied with the existing stuff. And then, also making sure that whatever you do is not so easy to imitate or, for that matter, easy to even enhance, else you will soon out -without even reaping the benefit of your extension - with the entry of a new successor.
So 'stealing' is an art after all, iMovating is not piece of cake.
Connect and Synthesize
"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."
Creator or Connector?
His perception about of creativity is absolutely mesmerizing. Many won't agree with the guilt feeling though, once you understand how the creative mind works, it's obvious - tunes float around a music composer in the air, s/he just has to open the windows of the mind. Poets visualize the rhyming words embedded in meaningful sentences on a blurred sheet of paper, they just have to focus enough to see past the blurry glass covering their creation.
When asking does not help
"I never had to ask the customers, if it's something truly revolutionary, they won't be able to help you."
Discover or Invent
"I knew long before we built it, what exactly Mac was. It always existed."
Opinions might not be helpful always
You can conduct customer surveys to know if they are satisfied with your existing products/services. But if you've a new idea, don't hold your breath. It's very difficult to make people imagine something. Especially, when it's just an idea in your mind. Conveying your imagination correctly to even your colleagues, fellow creators becomes difficult sometimes, transferring it to a group - and that too customers - is extremely difficult. Most of the times, you'll just have to believe in your imagination, and go ahead to attempt, to experiment.
Learn and Improve
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
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Don't be Afraid to Experiment, Quickly Accept Mistakes
It's not attempting for something, or experimenting with something which you should be afraid of. The scary situation is, when a mistakes bangs your head, and you still don't want to accept it. Accept and improve, there is no time to waste, other innovations are in fact waiting to be discovered, or invented - as your prefer - they are your innovations, after all.
Steve Jobs features at Amazon
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