“Even some of the smartest people on the planet, building some of the most world changing products in all of history, often forget that there are actual human beings on the other side of technology.”
— Randi Zuckerberg, Dot Complicated
“Being too risk averse causes many companies to stop innovating and reject new ideas, which is the first step on the path to irrelevance.”
— Ed Catmull, Creativity Inc.
I have spent this summer trying to stay true to my personal and professional mission which I wrote of in my book, The NICE Reboot: to balance humanity and technology in today’s iEra. That’s why I tried so hard to follow my own entrepreneurship advice about getting in touch with my inner child and taking a mini vacation with a total “digital detox” at regular intervals. They helped me recharge my batteries and gain a new perspective.
That’s why I was drawn to reading the books I quoted from above. One is from a female entrepreneur trailblazer in Silicon Valley who helped create Facebook. The other is from a tech entrepreneur trailblazer who created Pixar and some of the most beloved stories/films of all time. Creativity Inc. gave me many practical takeaways, some of which a fellow blogger succinctly wrote about here. It also sparked a national debate on the importance of persistence and storytelling in business, in blogging and innovation, and in content marketing; areas for today’s entrepreneur to explore and implement.
It also provided much food for thought about:
I want to share some of my insights in the coming weeks, but for now, I’d like to raise this oft asked question:
Why does creativity matter so much?
1. It fosters goodwill and social entrepreneurship; both desperately needed in today’s uber-competative, cynical, burned-out, and fragmented workplaces.
2. It facilitates focus i.e. separating the figure from the ground; desperately needed amidst today’s social media “white noise” and sensory overload from the cacophony of too many choices, too many distractions.
3. It contributes to problem solving on both the micro and macro levels of productivity; desperately needed in today’s shared economy where the Butterfly Effect is a reality.
4. It decreases risk aversion which is so detrimental for entrepreneurs who need to innovate, not to mention lead.
5. It increases intelligence and individuality; the two main currencies of our current startup culture.
Creativity is about actively connecting the dots, as Steve Jobs famously explained. It is also about carefully seeing the novel amidst the mundane, and synthesizing new ideas with old ones, as Ed Catmull so eloquently wrote in his book. For me, creativity is about methodically and successfully harnessing the power of curiosity, personally and professionally. It’s something of a lost art in today’s 24/7 information overload and Google search culture.
To be continued……