Do you need be creative to create?

I just watched a great video at 99% by Michael Bierut called 5 Secrets from 86 Notebooks and it got me thinking.

Do you need to be a creative person to take an idea to market?

After watching Michael’s video, I believe that a degree of creativity and a holistic approach to delivery are two vital ingredients to take an idea from concept to creation, but not nessesariliy the type of creativity and invention traditionally associated with entrepreneurship.  It is inspiring to watch someone open up that has made such an positive impact on the design community in general and Michael’s presentation certainly goes some way towards answering my question.

Elliot Eisner defines four different types of creative people in "A Typology of Creative Behavior in the Visual Arts“ (pages 323 – 335)

  • Boundary Pushing (the rules are too constraining) 
  • Boundary Breaking   (the rules are the problem) 
  • Aesthetic Organizing (order and beauty from chaos)   
  • Qualitative organizing.  The need to produce order, harmony, and unity.  Differs from the others in that novelty is not required.

Most of the people I know can be defined by the different "creative” types defined by Eisner above, meaning that those budding entrepreneurs, developers and designers who simply want to see their idea through from concept to creation should be able to do just that.  I believe there are a few simple rules to follow to avoid being zapped up by the low-energy stage that inevetably comes after the excitement of a new concept or idea starts to wear off.

If you have a good idea, you should:

Protect it

Don’t show it to anybody and keep it to yourself.

Don’t depend on others to make things happen

Do it yourself and stay in control but get good people to help you.

Don’t give up: Some things just happen

Whether it’s hitting a brick wall in your design or hitting that low in a project, it’s about anything that can’t be changed, in particular the things you reflect on but where reflecting doesn’t have positive benefits.

Have fun and step back

Spending more time stressing about petty things than looking forward and remembering why you’re working on your idea is bad. If you don’t have a piece of glass embedded in your forehead, then enjoy it and make it work *now*.  Take time to step back now and again in order to retain your creativity.

Don’t hurt anyone in order to achieve your goal

Share your idea and try to make money out of it, but recognise those who help you and share the rewards accordingly.

See it through

Too many designers and creative people are guilty of failing to see projects through to launch.

Be a finisher

Create, plan, finance, produce and market your idea.

Even if you work a 9-5 job and feel you’re stuck in the grind, then you can still make your idea work through:
  • Developing it as a personal project – personal and professional projects benefit each other as you learn development skills and techniques which you can apply to your work.
  • Creating platforms is powerful and good for the mind – participation & collaboration is key!
Good luck!

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