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Where does creativity come from?

Where does creativity come from?

Steve Jobs said:

Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say, ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.

In the paragraph previous, he said:

There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy.

For his important meetings, Steve Jobs would always want to take a walk. He didn’t like meetings (in meeting rooms). He liked to walk and talk.

I think I’m a little stuck in Old School Creativity, probably from, sorry psycho-babble warning, from my father’s work ethic, “Son, work hard, keep your head down, and all will be well with the world.” Yeah, maybe your little world of you, yourself and you. But if you want to break out of the shell, become a little more Street Smart than Book Smart and you need to get out there, open your mouth, lay it on the table, show your cards. Do what you don’t want to do. What do you have to lose?

I tend to think, “No, no, I need to study at least 34 more years, read 87 books on the subject, and then put together a few PhD dissertations before I can become “creative” on the subject.” I want to work on it in solitary rather than meet a colleague about the topic. “Let me study up a bit more before we meet.” Of course, we’ll never actually meet in person. But maybe Steve Jobs just leapfrogs that book learning with the “random discussions” and non-parallel thinking. Through the discussions and the non-linear thought process, you’ll spring forward (or at least in some direction–but at least it’ll be movement) and come to new conclusions and unpredictable (not from the book) ideas, solutions, and directions.

If you chatted with every boater on this water, how much would you learn?


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