I listened to a speaker recently describing the population as being made up of two distinct groups, “Creatives” and “Everybody Else.” The Creatives were supposedly the artistic sorts who paint, sculpt, make music or partake in a variety of disciplines that provide stimulus to Everybody Else. As a person who falls into the group Everybody Else, I have a differing opinion. I feel there exists a range of creativity that is exponentially related to an individual’s desire or reluctance to be different. I believe there is a general group that could be considered Innovative and within that group you have Artistics who create for enjoyment or reaction, and Creatives who attempt to fill a void with better functionality.
Innovative Artistic would represent those who innovate or create for their own personal pleasure regardless of any societal need or desire other than reaction. They are the painters, sculptors, poets, musicians and actors who pursue a craft with financial gain as something other than primary purpose. This may not be their primary activity in life but it is likely the one they would choose if given the opportunity. Occasionally, their work is so remarkable it results in incredible financial reward, more often these individuals are content to create for their own pleasure.
Innovative Creative would represent the individuals who are not satisfied with the way things work now and are in a continuous quest to build something better. These are the engineers, technologists and inventors who create new ways of doing things to satisfy a personal need or more frequently, in hopes of the financial gain. They are the entrepreneurs who create the next big thing or maybe they are just the “Make it work person” that everybody goes to when they can’t figure something out. They are the individuals who didn’t listen when told the Earth was flat or that they can’t possibly make it over the mountain or escape the Earth’s atmosphere and walk on the moon. They also refuse to listen when told there is no possible way to get data from New York to Tokyo in nanoseconds, or that they can’t possibly watch real time news on a hand held device receiving signals without wires. They are also the individuals who figure out how to manipulate data in way that is efficient, reliable and repeatable and result in entirely new businesses and markets. They also figure out how to store Gigabytes worth of information in an object the size of a postage stamp that can tolerate going through both the washing machine and the dryer, more than once! These individuals are artists in their own right although you’re not likely to see their creations in the Guggenheim.
I am not implying that one group is preferred over the other; I am saying that they should be equally revered. The Innovative Creatives are responsible for so many things we all either take for granted or feel we can’t exist without. The next time you are happily fast forwarding through last night’s TV show on your tablet, or getting a text from your child at college and feel relieved that they are ok, think a moment about all the Innovative Creative individuals who enabled those miracles to exist.
Google has recently been granted a license for their driverless vehicle in Nevada (http://tinyurl.com/8a7gzkv) and there appears to be considerable interest in the subject. Governor Rick Snyder (MI), a self-admitted technology nerd is in favor of looking at the opportunity (http://tinyurl.com/7kpbl9h). Is the public ready for sharing the road with vehicles not directly controlled by a human being?
Since developers first began writing applications for users, there has existed a battle Royale of Function vs. Usability. The developers tend to assume Users are able to intuit more than they do and Users are amazed that developers don’t think what they want to do is important enough to justify the cost of implementation.
Several years ago, when working in my first small startup, I stumbled across a concept that had eluded me in the enterprise world. This concept concerned accepting ownership of tasks that ultimately benefit each person on your team. In an enterprise environment not only are there individuals assigned to nearly every possible task, often there are teams or departments. Startups neither have this luxury nor suffer from this constraint.