Monday, March 19, 2012
The entrepreneurial and inventive spirit in you might dream about creating a revolutionary, breakthrough product that changes the world.
However, throughout history, new products or ideas that extend or incrementally improve on current technology have been equally (and perhaps more) important.
I have noticed that there are two types of creative people: Visionaries and Improvers. A Visionary (like Steve Jobs) can create successful products for people that they don't even realize they need. A scientific Visionary like Newton or Einstein can form radically different theories and models of everyday phenomena that are beyond common sense.
Society and, especially creative types, judge innovative success in Visionary terms. We want to change the world with a bang.
However, the Improvers are equally important. They change the world with a whimper. Their creativity lies in a less expansive vision, where they can see one step ahead. To be creative, they need a specific problem or observation that allows them to build on whatever the current state of the art is.
Personally, I'm an Improver. Whenever I focus on improving something that is existing, I am able to harness my creative juices and get absorbed in creating. If I try to create something totally revolutionary or involved, I get bogged down and lose steam - I lose any excitement or creative juice.
The problem is when I get down on myself because I think I need to create something big.