Startups are a Remix
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”
Steve Jobs, Co-Founder Apple, NeXT Computing and Pixar
Everything Is A Remix – Including Your Startup
If you have not yet discovered Everything Is A Remix, I strongly encourage you to invest the time to check it out. Filmmaker Kirby Ferguson has created a collection of short films which beautifully underscore Mr. Jobs’ definition of creativity (the term beautiful is appropriate here, as the production values are sweet).
In Part I, Kirby illustrates the derivative nature of popular music. Highlighting, among other things, how Led Zeppelin blatantly ripped off numerous American blues musicians. In contrast, many of Zeppelin’s rock-n-roll contemporaries created music that paid tribute to those who influenced them, without completely hijacking the original artists’ inspirations.
Part II explores cinema, pointing out that of the top ten grossing films from each of the last ten years, 74 out of 100 are either sequels, new versions of previously released films, or theatrical adaptations of stories first published in print. According to Kirby, “Transforming the old into the new, is Hollywood’s greatest talent.”
Of particular interest to entrepreneurs, Part III discusses the creative process of technical innovations. Kirby opens this video by stating:
“Creativity isn’t magic. It happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing materials. And the soil from which we grow our creations is something we scorn and misunderstand, even though it gives us so much, and that’s COPYING.Continued on the next page