"randomness sparks creativity"

Friday, December 07, 2012

I was reading an article about how being random can actually spark your creativity. It was referring to a book called The Click Moment that talks all about how most of the success stories; in the likes of Lady Gaga, Howard Schultz and so on, have achieved their instant fame & recognition through their random decisions and hard work.

An excerpt from the article:

1. Increase the number of click moments in our lives. This is a lot easier than we think. Most of us, by nature, are creatures of habit. We like the familiar and avoid placing ourselves in uncomfortable positions. In a crowded room, we tend to gravitate toward the people we know, rather than striking up a conversation with a stranger. And we become so immersed in a certain path—or the momentum has driven us so far down it—that we're unwilling to question or take our eyes off it.

Instead, change up your routine. Go to a different café. Read a magazine you otherwise never would. Talk to someone in the elevator, on the plane, or in the park—and go beyond the weather and your busy schedules. Surround yourself with people who are different from you, be it their backgrounds, their professions, their cultures. Embrace that diversity.

2. Reject the obvious path. If we do what's logical—take the path that everyone 'knows' to do—we will do exactly what someone else is doing, and never stand apart. My friend Marcus Samuelsson, food activist, restaurateur, and chef-owner of Red Rooster, recounted to me how he came to be the guest chef for the White House's state dinner for the Indian Prime Minister Mammohan Singh. Every state dinner since 1874 has featured French-American cuisine.

The White House invited 15 elite chefs, including Marcus, to present a menu for the dinner. Everyone presented a French-American menu with a meat dish, save Marcus. Knowing Prime Minister Singh is vegetarian, he presented a vegetarian menu inspired by Indian flavors. He was selected as the guest chef, and the White House broke its French-American state dinner tradition.

3. Make lots of bets—but purposefully. Pablo Picasso made over 50,000 works of art in his lifetime. The Virgin Group has launched over 400 ventures. And Rovio had developed 51 games before it scored one of the bestselling games of all time: Angry Birds. What all these successful individuals and companies had in common is that they placed many, many bets.

 With over 1 billion downloads since the release of Angry Birds in 2009, Rovio appeared to have come out of nowhere to dominate gaming. As a result, people believed Rovio to be a so-called "overnight success." But this was anything but the truth. As you now know, Rovio had developed dozens of games over the last eight years. Prior to Angry Birds, none of those games had been memorable.

 While it's good to have a plan, great innovations are often unpredictable. Ask yourself, how can you make randomness work for you?

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