CategoryCreativity

Demanding Perfection Cramps Creativity

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In August this year, Samsung rolled out a new mascot. The little blue alien will function as the Korean company’s avatar in the metaverse and represent the firm across digital channels. It’s cute, with big eyes, pale blue skin, small horns, and a wide chirpy smile. The idea, the company said in a press release, came from a joke that people make whenever Samsung releases a new, unique product:...

Find the Right Thinking Hat for Your Brainstorming Session

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Edward de Bono, a Maltese physician whose promotion of lateral thinking had made him a highly sought consultant, was writing an article. He tried to imagine a situation in which participants took part in creative thinking, a time when they would toss out new concepts, discuss and develop them. But whenever he thought of someone suggesting a new idea, he visualized another participant shooting it...

Make Your Company as Creative and as Passionate as You

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Brett Bilbrey thought he’d made a mistake. As an engineer at Apple, his team had been set the task of creating the original Mac Mini. The Industrial Design group brought in mock-ups showing how they wanted the miniature computer to look, and Jony Ive, Apple’s chief designer, told them he wanted it to be as small as possible. Bilbrey, worried in part about the challenges involved in cooling a...

The Right Way to Write a Project Brief

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Like any creative company, Design Incorporated, a UK design agency, depends on good communications. It needs its clients to explain exactly what they need, how they want it, and what they want the product to do. And like most creative companies, Design Incorporated has received its fair share of poorly written briefs. The company has even categorized them into five forms. “The Closed Book” leaves...

What Entrepreneurs Really Need

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Even for Jeff Bezos, the decision wasn’t easy. In 1994, he had a good job on Wall Street, was set for a high-earning career, and had little reason to hope for anything more from life. But he noticed that Web usage was growing at a rate of 2,300 percent, and he wondered what sort of business plan might make sense in the context of that growth. “I went to my boss,” he said in a 2001 interview, “and...

Social Media is Good for Your Creativity

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Helen Ellis was struggling to write. After publishing her novel Eating the Cheshire Cat to positive reviews and good sales in 1998, she hit a block. Six years passed before she was able to complete her second novel, which failed to sell. A third also racked up rejections without attracting an offer. To focus on her writing, she quit her job. It didn’t help. No one wanted her fourth book either...

You’re Missing Your Best Ideas

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Kate Mills’s job is to assess ideas. As an editor at Orion Publishing, she receives fiction manuscripts sent to her by literary agents and determines whether a market will buy them. The authors believe that they have created something that other people will enjoy reading. Their agents believe that they’re representing a winner. Kate Mills, like other editors has to decide whether they’re right...

Your Business Needs a Creativity Consultant

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In 1996, Lee Kun-Hee, then the chairman of Samsung Group, had had enough. The electronics firm was following, not leading. The marketing department would track sales figures and tell the engineers what the company could charge for a product. Their market analysis would determine the engineering budget. Original equipment manufacturers would provide lists of desired features. That would tell the...

What It Takes to Design Emoji

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In May 2015, Domino’s Pizza rolled out a new campaign. To order a pizza, customers wouldn’t need to open the restaurant chain’s website or even install an application. They wouldn’t need to complete an order or make a phone call. All they had to do was tweet a pizza emoji to @dominos. Customers would first have to set up a Domino’s account, select a default pizza, and connect their account to...

Rewarding Creativity Kills Creativity

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It’s now twenty years since the launch of Pac-Man, and the inspiration for that early video game is a stereotypical story of creative genius. Toru Iwatani, an employee at Japanese game company Namco, wanted to create a new kind of video game. He wanted to exclude the violence of Space Invaders, bring women into what was then the male-dominated world of video arcades, and incorporate cute...

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