The Meaning Trap

I really liked what Jack White has to say in this short clip about how inspiration and a good work ethic "ride right next to each other" (and how on stage he likes to deliberately make things harder for himself because all those little things build a tension that forces you to create). It's an important balance.

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David Ogilvy says He is a Lousy Copywriter

Everyone knows who David Ogilvy is.

He is probably one of the worlds greatest “ad men” and the likely inspiration to Mad Men. In 1948, David started Ogilvy & Mather, an advertising agency responsible for some of the world’s most iconic ad campaigns such as Dove beauty products featuring real women, and American Express’ “Don’t Leave Home without it”. However, not many people know that he is a lousy copywriter, at least, not in the traditional sense.

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The Creative Business Problem

What is the creative industry selling? Ideas… The time when ideas had currency is long gone.

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The Cliché

Due to its narrow formats, traditional advertising relies heavily on the cliché for impact. But online, only tactical advertising makes good use of standardization and formats; they are tactical tools not creative ones.

In 2008 Tom Himpe published the book Advertising Next, on the new age of communication, in it he writes about traditional advertising:

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Design Thinking Is a Cognitive and Intellectual Process that Balances the Rational and Emotional. Not Included with Your MBA.

What is Design Thinking? Because of the word “design” many automatically associate it with the craft of design or design as a profession. Actually it has less to do with “design” and more with “system”. There are many ways to define "design thinking" and this list is not exhaustive:


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There Is an Inherent Conflict between Logic, Emotion and Creativity. So How Should We Deal with It?

When people ask the question "Do you know the correct answer?", I don't like that question at all. It is not a smart question as a start. The biggest problem with our formal education systems is our over-emphasis on finding the correct answer to a particular problem. While the quest for correct answers helps us function at work, it also impedes us when it comes to making the bigger, more important decisions, largely because many bigger, real-life business issues are ambiguous, complex and dynamic.

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Implementing Design Thinking 2: Have the Guts to Say it Sucks

I’ve found that one of the big reasons why Design Thinking fails in organizations, is that no one has the guts to stand up and say that an idea/concept/proposition sucks.

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Are You More Creative than a 4-Year-Old?

The old adage that the key to creativity is to view the world through the eyes of a child has never been more relevant. Ever since this summer's release of the phenomenally popular The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by Moonbot Studies - a company already dubbed the Pixar of the iPad generation - there has been a steady procession of innovation in the market for children’s publishing for the iPad.

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Fear and Creativity

BrainPickings is a recent fascination. Each article is a wonderful curation of ideas and different points of view. I just enjoyed the article they posted on Fear and Creativity.

In it they quote Shaun McNiff’s Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go

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On Anxiety

This weekend I spent a bit of time with Andrew Zuckerman's work and (courtesy of Maria Popova) listened to this talk he gave at this year's 99% conference which contains a series of fantastic insights into his view on the creative process, wonderfully illustrated by soundbites from his work, most notably the Wisdom and Music projects.

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