An air of suspense surrounded him, and, as always, he was the focal point of the room. The expectation was matched only by the excitement, both permeating the room like a swift-moving gas. Standing on stage, he was unconditionally confident.
In his standard black turtleneck, blue jeans and white New Balance sneakers, the entire room was attracted to him like a magnet. With his undeniably unique perspective, seen through clear round glasses, Steve Jobs gazed out at an expectant crowd. The speech he was about to deliver would change the world.
The iPhone was exceptional. Sleek, fast and powerful. It slipped in and out of your pocket effortlessly. It was a cell phone, iPod and mobile internet connection all in one. It was the first of it’s kind. It was a fashion statement and the ultimate power symbol, yet it wasn’t the iPhone that changed the world.
Jobs had a special ability to combine his unique knowledge and experience to create innovative products and share those with the world. Jobs developed a product that people wanted before they knew they wanted it, and he was the best in the world at what he did. Steve Jobs epitomised creativity, and that creativity changed the world.
Creativity is simply connecting things. Connecting unique experiences, insights and ideas to create something new.
The Skiing Race
The future is like a skiing race. There’s a prize at the bottom of the slope for the winner. You need to get to the bottom, and you need to get there quickly.
You’ve got two options. The first option is to walk. Walking is slow and you probably won’t win. The second option is to ski. You may take a few tumbles along the way, but you’ll get down quickly and you’ve got a good chance of winning.
The problem is that you don't have skis. You've got material to build skis, but that requires you to be creative. Creativity is the tool that allows you to build skis, get down the slope quickly and claim the prize at the bottom. It’s the tool that positions you ahead of your competitors. By skiing, you reach the bottom as a better builder and a better skier. Even if you don't win, you’re ready to take on the next slope, and no slope is too big for you now.
Creativity is an awfully important tool to have.
Creativity is relevant to us all. We are all creators in some capacity. The teacher who thinks of new ways to teach the class. The entrepreneur who ignores criticism for years to start the company. The accountant who optimises the audit process. And, of course, the writer, the sculptor, the painter, and the musician tirelessly labouring to share their work with the world. We are all creators.
Creativity does not have to mean changing the world as Steve Jobs did. Jobs changed the world in a small way for millions of people. Cultivating creativity will change the world in a big way, for you.
What does creativity mean for the future?
Technology is accelerating quickly and the tools being made are levelling the playing field. For the first time in history, you can build a $1 million software business without writing a single line of code.
Products such as Webflow allow you to conquer web design, Zapier allows you to automate and social media has made advertising simple. Technology allows us to look beyond disability and focus on ability. Do what you’re good at, let technology take care of the rest.
On a level playing field, creativity becomes a differentiator. The winners on a level playing field are those who are able to take the tools and resources available to them and create something new and exciting. As the playing field continues to level, creativity becomes more important.
Level playing fields provide plenty of opportunities, but these opportunities don’t last very long. In order to capitalise, creativity is required. Creativity has to be cultivated, it's a skill that is developed over time.
To be a prolific creator, you need to put in your reps. This means that you have to create consistently. Write one paragraph, cook one new dish, make one new song. What you decide to create is not important, consistently strengthening your creative muscles is.
The future belongs to creators, start putting in your reps.
The Future is Creating
Great creators make you see things in a new way. They awaken your senses and make you feel things that you can’t articulate. They lead you into the unknown and make you excited for the journey.
Creating will become a required skill. The most creative people will receive the most lucrative job opportunities. More importantly, they’ll create the world’s largest companies which will not only require creative thinkers, they will value and reward them.
Being a creator is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.