Applying Creativity to Commerce

ARt Your Own Risk

Creativity is as useful an ingredient in commerce as it is in art and science. Once we step away from binary thinking, the opportunities to create value from assets multiply. Just like with a recipe, you can take the ingredients and combine them differently to make something new.

Take the letters of the alphabet, even better, take numbers and you can worship infinite groupings and permutations — big data, small data, any data in science.

This is a fairly simple concept to grasp.

There is, however, another, more stealth, obstacle to applying creativity to commerce, and that is selling and buying by following accepted norms and best practices. Writing to the audience instead of for the audience. Telling people what they want to hear or exposing "a truth" in known, palatable ways.

An accepted alternative is building or selling only for some, getting the equation right on building and doing for a few. Many businesses however are not set up to work when that is the case — industrial age processes and systems for mass production, distribution, and consumption.

We have long memories, reinforced by habits and "this is the way we do things" mantras.

Creativity in commerce may require unwavering, long-term commitment to OS thinking, and patience. To the practitioner of new ways, this means working in economic "exile" and relative obscurity for years.

You build for future generations because they have little or no memory of the way we were and the current source code is protected from access.

Independent thinking is hard won — both paying customers and tribes exact their toll as the rate of change accelerates.

With so many free lancers and independent consultants vying for work, is the new culture of conformity spreading beyond corporate walls? Is working to innovate inside an organization a better option, given a longer term arrangement?


[image credit @oddlittlegirl via @gluca]


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