“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice”. Steve Jobs
Harvard did a six-year study on creative people. One of the big things they learned was that creative people do what’s called the Association Principle which means they associate and connect ideas from different fields and they apply those ideas to their field in simple and uncomplicated ways.
Steve Jobs was doing this his entire life. He once said that a person who has a broad set of experiences can often see things that others miss. What he meant is he pursued a lot of interests that had nothing to do with computers or technology. For example, being happy leads to a more enrich life ground in purpose and creates impact music, films and design of Apple’s retail stores.
“There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very beginning. And we always will.” —Steve Jobs
Kick-start your creativity being an observer of life and learn to see ideas ( Law of Association) that can help you in your profession.
The reason why that came to him was that when he was 19, he dropped out of college and took courses he really wanted to take—like calligraphy. His parents were like, ‘Steve, we really want you to go to college.’ From what I understand, his parents were pretty upset about the decision [to drop out], but Steve said, ‘You know, I’m bored with these mandatory classes. I want to take classes that I’m interested in.’
This curiosity applies to everything—the way you live your life, the way you run your business. A lot of people forget that in 1997, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, it was only a few months away from bankruptcy. The first thing he did was streamlined and simplified their product line. He said, ‘You have to put your A team on every product.’ You can’t put your A team on every product when you have 300 products. At the time, they had something like 300 products or 300 iterations of products.
Within two years he streamlined that to 10 products. To this day you can actually take all of Apple’s products and put them on a small coffee table, which is pretty extraordinary for a huge and profitable company. ‘Innovation,’ he said, ‘is saying no to 1,000 things,’ so you can really focus on what matters. He already told us the secret to innovation. We don’t have to guess.
Our future depends on our ability to cultivate imagination, creativity and innovation, to foster social and economic growth, and improve our quality of life. So my question to you is–How can you become more creative in your business so as to simplify and make a difference with distinction like Steve Jobs did?