Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What's the right way to do anything?
What's right depends on you, your goal, what you want to do, what is possible, all that.
So extend that idea.
To something that no one has ever seen before.
Even harder. This is where creativity comes in.
You've seen blog posts about the good old days when the internet was just coming alive. Reminiscenses about how there were more interesting things going on way back when. Uglier, but more interesting.
And every once in a while something really good would pop up, and no one would see it coming.
These days web development is the province of full-time professionals. The ecosystem is technically sophisticated, and only a full-timer can keep up with the skills needed.
The web looks better too. Richer. We have videos, resizeable images, animations, page updates without page reloads, standards.
But things are more homogenized now. There are not so many surprises.
Something new is hard to find, hard to define. Harder to accomplish. Especially when you have a lot of advice.
But at some stage you have to ignore everyone, and create from the soul. Your soul.
You have to do that when everyone tells you you're wrong. And if you have a new idea, they will. They have to. If you have a new idea no one will recognize it. They won't see it the way you do. They'll try to imagine it but they can't.
You have that jolt of creativity. That's not true for anyone else, so don't look for support. You have to ignore people who tell you it's a lost cause.
A colleague, a client, a provider all have a vested interest in you continuing to do what you do now. They not only can't imagine the change you see but they don't want to.
If you change you won't be the same friend, the same provider, the same client.
But if you make a move you have to change something. Some aspect, of who you are or what you do, and anyone else is likely to say no.
But that won't help you.
The newer and stranger and more fundamental your idea is, the less advice anyone else can give.
How could it be otherwise?
No one, not even you, has anything to compare to a genuinely new idea. When it arrives you have no clue about its viability. Neither does anyone else.
But it's easy for them to say no. Really easy. Because rationality fails. Creativity has no algorithm. You cannot communicate your inspiration by bullet points.
At some point you have to admit that you are the only expert, and that is when you ignore everyone else.
Relationships are power as much as anything. If you rely on others you will be shot down because you can be. Even by accident.
And another thing.
People only know what they know. No one knows where you are headed, not even you. Where can't be known. And only you have even a clue.
If you're smart, and work hard, and especially if you're right, you can turn that into something worthwhile.
So work on it, check it out, develop it, follow your muse, and then come back and sell it.
Part of creativity, the hardest part maybe, is making others, after all is said and done, realize that they want what you have. That they need what you have. Even if they don't understand it, or have any idea that they can use it.
But if you let people shut you down you'll never get there.
So ignore what others think. It's good for you.