Category: Creativity

“You can’t be serious!!!!” – John McEnroe

McEnroe was a great tennis player.  He is now a great commentator.  He has always been a great entertainer.  Because of his passion, of course, but also because of the way he brought something different to the game.  He was rough at the edges and it made for great, entertaining matches in his time.

I doubt McEnroe woke up one morning and decided that for marketing purposes he would yell and scream when the calls went against him.  I think he was  being who he was, authentic and true to himself.

This went against the establishment which conveyed tennis to be a gentlemanly game, staying politely within the boundaries of good behavior.  And in the long run, the sport was better for it.  Millions tuned in the watch the loudmouth American either win or get his clock cleaned.  As for his ability, he was still one of the best in the world.

Find a reason to be different and don’t let the status quo dictate the way you have to play.  If the rules are stupid, question them, break them, ignore them (but don’t go to jail).  Stand out from the alternatives but still be the best.  Be passionate about being the best.  Find that niche of customers who share your passion.

A market where all the competitors are peddling the same thing; one-upping each other with boring new features,  that’s a group of customers screaming for something new and different.


“It’s best to get as many people into one room as possible. Then go somewhere else.” – Jason Fox

Truly creative and innovative people don’t do well in committees and groups where thinking is influenced by the group dynamic.  This brings into doubt the value of group brain storming when important decisions are to be made.

Compromise is important in order for diverse people to live together but I’m not sure it’s vital in innovation and creative problem solving.  Feedback from customers is important, of course, in a reactive sense; not a creative one.

Make time to get away from the noise and think, create, try an idea, capture a thought.  Do it daily.  Capture your thoughts in a notebook or some other repository.  Freely share them for feedback.


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson