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Creativity as commodity

Money Magazine recently featured an interesting article on creativity. The author suggests that since American can no longer compete when it comes to manufacturing the least expensively produced products in the world, we should change our focus to creativity and innovation.

He points to Google as an example. After all, Google produces so many products, so quickly, it’s impossible to keep up with them. Don’t all the best companies have legions of fans waiting to see what they do next?

I agree with him. Gone are the days when one good idea is enough to build and maintain a fortune or a company can exist that sells a single product unchanged for decades and remain a market leader. Shouldn’t the question always be, “What’s next?”

What he implies, but doesn’t say, in the article is that most companies don’t just not value creativity, they despise it. They focus all their energies on solving momentary problems (putting out fires), refining their hierarchical structure and worrying about why customers aren’t as interested as they used to be. Not to mention that they have to be tricked into learning about creativity by consulting companies who call it “management techniques.”

Creativity is change. Change is scary. Change is something businesses only want when they are in deep trouble.

That said, the business I work for premiered the Electronic Yodelling Pickle today, which Nerd Approved declared to be “The Product Of The Century.”

Google should be very afraid.

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