Here’s this week’s 200 word idea thanks to Things a Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone.
In his first job as a book jacket designer at a publishing company in New York, Biz Stone was tasked with creating jacket covers for books. He learnt that he was expected to design 6 (!) possible jacket covers per book. This felt like a huge, almost insurmountable, number.
His mentor, however, encouraged him to view the exercise as fun by sharing his two tenet philosophy on designing covers –
Tenet #1: Work is never wasted. If you loved it and the editor didn’t, just add it to your portfolio.
Tenet #2: You are not successful when you produce 6 covers but when you produce 1 that actually makes it.
So, Biz’s focus soon shifted from having to create 6 book jackets per book to creating as many necessary at make it successful. He soon realized that the experiences we gain as we create combined with a dose of curiosity drives us to make unexpected, offbeat connections. It is these nonlinear steps that often lead to the greatest work – in Biz’s case, it helped lead to co-founding Twitter.
And, thanks to this, he learnt a really valuable lesson – creativity is a renewable resource.
(PS: Here’s a post from Biz Stone’s blog from 2004 on “How to Design a Book Cover” :-))
Be as creative as you like, as often as you want, because you can never run out. – Biz Stone