Carte Blanche and the Creativity of Constraint

As Los Angeles native, I can’t help but see parallels between my home town’s industry (movies) and my adopted home’s (startups).  Today’s parallel concerns the problem with having too much money. In Hollywood, studios love to work with successful directors.  When a director produces a critical and commercial smash, a studio or production company is … Continue reading Carte Blanche and the Creativity of Constraint

Every Entrepreneur Should Have a Holding Tank for Ideas

Vera John-Steiner interviewed 70 living geniuses and studied the notebooks of 50 dead ones.  What she found was that all of these geniuses built their great ideas over time using sketches and notebooks: “The one characteristic that all of these creatives shared— whether they were painters, actors, or scientists— was how often they put … Continue reading Every Entrepreneur Should Have a Holding Tank for Ideas

Pixar, IDEO, and Innovation

Here are detailed notes from Frans Johansson’s conversation with Ed Catmull of Pixar and Tim Brown of IDEO: PIXAR “The easiest way to make a movie is to do what worked in previous movies. But you won’t end up with an original result. The alternative is to go out into the world and learn from … Continue reading Pixar, IDEO, and Innovation

Disrupt (Book Review & Outline)

I like to tell people that when I was at Stanford, I studied the second and third best startup majors: Product Design and Creative Writing. (The best major of course is Computer Science. The worst is Political Science) Creative Writing is great for entrepreneurship, and not just because it lends itself so easily to business … Continue reading Disrupt (Book Review & Outline)

Chuck Jones and the Power of Scaffolding

I had the great pleasure the other day to see the Chuck Jones exhibit at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Chuck Jones was a legendary animator who worked on the great Warner Brothers shorts starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Roadrunner, and many more. He also created the classic animated specials for … Continue reading Chuck Jones and the Power of Scaffolding

Attend The Medici Experience San Jose on 9/24

My old friend Frans Johansson, the author of The Medici Effect, is working with the city of San Jose to bring his innovation workshop to the Bay Area next week. The Medici Effect refers to the amazing innovations of the Italian Renaissance, sparked by the mingling of disparate cultures and experiences. I went to Frans’ … Continue reading Attend The Medici Experience San Jose on 9/24

Quote of the Day: Creativity

“To create is to potentially embarrass oneself in front of others. It is about the courage to be oneself and to be seen as oneself. Putting ink to a page, or pressing one’s fingers against clay, or typing a line of computer code, or blowing glass and realizing mistake. Or success. With everyone watching. But … Continue reading Quote of the Day: Creativity

Brainstorming Technique: “The Search Party”

This concept comes courtesy of Dave Franchino of Design Concepts, and his client Rite Hite. The way it works is as follows: A group of individuals are seated in a room, each in front of computers facing the same direction and connected to the internet. There is a LCD projector at the front of the … Continue reading Brainstorming Technique: “The Search Party”