Seth Godin explains real creativity

When it comes to creative marketing, there is one man who stands out from the rest; he has written countless bestselling books, talked in front of the world’s fastest growing business (Google), and has even presented at one of the world’s greatest thinking conferences (TED). Of course I’m talking about Seth Godin.

On his world-famous, top-ranking blog, Seth Godin talks about business marketing, insider tips, and other creative insights into the world of advertising, but Seth also once posted about “real creativity”, what it is, and where it comes from. Here’s what Seth had to say about real creativity:

…Real business creativity comes from boundaries.

Inventing something cool that can’t be implemented isn’t creative. It’s mostly a waste. I think that inventing the unimplementable [sic] is a fine hobby, but it’s also a bit of a crutch. Yes, of course we need big visions and big ideas, but not at the expense of the stuff you can actually pull off. …If you’ve decided you want to create a breakthrough in your area of expertise (say …coding), then either be prepared to launch and run it when you’re done, or have a clear licensing strategy in mind, one where you’re not the first person in history to pull it off.

If you’ve decided to invent a great idea for a book, better be ready to write it too, and either find a publisher or publish it yourself. There’s no market for book ideas.

If you want to do creative ads, it helps to have clients willing to run them.

These constraints are the best part of being creative, as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t imagine writing Superman comics. The rules are too vague. There are too many choices. In non-profits and organizations and even in politics, the rules are pretty obvious (sometimes they’re too obvious). So the real creativity comes in navigating those rules in a way that creates a breakthrough. …See the rules. Keep most of them. Break one or two. But break them, don’t bend them.

Real creativity comes into play when you accept that there are boundaries, you move around them (or completely break a few of them), and you find ways to implement your ideas. Any idea that sits in your thoughts or on a piece of paper is not as valuable as an idea that is implemented.