Whenever she comes up with a creative idea, there is always a thought that goes into her mind that someone has already done this before. Here is how she combats this impulse by saying to herself the following:
"Honey, it's all been done before. Nothing's really original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself."
Who am I to argue with this advice from Twyla Tharp. To be successful, we all have to look at someone who is successful and copy what they are doing. Today this is so much easier as we have access to so many resources than ever before. The only thing stopping one is making a commitment and sticking to it.
Steve Jobs said the same thing in this interview on how he developed the Mac at Apple Computer. He got the idea from visiting Xerox PARC Place in Palo Alto, CA. Xerox was a printing company and had no vision for incorporating the GUI technology in PCs. They were not a PC comany and never saw its potential. Steve Jobs was building a PC company and saw its potential on how easy it would make it for non technical people to use PCs. He came out with the Mac and is now considered as a genius and a great innovator. Meanwhile no one even knows the name of the researcher who developed the original GUI at Xerox.
Stealing is not just for great artists like Picasso. Whether you are in sales, marketing, engineering, service, etc., don't try to be original until you have first mastered it from someone great in your profession. This is how the greats have done it and it is something we should learn from them.
Jay Oza is a founder and principal innovation development consultant at 5ToolGroup, a company that specializes in helping startups and established firms bring innovation to market within 90 days through our unique 5Tool Methodology that integrates sales, marketing, partnerships, customer development and agile/lean methodology to enable frugal or ("Jugaad") innovation. We believe that to succeed today, you have to continuously look for ways to do lot more with lot less. This is the only way to win today!