But then, so can everyone else!

Some people grow up wanting to become the world’s greatest football player. Or to make a gazillion dollars. Or to obtain political power. Personally, I am attracted to all things creative. Don’t get me wrong, I am no less vain that everybody else, I like to receive recognition and praise for my work, and if I’ve made something I am proud of, I like to show it off. But the driving force is the process of creating.
I like entrepreneurship because it has combination of artistic freedom combined with ruthless honesty: you have to make something people want. The artistic freedom means that you can design a product that you feel is beautiful. It’s a matter of taste. Some people will agree with you and others will disagree. That is okay. On the other hand, if you design a beautiful product that serves no purpose, you will not be able to sell it. You cannot argue that it’s simply because people don’t understand.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Instagram launched an app called Hyperlapse recently. This app lets you make timelapse videos that look incredibly smooth with your smartphone. When I saw this, I had a combination of feelings: “wow, this is so cool, I can make timelapse videos that look really pro”, immediately followed by “oh, but then, so can everybody else!”

I’ve experienced this before. When I started playing with Ableton Live, a music production app that has time stretching-features that were completely unique at the time it came out. Or when I learned about the content-aware fill feature in photoshop.

In Shenzhen you see close up how the world of manufacturing is being disrupted these days. I realized that this had evoked those same feelings in me: wow, the tools and knowledge is within my reach—I can actually make hardware. You can go to the markets and have components to make a prototype for something before lunch. The many 3D print shops can make custom parts at really low cost. And with a Spark core you can have internet-connected software running in no time. Amazing! And also, available to everybody else. Hm.

Every time technology creates new tools for us, more and more the playing field is leveled. But the only sound conclusion to draw from this is that you still need to stick with what you are doing and keep improving. Because no matter how easy something becomes, people can tell when something took effort and they will appreciate that. There will be good and bad hyperlapse videos. Many hardware startups of today will produce incredibly high quality by yesterdays standards, but those aren’t in play anymore. Skill will not go out of fashion, only the context will change.

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  1. Jo
    Posted October 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    True freedom comes from within and is not dependent on the validations of others .Why care about what others can do better? Why bother what other think? Why care about what people want when people themselves don’t know what they want.
    Creativity comes from the soul and expresses the freedom of the soul. Why put others in charge of your freedom to express your creativity and inner joy? Why be concerned of their opinion of anything you do? Living to please others makes you the prisoner of others .You are not free because your intent is to please others.
    Since you can’t please everyone you end up not pleasing yourself.

    Every beauty and magic you discover is systematically killed because of “Others”, measured with “Others”, compare to “ Others”, “So can others” and that beauty dies. Are you making the time-lapse video for you or for others? Are you making music for you or for others?
    There will always be people more intelligent, more hardworking, more creative, better, taller, shorter, braver, richer, poorer, more and less and the list goes on;…. But there will never be another you! You can only be your best version of you and best at being you and make the best of everything you do.
    The outcome is not in your power or your control, if it serves others they will buy it if not they will not. Creating only to please others, to gain recognition, validation, worth or in order to sell only is giving your power of happiness, your creativity and your freedom to others to hold as hostage and keep you a prisoner of fear, afraid of failure to please others and afraid to be judged by OTHERS!
    ” Show me a guy who is afraid to look bad I will show you a guy you can beat anytime” !

  2. Kristian
    Posted October 20, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Good points, Jo.
    I guess the article might come across as if the concern is about being judged by others. And it partially is, but I was more referring to the exciting feeling of being able to create something unique and special only to then realize that the bar has been raised for everyone. But I guess the two points are very closely related.

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