Monday, January 14, 2013

Are You Letting Customers Scratch A Creative Itch?

Human beings are driven by a desire to create.

To contribute to the world’s intellectual and artistic commons, to express their individuality and vibrancy, to come alive through the pursuit of their ideas, to satisfy the biological compulsion to render their feelings and to use their imaginative endowments to make cool stuff.

The question companies should be asking is, how can we help people use our products to scratch that creative itch?

Earlier this year, I was a passenger on the maiden voyage of the Disney Fantasy. And without a doubt, the highlight of the trip was dinner in the Animator’s Lounge. At our tables, the placemats doubled as drawing templates. And servers instructed us to use markers to draw faces and bodies inside the pattern.

One hour later, after we’d handed in our drawings to the staff, our table’s artwork showed up on the big screen and started dancing across the wall. We were spellbound. The experience of seeing our own drawings come to life, right in front of our eyes, was the most satisfying creative feeling anyone could imagine. We went from amateur doodlers to professional animators in a matter of minutes, and we would remember that experience for the rest of our lives.

Consider my creative itch scratched.

The point is, at the heart of what it means to be a person is the act of dreaming, doing and finishing.

If your organization’s products can help facilitate that process, everybody wins.