Thursday, August 28, 2014

Moments of Conception 087 -- The Operating System Scene from Jobs

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today's clip comes from the operating system scene in Jobs:

What can we learn?

Be okay being the only one who cares. I have a friend whose chief creative block is worrying whether or not anybody will care about his work. Which is understandable from a strategic business standpoint, but ultimately, that mindset doesn’t serve his artistic efforts. It only adds a secondary layer of worries around his creative process. A smarter approach is to practice selective indifference. To save his heart for the moments that matter. To care like crazy when it counts and let the rest go. To courageously say to himself, who cares if anybody cares, and make art because he wants to see it exist in the world. Keep in mind, thought, that selective indifference isn’t about being too cool to care, it’s about being discerning enough not to dwell. It’s about refusing to push our creativity out to make room for all the backwards, soul killing mental traps that keep us from bringing new life to what might be. Because there will always time to be sensible later. Jobs knew better than anyone, nobody knows what nobody wants to see until somebody sees it. And people don’t know what they care about until somebody conjurers it into existence and makes them fall in love with it. Are you looking to others to validate your efforts or your purpose?

Give your work a singular quality. The greatest advantage in art is not giving a shit. Zeroing out our expectations about other people’s desires. That’s selective indifference at its finest, and it creates a unique brand of freedom unavailable anywhere else. Jobs became a legend for this very reason. He didn’t hole up in his office, run a bunch of market research and wait around for customers tell him what they liked. He built the computer he wanted to see in the world. Instead of shipping another product that was a little bit different from the competition, he created a new standard with his art. And as a result, he captured the world’s imagination with products we didn’t know we needed, but suddenly couldn’t live without. As it says in his biography, his job was to figure out what customers were going to want before they did. Sound impossible? It’s not. People do it everyday. Creators aren’t just creating art, they’re inventing entirely new genres, categories, mediums, platforms, industries, languages, classifications and styles for their art. There isn’t an element of their work that isn’t original. And it’s not about talent, it’s a matter of having the right amount of fearlessness, imagination and resourcefulness. Are you reading things that are not yet on the creative page?

The first sale is the one I make to myself. Our chief weapon as artists the convincing of ourselves. The internal monologue that inspires us, down to our bones, to believe in what we’re making. If we don’t believe that the art we’re creating is the greatest thing that ever was, we’re finished. If we don’t think our work matters in a massive way, we’re toast. And if we don’t think our ideas are going to change people’s lives forever, we’re done.
Jobs may have been a notorious asshole, but the man was sold on his own brand. And he kept making that sale to himself, every day, until he died. Did he believe too much of his own publicity? Probably. But creativity, at its most existential level, is about believing, against all odds and all evidence, that the art you’re making is the greatest thing that ever was. Jobs believed that in his bones. He personally embraced and internalized his vision. And that’s why his famous new product introductions always seemed like epochal moments in world history. Proving, that if you want to jumpstart the audience, you have to make sure your battery is charged first. How sold are you on your own brand?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!