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Wednesday, April 11

The Great Idea Myth - Simon Solves It For Me

I have always believed it to be true. At least for the last 10 years. Ideas are easy to produce. A dime a dozen. But I don't think anybody would have agreed with me. Least of all some 'creative types'(in an agency). Who routinely hide behind plumes of smoke, frequent breaks, large egos, being rude to servicing, being undisciplined, etc.

After all these years, I read Simon talking a similar language. What a relief! My hypothesis has been verified by this sample of one:-)

Buy why this myth that ideas are difficult to produce, in the first place?
Great ideas are. But then they are rare anyways! And most of them happen outside of advertising!

1. Our industry has an abundance of mediocre minds/ idiots who just have a creative designation/ swipe card. They are actually young and old farts who wouldn't get a job anywhere else. Their idea productivity is sub-optimal. And I suspect they are present in decent numbers in every agency in India today!

2. If you say ideas are easy to produce, you take away the glamour/ the black-box syndrome!

3. Maintain that ideas come with great difficulty and you can buy a ton of time and even manage to waste most of it.

4. Perpetrate and protect the myth that only the 'creative badge wearers' can get those elusive ideas. And you protect your job and the fat salaries.

And I love what Simon says next in his post - "Ideas might be difficult. But not the coming up with ideas part. The truly tough part is knowing what to sacrifice and what not to when protecting the idea, coming up with more ideas to help 'sell in' the idea, having the tenacity to constantly tweak and shape and develop the idea (crafting). being sure enough to know your idea is strong enough to be done on a smaller budget, being mature enough to be able to see beyond awards, being generous enough to know that the idea isn't yours at all, but is owned by many."

5. By rubbishing every idea that doesn't originate in the 'creative department(gawd, how I hate this department word), the creative types have succeeded in breaking the confidence of young minds(in servicing or planning or traffic, wherever it is applicable).

So guys, lets write, create, paint, draw, post-it, posterize it, art direct it.
Believe that good ideas are simple to get.
That everybody is creative.
And that with practice ideas are even more easy to get.
It's the creative apartheid within an agency that's the difficult part.

But walls are fast crumbling. In the digital era, there may be little room for 'mediocre minds/ idiots' or over-the-hill prima donnas! Neither is there any time to fret on the differences and 'the ideas are difficult to get' story!

Thanks Simon for bringing the topic up! While on the subject, do read Russell's post that sparked Simon's post!

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