I've been doing a lot of reading recently about creativity. I've always thought I was a fairly creative person, but my latest readings really got me thinking about that assumption. I started thinking about what I've done that could be considered exceptionally creative. I've written some poems, made a Nemo Halloween costume, invented an alter ego. But all of that pales in comparison to what I thought was going to be my million dollar idea: Tree-in-a-Box.
What was so creative about Tree-in-a-Box, you ask? Well, to start it was truly a collaborative effort. The genius idea was born in a car ride with my best friend. I don't remember how exactly the conversation started or how it got to the end, but I do remember a lot of zigs and zags that led us down the path to creativity. After reading the latest book by Keith Sawyer, a leader in the field of creativity research, I realize that zigs and zags are how creativity functions. (I encourage you all to check out Sawyer's blog: http://keithsawyer.wordpress.com/) Back to the story. As the conversation unfolded, more and more details emerged and we began to get a clearer vision of what this product might look like. But instead of letting the idea just die after the car ride, we went out the next day and purchased the materials to make a prototype. And while making the sample, more ideas started to flow. It wasn't enough to just put the tree in the box and paint a background mural, we had to write the back story that would make these bad boys sell. As a writer, that may have been my favorite part. My mom called us idiots while we were making this, but we believed we were geniuses. And I think the final product proved us right.
I know. You want one. Unfortunately, this is the only one that exists. But maybe after reading this post demand will soar to the point of mass production.
But I'm sure you're still wondering what makes this more creative than any of my other pursuits. Well, like I said earlier, it was truly collaborative unlike some of my other creations, so it was born out of randomness and evolved to become what it is today. Now I've had many other random collaborations, but unlike Dogs Delivering Mail, Raccoons on Airplanes, or Another Bad Vanilla Hammer Edition, Tree-in-a-Box actually materialized into something physical. It's true that Tron the Ride was actually developed, but that was more an homage than an original idea. So I further contend that the most creative thing I've ever done was Tree-in-a-Box. But I guarantee it won't be the last. I'm committed to further developing my creativity and I challenge you to do the same. If you need some help getting started I highly recommend reading some of Keith Sawyer's books.