Creativity is just connecting things

Steve Jobs retired as CEO of Apple this past week. The Wall Street Journal marked this event by creatingSteve Job’s Best Quotes compendium. There are all worth reading – but a couple stood out for their connection to this course.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something… It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]

A large part of my creativity course, CEP818, (announcement here) has this idea of creativity as “connections” at its core. One of the goals of the course is to provide a set of trans-disciplinary tools that can help increase the possibility of making such connections.

And finally, here’s my personal favorite quote from Jobs that speaks to the ethical and aesthetic dimensions of the work we do (be it design or teaching).

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through. [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]

1 Comment

  1. As a huge fan of Mr. Jobs, I was always impressed with his conviction and creativity. He was more than just a founder, he was an artist. You speak of “connections” at the core, and could not agree with you more.

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