Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection

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Artists, thieves and meaning

Picasso: “All Art is theft”.

Nothing is truly original –  great innovation comes from combining existing knowledge in new and original ways. Connecting old dots in a new style.

My friend Jack disagrees – to him inspiration is beamed down from above – but lets park that idea – lets settle for theft…or at least ‘derivative’.

Now Seth Godin is telling us that all entrepreneurs are artists. But are they then thieves – looking for new gaps and opportunities – picking up the best ideas…interesting… Thieves or maybe just magpies?


It sounds good recombining other peoples ‘golden nuggets’. But it’s got to have a point – a need that’s met and you have to do it with  passion and focus on those customers that need you.

So if you do need to be a thief I’m thinking you’ve really got to put your heart into it and have your ears wide open – to listen and recombine the known, to address the unknown. A scanner, a hunter, a poacher – all with conviction watching the shifts all around us. Our values and expectations of products and services change over time – so I’m also thinking we need new value and meaning too.

Its not just about ‘fit’. There is something more going on right now.

A while back someone planted in my head that the value we create is not in the product or the service we deliver – but in its value-in-use by our customers. Its not in the price but the benefits they find.

Does what we have – or do – make sense and have a meaning and value to the people we serve? Forget shareholder value for a minute – does this stuff matter to our customers?

Im thinking it is only ever art if it “really matters?