Creativity is overrated and here’s why…

I may get a bit philosophical for this week’s newsletter but bear with me; I promise you it’ll make sense by the end.

Let me start with this quote:

“No person, act or product is creative or uncreative in itself. Judgments of creativity are inherently communal, relying heavily on individuals expert within a domain.” (Gardner, 1994: 145).

When people ask me to explain what creativity is, I tell them to look up Mark Rothko’s No. 6 painting. It explains it perfectly. Some see colors piled up together, and some see a masterpiece worth 186 million dollars. Odd, right?

Have you ever come up with an idea and shared it with your peers, only to be told that it was not creative enough or it has been done a thousand times before? You probably have.

Now, have you ever heard the phrase “Creativity is subjective”?

Probably not.

Let me explain. I want you to go to YouTube, open up the trending tab, and skim through the first 5 videos created by YouTubers.

They probably have similar colorful thumbnails, clickbait-y titles, a huge arrow or circle, or even a number in the thumbnail. How many of those did I get right? 3/5? 4/5? Good enough!

Now, if all of these are copies of each other, why are they trending and working so well? Of course, there are a lot of factors for going on the trending page, especially when it comes to a platform like YouTube. But let me tell you the biggest factor why these worked so well, even if they’re just copies of each other with distinct differences.

They listened to numbers and data.

Numbers are ALWAYS the fundamental indicator of success.

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