The Creative Curve

Allen Gannett, The Creative Curve [Book Review]

The thesis of Allen Gannett’s The Creative Curve (Currency / Crown, 2018) isn’t revolutionary. But I guess that’s the point. If it were, the book wouldn’t sell well. It would defy the science of what becomes a hit.

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Q1 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc, Also read Lear Capital: Financial Products You Should Avoid?

The Creative Curve

The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time by Allen Gannett

More interesting, however, at least to me, than how to identify the next big thing, whether it’s a new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor or a blockbuster movie, is how people prepare to be creative. Because aha moments don’t happen in a vacuum. In the shower, perhaps; in a vacuum, never.

Gannett postulates four laws of the creative curve: consumption, imitation, creative communities, and iterations. Here I’ll look only at the first law.

How can some people be such successful serial entrepreneurs? In part, it’s due to pattern recognition, the ability to develop an uncanny instinct for opportunity. “Research shows that when entrepreneurs have significant prior knowledge, they no longer need to engage in slow, deliberate searches for new ideas. On the contrary, their prior experience gives them a rich library of exemplars they can access automatically.”

To build this mental library, would-be creators voraciously consume highly relevant material. In fact, in the case of already successful creative artists, it seems to be part and parcel of their daily routine. They spend about 20 percent of their waking hours expanding their knowledge of their field. Writers read, artists go to art shows, songwriters listen to music, old and new.

The 20 percent principle, the author contends, provides the building blocks necessary for aha moments to flourish. “This accumulation of prior knowledge fills up the brain with examples and concepts that artists then use to uncover non-obvious insights. … You can’t have insights about things you don’t know anything about.”

In brief, if you want to be a creative whatever, and that includes being a creative investor or trader, you need to accumulate a large repertoire of relevant material—and keep adding to it. Aha moments come only to the well prepared.

Article by Brenda Jubin, Reading The Markets

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