yesterday was a discussion on deep mind work where you really work more in isolation and very small teams who are not afraid to keep working on an idea to bring the best out of it. it is the difference between buying off the shelf, versus making something where form and function are optimized. usually, this work is the first thing in the morning and can last a few hours. if done correctly you will feel invigorated and happy – yet – your brain is drained.
this is the time of the day where I would start constructing the models, making physical and digital prototypes and breaking for an exercise program late in the early afternoon where my circadian rhythms seem to operate best for physical activity. it is the switch and working with the hands that allow the brain to relax a bit and have the morning session seem to stew, slow cook, or percolate to refine ideas and/or think of new avenues that did not come out in the original session.
you can work with your brain all day long, you can work with your hands all day long…I guess it is like designers and builders. some folks design and can’t build. others can’t design but are great builders. the mind/hands work well if you happen to have a bit of both skills. the reason why is that in the thinking process, you will take yourself as far as you can mentally and I swear there are days when your mind hurts from thinking. taking some time to bring a concept to a physical reality seems to be a huge key in our work to getting better ideas in a shorter amount of time.
speaking of time. it still amazes me how many folks think “time” doesn’t have a value in business and would like to spend or waste ones time. I have spent most of my life figuring out how to spend the least amount of time being “busy” and simply doing repetitive mindless things so that I would have the time to sit, think, work, design, develop, prototype…and play.
yes. I said play. in our grown-up world, I swear half the battle with innovation and invention is having the ability to look at a problem with a childlike heart. I have seen more “intelligent solutions” in the developed world that have me shake my head in wonderment. a guy I know is pitching his new containerized “microgreen” idea and they start at 65k.
I just smile. I know what the stuff costs, yet, If people want to spend their money on a fad and/or minimal profit because they can’t put seeds in a tray, with simplistic lighting and controls…well…more power to the man. I could not sell such a product with a clear conscience. speaking of microgreens, I was helping a friend and their wife said, “I want to grow lettuce and stuff year round!”
“do you want to grow more food? or have a cool and sexy tech solution in your house”
“why I want to grow food. what is the difference in cost?”
when I explained the food system, what you really need and what to cobble together to grow lettuce and microgreens…she gasped.
“yes, I know, this is the difference between simply looking in a catalogue or like my friend spending 65k for something that while he is free to do whatever business model he wants, if you simply ask, “why?” and realize there is very little sophistication to it all…you would go, “but I can build a bunch of them for the same amount of money and time.”
but that is how life is lately – people don’t really seem to be asking, “what do I want?” or if they have an idea of “I would like” they simply look at what’s on the market and forget to try going for the “what do I want?” and applying as many off the shelf items as possible to make it reality. I mean even in the skunkworks world…you try to save time and money with as many off the shelf items as possible….when you get into custom everything – it gets expensive with time and resources.
then again, the more I design this “thing” we are working up…the more I realize many people simply want to push a button and have life drop instant gratification on them. they are happy to pay for that convenience.
but for a group of us? we really like to think up those ideas and build them…using the mind and our hands – not outsourcing every detail so that what is a few thousand dollars to make comes out at 65k.
and no, PT Barnum did not come up with the phrase, “there is a sucker born every minute” although he is credited for it.
it is very bizarre to be designing what we are, as it takes a minimal, common-sense view of living and how to maximize creativity in a world that appears to be wanting more and more stuff…not caring how to really make anything. just consume it, and throw the trash and leftover away.
continuing that path, will not bode well for this planet.