This is a blog about creativity. Its reason to be is simple: the world of creative thought and enterprise is a beautiful place, from the pleasure and meaning in graphic art to the functional brilliance in the span of a soaring bridge to the unnoticed impossibility of fresh fruit eaten in February. I don’t think it’s too much to say that creative intentionality is a defining force in the human world, and while there’s no shortage of talented writers devoted to documenting and understanding the creative process, my goal in publishing this blog is simply to add my voice to the conversation. In doing so, I hope to catalog and capture some small corner of the creative world, to share it with those who care, and (most importantly) to document my own exploration through a new and exciting place.
Who am I? I’m a Ph.D. Candidate in the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, a research group devoted to entrepreneurship, innovation, and strategy in high-tech environments. More about that here. My own research focuses on the collaboration that occurs between firms in the emerging electric vehicles sector, and seeks to understand the ways in which firms and networks of firms bring innovative new products to market. I rely primarily on simulation and analytical modeling tools. It’s a lot of math, and it’s fun. When I’m not working, I’m probably exploring San Francisco for exciting bits of graffiti, building things out of cardboard, taking pictures and crafting gifts for my fiance, or chasing frisbees around a big grass rectangle.
Why now? None of that explains, of course, why I’m writing a blog on creativity. The main reason is that I’ve come to realize that I’m happiest when creating. The joy of exploring and applying and building ideas was what attracted me to academics, and the scars on my hands attest to years spent with hacksaws and hot glue guns. As fun stories and exciting insights from both my own projects and the world around begin to pile up, I wanted to create a forum to document and share my most exciting finds. This is, of course, something I’ve thought about doing for quite a while. The motivation to finally start writing came from having hit a tipping point – earlier this year I helped teach an undergraduate course this term on the topic of “Creativity, Innovation, and Change” – and there was just too much cool stuff to let it slide by. At the same time, after years of studying and working in Silicon Valley, the spirit of the place has finally rubbed off. People joke here that you aren’t a serious entrepreneur until you’ve failed in at least one venture, and the unofficial motto of Palo Alto’s celebrated design firm IDEO is “fail often to succeed sooner.” So while I don’t know if my CRTVTY project will go anywhere, I do realize that the only way to find out is to try. It should be a fun adventure.