When you think of creativity, do you think of artists or musicians or writers? What about small business? It’s true that people following artistic pursuits are creative – but every entrepreneur can be creative too!
Creativity and entrepreneurship
At GoForth, we define creativity as the ability to view the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated things, and to find solutions.
Creativity can be expressed as combining ideas or concepts to discover unique or new connections. It means merging previously discrete ideas, concepts or forms of thought, and coming up with something new.
Why is creativity important for entrepreneurs?
Let’s look at a couple of entrepreneurs who used creativity to change the world as they knew it.
In 1941 engineer George de Mestral returned from a hunting trip with his dog. He noticed the burrs that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s fur. Like a good engineer, he examined these burrs under a microscope. When he saw the hundreds of “hooks” that caught on anything with a loop, such as animal fur, he became inspired. He saw the possibility of binding two materials reversibly in a simple fashion. Velcro was born from the application of this concept in a new way.
In 1974, Art Fry was in church when he came up with the perfect use for a friend’s new adhesive. Fry sang in his church choir, using slips of paper to mark the pages of his hymnal. But when the book was opened these bookmarks often moved around or slipped out. One day, it occurred to him that his friend’s adhesive could be a great bookmark. If it could be coated on paper, it could hold a piece of paper in place without damaging the surface. And Post-It Notes were born!
Both inventors in these examples merged previously distinct forms to create a new combinations which had tremendous commercial application — they used their creativity to see everyday things in new and useful ways.
Want to learn how to be more creative? Check out our blog post with ways to kick-start creativity.