Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
The first anniversary of Steve Jobs’s death was last Friday (Oct. 5), and, as expected, many publications, news outlets, and bloggers wrote something about him. Apple devoted its homepage to a tribute to him. And Cupertino, where the company is headquartered, flew the city’s flag at half staff.
I planned to let the occasion go by without acknowledging it, but then I stumbled upon this quote that I thought would give those of us in PR and communications a moment’s reflection—reflection about how much creativity we bring to our jobs and whether we need to broaden our experiences to increase our chances of “connecting things” into breakthrough solutions.
(The quote comes from Wired magazine, February 1996, when Jobs was heading NeXT and just before he returned to Apple.)