Connecting dots – By @isabellelj1

By Isabelle Johnson


Connecting dots


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” 

– Steve Jobs.

Something we’ve learned these past few weeks is that a lot of ideas have already been done. Paths are already well-trodden. From strap-lines to slogans, from visual metaphors to creative tricks, we’ve already seen a lot that there is to see.

So how are we supposed to be creative in a world that is already full to the brim of ideas?


Does ‘new’ even exist?

We need to follow Steve Jobs’ suit and begin to connect the dots that others might miss.


Fitting in a crowded marketplace would be a business failure. We’ve learned that knowing your competition inside out is paramount, but we shouldn’t look to them to provide inspiration. We shouldn’t try to emulate what they’re doing.


So, amongst this crowded marketplace – how are we going to stand out and be original? How are we going to be the ‘X amongst 0s’ as Marc puts it.


The more broad and diverse our wealth of inspiration, the more unusual our ideas. As Dave Birss told us, if we take an initiative to collect dots, the input of different sources will result in an output of ideas far more diverse than if we were to go about our lives in a mundane routine way, never stepping outside our comfort zones.


We are a vessel through which we connect society to ideas and vice versa. We must mop and soak up as much as we can. There are a lot of dots to connect. We should think of the bigger picture and make unusual connections, connect divergent ideas to make new and unexpected ideas.

We are a vessel through which we at once respond to and influence society with our ideas. We must put feeling into our work – we must trust our gut otherwise this won’t translate into our work. Pieces of creative communication need to convey emotion.

Author and innovator Seth Godin also stated:

‘The magic of connecting dots is that once you learn the techniques, the dots can change but you’ll still be good at connecting them.’ Once we start to see patterns and we actively seek inspiration, I am hoping that these methods will soon become second nature.

And once we’ve got that grain of an idea we make it big. The best part of collecting dots is when they all begin to slot into place. I was watching a David Lynch broadcast where he talks about the free-flowing of an idea. Once you have that nugget of something great, everything starts to flow and fit into place – it all becomes clear.

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