Most of the creative geniuses that we look towards are not really that creative after all

Most of the creative geniuses that we look towards are not really that creative after all

MADFest 2019 was a gathering of marketers, start-ups, disruptors, tech types and media folk, one of the stand-out sessions from iBM iX’s Jeremy Waite explored where creativity actually comes from

Everything is a remix. This was the overriding message from iBM iX’s Jeremy Waite, during his talk on ‘Why the future belongs to DJs’ at MAD Fest 2019. He argued that instead of worrying about creating something new, what we should do is curate existing things. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your job title is. Anyone can take something old, remix it and take it out to a new audience with your own personality and all of a sudden you’ve got a whole new thing.”

Waite used the top 100 highest grossing movies in the world as an example of how successful this approach can be: 75 of the top 100 are all remixes, adaptations, sequels or rewrites of something that already existed. None of them are original content.

Waite then pointed out that we can see the same thing across some of the most successful brands. When Steve Jobs launched the Apple Store in Paris in 2011, he said it would be, “a cathedral to mass market luxury, we’re going to have wide open spaces, ornate pillars and the genius bar at the back.” It was seen as revolutionary. But look back to 1809 when Josiah Wedgwood opened his ceramic shop in St James Park saying it will be, “a cathedral to mass market luxury for the queens wear, it’s going to have wide open spaces, ornate pillars and an expert counter at the back.”

Steve Jobs embraced within Apple a different culture. He wanted people to think about stealing stuff and creating something new, not getting so hung up on creativity. He believed it would empower a lot more of our employees, rather than thinking that creativity is something that only comes from those geniuses over there.

Waite ended by challenging the audience to take existing, successful case studies from other industries and apply them to our own industry in a completely different way.