Everything creative you think of has been done before.
Stop fighting it, you won’t win.
Someone better than you did it first.
And then someone else did it again.
You are just repeating the cycle.
No matter how hard you try, nothing you do will be new.
Although this sounds like a desperate situation, it really isn’t.
Dave Trott champions predatory thinking.
Predatory thinking is about changing your perspective on a problem and only solving the part that you need to in order to reach your goal.
In practice, this means beating your competition instead of achieving perfection.
Trott tells the story of two men walking through the jungle being stalked by a tiger.
One of the men laces up a running shoe whilst the other scoffs: “you will never outrun a tiger”.
To which the other man replies; “I don’t need to, I just need to outrun you”.
The goal is to not get eaten.
Beat your competition and you achieve your goal.
And so back to creating something new.
To create something genuinely new is perfection.
It is hard and in most cases impossible – like outrunning a tiger in the jungle.
But why even bother?
True creativity is taking something that exists and showing it to a new audience.
To the new audience the thing will be new.
You know it isn’t, but they don’t.
One of the best examples of this is in music.
Pendulum is an Australian dance / rock music act.
They used to make run of the mill dance music.
To a seasoned dance fan’s ear the music was the same old thing they had heard before.
The true creativity of a band like Pendulum was to go chasing the affections of rock music fans.
They appeared in Kerrang magazine and played at rock festivals.
To rock fans, Pendulum’s music was absolutely new.
Yet the music isn’t new, the fans are.
But the fans don’t know that.
The band gets hailed as trailblazers by one camp and copy cats by another.
But at the end of the day they achieve their aim: sell lots of CDs.
Nothing is new, but your audience doesn’t know that.