Wednesday, October 19, 2011

REINVENT


From Hugh MacLeod (author of Ignore Everybody, among other things):
There’re a lot of smart people out there starting and driving businesses focused on changing the way we do things—especially in marketing and technology. Unfortunately, far too many companies still rely on tweaking what exists as opposed to reinventing.
I can personally vouch for the "tweaking what exists" when it comes to theatre.  You do what you know, and you tweak that.  It takes considerable courage and drive to part with preconceptions of How Things Ought To Be and really get down to building a company that really does something that matters.  Worse, it takes no effort to tweak away while convincing yourself you're reinventing.

There's a great quote from my favorite sci-fi author, Robert Heinlein, from his book The Cat Who Walked Through Walls:
The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it — once you can honestly say, "I don't know", then it becomes possible to get at the truth.
I don't know.  I study, I theorize, I opine, I experiment, but I don't know.  And I hope I never do.  It keeps me flexible.

Hugh again:
So it comes down to knocking out some walls, and encouraging others to do the same. You’ve seen what this old method can do, so get it out of the way to let new ideas work some magic for a little while…
Until, of course, it’s time to trash that for whatever is next.
I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Theatre is the phoenix's art.  If you're not reinventing, what the hell are you doing?

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