ask not what your economy can do for you…

With the ongoing news about failing economies, weakening currencies and economic uncertainty, it is good to know that there is still a currency that can be invested in that will give a great return on investment.

Not heard about it? Simple. Investing in creative ideas and design is always a good option.

A creative idea that is developed, nurtured and brought to life is a very special ‘currency’, one that can deliver both short and long-term benefits.

ask not – changing the world, one t-shirt slogan at a time!

ask not – changing the world, one t-shirt slogan at a time!

OK, so I’m no Robert Peston or Stephanie Flanders, or a learned journalist from the Financial Times or The Economist, so like most financial transactions, there is always small print, and as Tom Waits once said…

‘The large print giveth and the small print taketh away’

Strangely however, in such times of uncertainty, the natural instinct can often be to revert back to old ways of thinking, to cut back on creativity, to withdraw back to the known, to stay safe. So rather than investing in a ‘creative currency’; in new ways of thinking, new ways of approaching problems, things just stagnate and stay the same. As a counter to this approach,  Henry Ford (1863-1947), American founder of the Ford Motor Company once famously said…

‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’

Apple once boldly proclaimed, now more than ever, we need to ‘think different‘ just like the Crazy ones…

At the time, Apple were floundering badly, yet they heavily invested in design and the creative process, with the outcome being the revolutionary launch of the first iMac, arguably the computer that helped change both their future as a company, as well as the computer landscape from that point onwards.

Rather than a creative austerity mentality, surely now is the best time to be crazy and invest more in creativity! So what are you going to invest your creative bank balance in?

9 thoughts on “ask not what your economy can do for you…

  1. Pingback: THINKing » Creativity 2012 – Week #26

  2. sorry, ps. its a pity the credit crunch didn’t bring us to the crunch of how to start treating each other as human beings. i’m not that naive to think art isn’t business but since when has the origin of art had anything to do with money? the post-modernists tried to corner the market for money-oriented art and have only indulged elitism. it can be art but it undermines art and artists – and our humanity. arts councils need to be made up of artists not accountants

    • Interesting observations, but art and money is a whole different conversation!

      That said, very few artists can survive without money, and probably if they can it is because they either have other ways of financially supporting themselves and their art, or have already made enough money not to need anymore!

  3. I like the ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ theory! And I like ‘making my own entertainment’, and cooking delicious meals out of scraps. I like the challenge of producing a good design on a small budget too.
    But sometimes (if I have it), I do like spending lots of money on something… like my Brompton folding bike which is a beautiful piece of creative engineering, or going on a holiday to broaden my horizons.
    I think I appreciate the ‘luxuries’ I allow myself more, because I do balance them with a low-impact, low-cost, high creative lifestyle most of the time!

    • It’s all about wise investments and enjoying challenges. Making something from nothing can often be the most rewarding – budget should not limit creative vision!

  4. Agreed! On an individual level, I think now especially, people are taking a chance with their passions and the directions that seemed ‘risky’ before- since now there are few, if any, foolproof routes one can head down, assured of success. Nothings really stable, so we can’t lean on our ‘5 year plan’ and wait for the money to roll in. Now’s the time to rediscover work as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. If you’re going to take a chance – own it.
    For businesses – they really do need to stand out from the crowd, as well as embrace advancing digital & social technologies – all areas of one’s company require excellence these days, and need to make people look not just twice but three times at genuine innovation!

  5. This t-shirt’s slogan is so ‘right now! I heard recently that some of the creative people performing at the Olympics will not now be paid. This may just be rumour (I certainly hope so!), but if it is not it will be yet another example of creativity being taken for granted instead of seeing it as vital to helping our economy. Big business getting it wrong again!

    • Indeed. Creativity is often wrongly seen as ‘icing on the cake’ or merely surface decoration. It is a real shame that it is sometimes not fully appreciated, or the benefits that it can bring business not really understood.

      ‘Creativity’ can be hard (but not impossible) to measure in standard terms of reference, but can definitely bring genuine returns on investment!

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