Thursday, August 14, 2008

Being an Original

Daily in my inbox I receive quotes by Tom Peters, the kind that propels me to thought and action. Today's quote is particularly salient, as it is perhaps one of the main reasons for the lack of design and innovation.

"If we want original products," Peters writes, "they're likely to come from original people."

While it is All Too Human to complain about the lack of originality, it is also all too familiar to dismiss original people, those who do not think, look, or act like me.

Consider the words of Friedrich Nietzsche:

"One may conjecture that a spirit in whom the type 'free spirit' will one day become ripe and sweet to the point of perfection has had its decisive experience in a great liberation and that previously it was all the more a fettered spirit and seemed to be chained forever to its pillar and corner."

We do not find solutions to problems among like-minded people, yet we so often desire to be among them. When the "fettered spirit," those people who do not think, look, or act like me is "free," this is when design meets originality. It is the "ripe and sweet to the point of perfection" that can be.

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