Book Chat: Creative Confidence

While this isn’t the normal sort of thing I would discuss here, I read this book recently and it meshed more into software development than I had expected. It’s about tools to be more creative, and how to be consistently creative. It asserts that while you can’t have an amazing insight every day you can move from a ‘when inspiration strikes’ cadence to being able to generate novel insights at regular intervals.

From the software development perspective, there are some interesting ideas around low fidelity prototyping. The idea is that if you can see more ideas more quickly you can find bits and pieces that work and stitch them into a complete solution. One example the book used was doing prototypes with a giant paper iPhone cut out and putting paper UI elements on it. This has obvious applications to front end development. However, it also has applications on the backend, where you could write out a couple of different interface definitions and try different use cases with them and see what works best.

There is also an interesting chapter about constructing creative teams. There is some of the normal tips for forming creative teams, such as having a diverse team in skills and backgrounds. But it also goes more into building real relationships so you feel more open to share and express ideas that you would otherwise keep to yourself; even if those ideas aren’t immediately valuable they could be fuel for further ideas. A lot of it is about creating a mental space for those who would not normally consider themselves creative to contribute. The physical space should be great for changing. Walls you can write on, furniture and walls that can move. Eliminate as many barriers to demonstrating or testing an idea as possible.

Overall it’s an interesting topic and interesting to read. Nobody would say they are creative enough, so anybody could find value in it.