For the past month I’ve been immersing myself in comparing and contrasting different search engines. If you work in the search space like I do, and you have a pulse, it is hard to stop yourself from being exposed to articles about this sort of thing…but I’ve been trying.  Why?  I’ll detail that in another post, but basically, I’m working on a search engine concept.  …So I’ve purposely avoided these articles, as I have a theory.

It’s about the creative process. Most people who have worked with me at Broadlook over the last few years understand my theory and bias, whether they agree with it or not, they know how I feel and they give me the space to follow my method as it works for me.

The basic concept is that you should avoid reviewing others work in a field before you think up your original concept for a project. I actually got the idea from a short story I read in high school by Orson Scott Card called Unaccompanied Sonata. Story in short: A young boy, a musical genius, is removed from society so his musical creations are original. At the end of the story he sneaks away from his encampment and hears the music of Mozart. Upon his return, he is cast out as his music was forever influenced by Mozart and no longer original.

Before I sit down with our team to create a new recruiting software product, I put myself through a black out period. Whatever I am working on, I avoid the concept from outside sources at all costs. This allows my creative side to be creative. The copy factor reduces. It’s like when you find yourself in a totally dark room and your eyes start seeing things. Your brain is trying to stay busy & stimulated. The same thing will happen if you deprive yourself of input stimuli on the topic you are interested in…you will start to think.

Once you have your ideas worked out, then and only then review outside content.  Not reviewing external “art” after you’ve gone through your initial creative process is foolhardy.

The “me to” creations coming from most dot com’s are a sign that they start by copying first, not creating.

I was on the Recruiting Animal Show today and one of the comments was about creating original content vs. reposting information.  For those people who want to start blogging original content, avoid reading blogs at all costs.  Shally Steckerl talked about the “Signal to noise ratio” on the show today. It’s all about eliminating the noise. Eliminate the noise and the creativity will come.